Episode 069 :: Laura Schmalzl :: Neurology of Movement-Based Contemplative Practices

| May 5, 2016 | 0 Comments

Laura Schmalzl

Laura Schmalzl joins us to speak about Neural Mechanisms Underlying Movement-Based Embodied Contemplative Practices.

If you break down yoga, for example, as a contemplative practice, what do you end up with, what are those parts? How do they work together, and what does recent scientific research into a variety of movement practices indicate for clinical applications? Like most complex areas of study, we don’t have al the answers, and some well established practices are getting a new look through the lens of critical thinking. It’s early in taking a more mechanistic approach, and doesn’t take away from how these movement practices… move us, and may even enrich the experience.

Laura Schmalzl is a Clinical Neuropsychologist, with a PhD in Cognitive Science, completing post-doctoral work in Cognitive Neuroscience. Much of her past research has evolved around elucidating the cognitive and neural bases of various aspects of body representation. Specifically, Laura has been involved in behavioral and neuroimaging (fMRI) studies investigating limb proprioception in healthy individuals and amputees, and in the development of tools to alleviate phantom pain. Besides her academic work, Laura is also a dedicated yoga practitioner and certified yoga instructor, and by combining her interests is now involved in a series of scientific studies investigating the effect of yoga-based practices. She is the Managing Editor of the International Journal of Yoga Therapy (IJYT), and an Associate Editor of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

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Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in this podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. You can visit his website to hear more of his music, get the full discography, and view his upcoming tour dates.

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About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

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