S2 E5 Yoga and mental health

Researcher Leona Tan explores the science of yoga and how it may be used to support better mental health.

We’re delighted to share that our next guest on the Mindarma Podcast is Leona Tan. Leona is a Senior Research Officer at the Black Dog Institute.

In the past decade, Leona has authored notable publications on workplace mental health and her research has influenced organisational policies across numerous industries.

Her excellence in research has been recognised by many competitive awards including the 2021 John Raftery Early Career Award for Research in Traumatic Stress.

Leona is also an experienced yoga teacher. She is currently completing her PhD on how mind and body interventions like the practise of yoga can prevent the development of trauma-related mental disorders in first responders.

The tradition and practice of yoga has a rich and vibrant history which originated in ancient India over 6000 years ago – although truth be told it may well be older than this.

The practise of yoga is deeply connected to ancient Vedic philosophy and the spiritual traditions of hinduism, buddhism and Jainism. In the 1950s, 60s and 70s, teachers from India brought yoga and meditation practises to the west and it’s popularity as a holistic approach to nourishing and supporting overall wellbeing has grown steadily ever since.

For Leona and I, Yoga is certainly one of our shared passions and we have both witnessed the tremendous positive impact this practise has had on our own wellbeing as we as well as those we have been fortunate enough to shared this practise with over the years.

While there are many aspects of yoga from pranayama (focused breathing) to Bhakti (devotional practise), in this podcast Leona shares specific research insights on the psychological benefits of yoga asanas (postures performed during a yoga practise) and the practise of meditation. We hope you enjoy this interview with brilliant and insightful Leona Tan.