Mind – Body Connection

Introduction to Mind-Body Practices: Discipline and the Interconnectedness of Mind and Body


This course outline and the course is a fluid project in transition. It is hypothetical at this point, and will be adjusted accordingly over the coming weeks and months. Please check back often for updates.

Course Overview

Welcome to our journey into the world of mind-body practices, where we explore the profound interplay between physical discipline and mental well-being. This course is designed to delve into the ancient and modern disciplines that intertwine the body and mind, such as Yoga, Tai-Chi, Qi-Gong, and various Martial Arts. Alongside these practices, we will examine contemporary therapeutic approaches like Polyvagal Theory, Somatic Experiencing, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, which reveal the deep connection between our conscious mind and biological brain.

Target Audience

This course is tailored for individuals seeking a deeper understanding of how disciplined physical practices can enhance mental well-being, including mental health professionals, yoga and martial arts instructors, and anyone interested in personal development through mind-body integration.

Module 1: The Discipline of Mind-Body Practices

Understanding Discipline in Mind-Body Practices

  • Definition and Importance: Discipline, in the context of mind-body practices, is the consistent application of effort towards mastering both physical movements and mental focus.
  • Yoga: We will explore how the disciplined practice of Yoga postures (asanas) and breath control (pranayama) leads to increased mindfulness and emotional regulation.
  • Tai-Chi and Qi-Gong: These ancient Chinese practices emphasize slow, deliberate movements combined with deep breathing, fostering a disciplined mind-body connection.
  • Martial Arts: From Karate to Taekwondo, discipline in martial arts is not just about physical prowess but also about mental focus, respect, and self-control.

Virtue and Character Strength

  • Building Resilience: Consistent practice builds not only physical strength but also character strength, enhancing resilience against life’s challenges.
  • Cultivating Virtues: Disciplines such as patience, perseverance, and humility are nurtured through these practices.

Module 2: The Conscious Mind and Biological Brain

Understanding the Connection

  • Neurobiology and Consciousness: An introduction to how our brain’s functioning can affect our conscious experience and vice versa.
  • Stress and the Body: How stress manifests in the body and the brain, and the role of mind-body practices in mitigating these effects.

Therapeutic Approaches

  • Polyvagal Theory: Delve into Stephen Porges’ groundbreaking work, understanding how the vagus nerve influences our social engagement and stress responses.
  • Somatic Experiencing: Learn about Peter Levine’s approach to resolving trauma symptoms by focusing on bodily sensations.
  • Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Explore Pat Ogden’s method that integrates sensorimotor processing with cognitive and emotional processing in the treatment of trauma.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, participants will:

  1. Understand the role of discipline in various mind-body practices and how it contributes to mental and physical health.
  2. Appreciate the interconnected nature of the mind and body, gaining insights into how our mental states can influence our physical health and vice versa.
  3. Develop a foundational knowledge of therapeutic approaches that integrate the understanding of the mind-body connection in treating trauma and stress.
  4. Be equipped to apply these practices and theories in personal development or professional settings, enhancing both personal and client well-being.


The course will use a combination of theoretical lectures, experiential workshops, case studies, and guest lectures from experts in the field. Participants will be encouraged to engage in reflective practices and discussions to deepen their understanding.


Embarking on this course is not just an educational journey but a transformative experience that bridges ancient wisdom with modern science. As we unravel the mysteries of the mind-body connection, we invite you to embrace discipline not just as a virtue but as a pathway to a more harmonious and resilient self.

This course introduction aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the intricate relationship between discipline in mind-body practices and the interconnected nature of our conscious mind and biological brain. The exploration of both ancient practices and modern therapeutic approaches offers a holistic view of mental and physical well-being.