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

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.

About Ted Meissner

Ted Meissner has been a meditator since the early 90’s, is a UMass Center for Mindfulness Qualified MBSR Teacher, and is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader as well as several other podcasts, and has presented about mindfulness to various groups including the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Harvard Humanist Hub, and Be The Match, the National Marrow Donor program. Ted has been published in Perspectives on Psychological Science, Mindful, and The International Journal of Whole Person Care.

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