The science of yoga and mindfulness

Published in Spectrum, Winter 2014 edition, p. 36-39.


by Karin van Maanen


After practising and teaching yoga and meditation for some years, my interest in mindfulness was sparked and I embarked on the University of Aberdeen’s Studies in Mindfulness course in 2011. The course is geared towards the research and practice of integrating mindfulness into one’s professional context. In my case: yoga teaching. As part of the research I had the opportunity to investigate and reflect on the relationship between yoga and mindfulness in-depth. I am grateful for being able to share some of the resulting findings. May they be helpful to Spectrum readers.


I had always considered mindfulness and meditation to be an integral part of yoga...




Self-compassion and the ego

Published in Spectrum, Winter 2015 edition


by Karin van Maanen


Since immersing myself in compassion-based mindfulness training, and incorporating the practice of self-compassion and equalising self and others more overtly in my weekly yoga and mindfulness classes, several people have asked me whether self-compassion could lead to more selfish, ego-led behaviour and choices. I have found it useful to investigate ideas around self-compassion in Buddhism and current neuropsychology research, and to look at my own, culturally determined patterns to see how self-compassion helps me and might help my students. May what I share in this article be useful.


Definitions of compassion include references to a commitment or desire to relieve suffering, and that compassion needs to be accompanied by wisdom to be effective (Siegel and Germer, 2012; CCARE, 2015). Wise self-compassion takes into account the effect on others and self equally...

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