The Shala London

Mental Health Empowerment

For over 10 years now meditation and mindfulness has been successfully used within some healthcare settings as a treatment plan for mental health. David Behren’s, our breathwork, mindfulness and meditation teacher talks about how perspective taking is an important part of mastering the mind.

|    Teacher Training, Wellness, Yoga

Mental Health Empowerment

the power of choice

Befriending Your Mind – The Wise Mind

Our minds can be our harshest judge. To overcome this tendency towards self-criticism and self-doubt we learn to live through the wise mind. This is the intersection between our emotional and reasoning minds. Our wise mind allows us to  balance our rational and emotional responses and to be compassionate towards ourselves, dialing down the self-judgment we may have, translating to kindness and compassion projected outwards to our outer world.  

When we practice mindfulness through meditation we watch and look after our inner world. This helps us to befriend our mind, and see we are not just our emotions or our thoughts. The result can be subtle but sometimes large shifts in behavior can occur through cultivating a practice of responding to situations rather than reacting. Additionally, we respond with compassion towards ourselves and others.  

In this short video (below), former monk David Behrens takes us through an exercise on observing where your thoughts come from to see how you can observe and gain awareness of the arising thoughts and shift from re-acting to responding. 

Mastering Your Mind

For over 10 years now meditation and mindfulness has been used within some healthcare settings as a treatment plan for mental health. David Behren’s, our breathwork, mindfulness and meditation teacher talks about how perspective taking is an important part of mastering the mind. Practices that help us be aware of the mind allow us to be aware and to detach from the talking mind which can sometimes get so loud, that we lose perspective. Often when our mental health is suffering, the part of the brain responsible for taking perspective can be dulled, therefore meditation and mindfulness can help us gain a more expansive perspective and help tame our talking mind.  

The Power of Choice

Optimal mental health is key to living a fulfilling life. We can take control of our mental health through gaining back our power of choice. This includes taking control of our emotions, cultivating a relationship with them so they guide us on our life path and using this to live an expansive rather than constrictive life. An easy way to do this is to stay focused on the present moment, being with your body and senses. Here David takes you through a simple yet effective mindfulness practice. How did this short practice anchor you to the present?  





Incorporating mindfulness into everyday life

When we integrate mindfulness into our daily lives, we can make it a habit, like brushing our teeth. To some this initially can seem like we are making the tiniest shift, but it can in time have a profound effect on our life. These small steps eventually lead to a path of making daily decisions easier, gaining a wider field of perspective and knowing how to act in the face of daily challenges. All by bringing us firmly into the present, the here and NOW.  

David Behrens talks through an easy and potent meditation you can integrate into your life to work towards becoming more mindful. 




Stress is a part of everyday life, with much focus on removing or reducing stressors. However, this may not always be possible and actually more often than not it is our reaction to stress over the source itself that can be the challenge. In our mental health empowerment: mindfulness, meditation and breathwork course we learn to utilise the S.T.O.P  intervention to help mitigate the effects of our sometimes unuseful reactions to daily stressors.  

S is for STOP – take a moment, sit or lie down to rest and practice this intervention 

T is for take a few breaths 

O is for OBSERVE: Tune into what am I thinking, feeling and what is happening around me? 

P is for proceed, move forward and respond but with some choice in what needs your attention 


We have all heard of this concept of gratitude and the power of incorporating this quality into our lives. But how does it actually work? Well gratitude is a practice to take you away from the talking mind to the heart. And when we reflect upon gratitude, this is where COHERANCE happens, an alignment between the heart and brain occurs releasing hormones that promote peacefulness and co-operation, allowing a vibrational shift that resonates out into how we meet the world.  

Even small shifts contribute to transformation. Listen to and be guided by this gratitude practice from David Behrens from his upcoming course 


Did you know that the word resilience comes from the latin word, resilire? Meaning to rebound or recoil? We often live in the illusion that we have a lot more control over the events in our life than we really do = one of the big Illusions or Maya’s in life. If we therefore accept that challenges are part of the gift of life then our bounce back can be focused on, giving us more resilience and less illusion of control.  

Practicing mindfulness has been shown to help us not eliminate the stress felt from these challenges, but to bounce back quicker. Therefore, apart from practicing mindfulness, we don’t need to change a thing.  This practice just helps us strengthen the areas of the brain that relate to responding to stress.  

About David Behrens

We are honoured and delighted to be offering A CPD training; Mental Health Empowerment: Mindfulness, Meditation and Breathwork with David Behrens.  David’s work spans nearly thirty years and is rooted in teaching meditation whilst practicing as a monk for nearly 30 years. He now collaborates with and teaches doctors, psychiatrists and psychotherapists. His specialty area includes addiction and mental health recovery, and he also has studied ayurvedic medicine and yoga philosophy.  

David’s extensive multidisciplinary background has taught him the subtleties of tailoring the approach to the individual. He loves the synergy that happens when the ancient fundamentals of yoga (specifically mindfulness, meditation and breathwork) come together with the contemporary science of the nervous system.   



Learn More..

 If you are interested in delving deeper into how mindfulness, meditation and breathwork can support mental health, David Behrens will be running a day long retreat in our studio on New Year’s Eve. He will also be running a mental health empowerment course in the studio (with the option to livestream) in October. Find out more about both these events from the links below.

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