email page print pageAll Topic Reviews
Self-Compassion in Psychotherapy10 Minute Solution: Butt Lift10 Minute Solution: High Intensity Interval Training101 Ways to Meditate3-In-1 Total Body Fitness with Desi Bartlett30 Minute Ab & Butt Blaster5 Day Fit Yoga5 Mega Miles with Toning Band7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups8 Keys to Practicing MindfulnessA Journey Into Yin YogaA Philosophy for the Science of Well-BeingA Student's Guide to the History And Philosophy of Yoga A.M. EnergyAgeless Mobility: Pain-Free Wellness For LongevityAlmost MeatlessAlready FreeAlternative Medicine?AltruismAnd BreatheAnywhere, Anytime, Any Body YogaAthlete's Guide to YogaBack in Action: Yoga for a Healthy BackBack To Basics: Fitness with Charlotte OrdBalanced AssetsBedroom Body: Booty Burner, Core & Pelvic Floor WorkoutBeginners Meditation & Mindful StretchingBeginners Yoga DVDBeginning YogaBellyFit ElementsBethenny's Skinnygirl WorkoutBeyond the SelfBody By BethennyBody Mindful YogaBorn to Balance - Balance BasicsBreath-Centered YogaBrightening Our Inner SkiesCalm Body Clear MindCalm Focus JoyCardio for Beginners with Petra KolberChakra MeditationsComplementary and Alternative Therapies ResearchContemplative Psychotherapy EssentialsCore Fusion - Pilates PlusCore Fusion - Pure Abs & ArmsCore Fusion - Thighs & GlutesCore Fusion Body SculptCore Fusion Lean & TonedCore Fusion Power SculptCore Strength PilatesCore Strength Vinyasa Yoga Power Hour with Sadie NardiniCore YogaCultural Healing and Belief SystemsDance Off the Inches: Cardio Hip Hop PartyDeep ListeningDeep Stretch / Yin YogaDetox YogaDr. Andrew Weil's Guide to Eating WellDr. Yoga House CallEasy YogaElement: Barre ConditioningElement: Targeted Toning Pilates for BeginnersElement: Yoga for Stress Relief & FlexibilityElements of Yoga, Earth FoundationsElements of Yoga, Fire DynamicElements of Yoga: Air & WaterEveryday Workout for the Everyday WomanEveryday Yoga for Stress Release Everything VeganExercise for Mood and AnxietyExercise-Based Interventions for Mental IllnessExhale Core Fusion 30 Day SculptFamily YogaFit Family Fun CircuitFit in 5 DVDFlat Abs PilatesFlow YogaFluid Power Vinyasa Flow YogaFood You Can ForageFully PresentGaiam Pilates Slide and Sculpt Kit with DVDGaiam Pilates Total Toning KitGaiam Yoga For Weight Loss KitGet Fit Through GardeningGet Ripped & ChiseledGet RIPPED! 1000 #3Get RIPPED! and Jacked - The Boomer WorkoutGet Stronger Bones: 3 Workouts For OsteoporosisHandbook of MindfulnessHappy Yoga DVDHealing the Heart and Mind with MindfulnessHealing through ExerciseHealing Through Movement: Pilates Head to ToeHealing, Hype, or Harm?Healthy Sexy Beautiful Kundalini YogaHemalayaa: Bollywood BootyHow to Be a StoicHow to Cook Everything VegetarianHow Would Buddha Act?In Defense of FoodInsight Yoga Earth: Balancing Yin EnergyInsight Yoga Heaven: Balancing YangIntegrated YogaInternational Perspectives on Reminiscence, Life Review and Life Story WorkKids Teach Yoga - Flying EagleKidYogi - Yoga for ChildrenKripalu YogaKundalini Yoga : DVDKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - MONDAYKUNDALINI YOGA for Your Week - TUESDAY - CoreKundalini Yoga MeditationKundalini Yoga Meditation for Beginners & BeyondKundalini Yoga Meditation for Complex Psychiatric DisordersKundalini Yoga on the BallKundalini Yoga Solar Power All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga to Detox and Destress DVDKundalini Yoga Transformer All-In-One WorkoutKundalini Yoga: Green Energy of the HeartLetting Go!LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues--Level 1LifeForce Yoga to Beat the Blues: Level 2Living BeautifullyLiving Room Yoga DVDLiving Room Yoga: Twist and BendLunar Flow YogaMake It Fast, Cook It SlowManage Your Depression Through ExerciseMaui PilatesMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for Back PainMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for IBSMayo Clinic Wellness Solutions for InsomniaMeditations for BeginnersMindful AmericaMindful ColoringMindfulnessMindfulnessMindfulness for BeginnersMindfulness for CarersMindfulness for TwoMindfulness in Plain EnglishMindfulness-Based Treatment Approaches: Clinician's Guide to Evidence Base and ApplicationsMisadventures of a Garden State YogiNamaste Yoga: Season 3 Part 1Natural FlexibilityNew Good FoodNew VegetarianNew York PilatesNext-Level PilatesNutrition Essentials for Mental HealthPain Free at WorkPeace Is Every BreathPerfect in Ten AbsPerfect in Ten: PilatesPerfect in Ten: StretchPerfect in Ten: YogaPilates AnatomyPilates for BeginnersPositivityPower to the Peaceful YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower YogaPower Yoga: Core PowerPower Yoga: Fat BurnerPower Yoga: Strength and FlexibilityPrenatal FlowPrescriptive StretchingPresence Through Movement: Yin YogaPsychology Moment by MomentPure and Simple YogaPure SculptQi Gong Fire & Water With Matthew CohenQi Gong Flow for BeginnersQi Gong for Low Back PainQi Gong for Upper Back and Neck PainQi Gong for Weight LossQi Workout AM/PMQiGong for Healthy Joints & BonesQiGong IllustratedQuick Blast MethodRadiant Heart Yoga DVDReach - Upbeat Toning & Flexibility for a Dancer's BodyRelax Into Yoga for SeniorsResistance Stretching With Dara TorresRestorative Yoga PracticeRestorative Yoga PracticeSara Ivanhoe's Taste DVDSelfless InsightSleepSoupsSparkSpontaneous HappinessStep By Step Strength TrainingStep by Step Tai ChiStrength & SpiritStress Relief to GoStretchStrong & SculptedStrong Body, Ageless BodySuper Seniors: Box, Balance, & Lift Surf Yoga SoulSybel's Yoga For Sports & FitnessSybel's Yoga For Sports & Fitness Vol 2Tai Chi for Beginners with Grandmaster William C. C. ChenTeen YogaTeenYogi DVDTen Zen Tummy TonersThe 6 Qualities of ConsciousnessThe Accidental VeganThe Art and Science of MindfulnessThe Athlete's Guide to YogaThe Best Things You Can EatThe Booty Barre -Total New BodyThe Complete Book of Raw FoodThe Get Healthy, Go Vegan CookbookThe Harvard Medical School Guide to YogaThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Healing Remedies SourcebookThe Kettlebell BoomerThe Light of DiscoveryThe Mandala of BeingThe Meat Lover's Meatless CookbookThe Mindful Way through DepressionThe Nature FixThe Origins of HappinessThe Perfect ExerciseThe Psychology of LifestyleThe Qi Healing KitThe Road to Calm WorkbookThe Science of SleepThe Science of YogaThe Sense of SelfThe Spirit of Buddhist MeditationThe Spirit of Tibetan BuddhismThe Ultimate BALLET YOGAThe Ultra MindsetThe Well-Tuned BrainThe Yin Yoga KitTotal Health the Chinese WayTotal-Body ToningTransform Yourself with Jivamukti YogaTransformative YogaTrudie Styler's Cardio Dance FlowTrudie Styler's Warrior YogaV-Core WorkoutVegan ExpressVegan for LifeVegetarian Visitor 2008VegetarianoViniyoga Therapy for the Low Back, Sacrum and HipsViniyoga Therapy for the Upper Back, Neck and ShouldersViva Vegan!Walk It Off in 30 DaysWalk to the HITS Radio RemixesWatch Me Do YogaWeight Loss Cardio KickWeight Watchers: Ultimate Belly SeriesYin and Yang YogaYin Yoga DVDYogaYogaYoga - Philosophy for EveryoneYoga : Beginners Flow for EveryoneYoga AnatomyYoga as MedicineYoga Bliss HipsYoga BodyYoga Body : Lean & Defined Total Body WorkoutYoga By Teens DVDYoga Emergency DVD: Arms & ShouldersYoga Emergency DVD: BackYoga Emergency DVD: Full Leg StretchYoga Emergency DVD: HipsYoga Emergency DVD: PregnancyYoga Flow DVDYoga for AnxietyYoga for AthletesYoga for Back CareYoga for BeginnersYoga for Energy & Stress ReliefYoga for FitnessYoga for MeditatorsYoga for OsteoporosisYoga for Pain ReliefYoga for Strength & EnergyYoga for Strength & FlexibilityYoga for Your WeekYoga in BedYoga Inside Out: Go DeeperYoga Inside Out: The Healing WayYoga Journal's Yoga for StressYoga Journal: Yoga for Strength and Toning DVDYoga Link: Core IntegrationYoga Link: Hip HelpersYoga Link: Shoulder Shape-UpYoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress ReliefYoga Quick FixesYoga Skills for Therapists:Yoga TherapyYoga TherapyYoga Therapy for Back PainYoga Therapy Prescriptions - 60 Health Restorative SequencesYoga to the Rescue - Feel Good from Head to ToeYoga to the Rescue for Back PainYoga to the Rescue for Neck & ShouldersYoga to the Rescue for Pain-Free Back, Neck & ShouldersYoga, Karma, and RebirthYoga: Freedom from Back PainYoga: Relief from Neck and Shoulder PainYoga: Spirit of Vinyasa FlowYogabodyYogawomanYou Can Think Yourself ThinYour Body Breakthru - Your Best Body Circuit DVDYour Brain on Food: How Chemicals Control Your Thoughts and Feelings,Your Brain on YogaZen Encounters with Loneliness
Body Mindful Yoga presents a novel consideration of body image, combining awareness of language and social factors with self-reflection and yoga. Authors Robert Butera and Jennifer Kreatsoulas suggest that the book is designed to assist readers with cultivating a more affirming relationship with their bodies. The techniques described are largely based on a system developed by the first author, The Butera Method of Personal Transformation. Both authors have a background in yoga therapy, an individualized approach which utilizes application of yoga practices towards improved physical and mental health.
In their introduction, the authors explain how body image comprises of learned perceptions which are not based on fact. They postulate that it is our perceptions which formulate a "body narrative," or the messages which we tell ourselves about our bodies. Language has a major influence on this narrative, both how language is received from society and how we use language to talk about ourselves. The authors each share personal stories regarding how language and other factors contributed to their own body narratives.
The opening chapter of the book focuses on the role of language in the development of body image. The concept of "body mindful" is founded on the belief that language can be used purposefully and mindfully as a means to empower. Body mindful language includes using words that validate and affirm while avoiding disparaging comments. These principles apply to our self-talk as well as to our interactions with others. The authors emphasize that body narratives, while influenced by external factors, fall within the providence of the individual, and thus individuals have to power to change their own narratives, in part via skillful use of language. The Butera Method of Personal Transformation is thus described as a "pathway to meaningful change." There are a series of four steps—Listen, Learn, Love, Life—involving active participation from the individual on this road towards change.
The central point of Step 1, Listen, is establishing a baseline. Exploratory questions (e.g., "how do you describe your body?", "what is your definition of a healthy body?", and "what is your definition of a beautiful body?") are combined with journaling as a means to identify how words have impacted one's individual body narrative. The next exercise examines the influences that contributed to the development of this narrative, from family/peers/community to one's internalized response to these factors. This chapter concludes with identifying body mindful goals and intention. Examples of empowering body mindful goals are provided, such as "my goal is to enjoy health" and "my goal is to feel more alive." One's intention refers to the desire or gift that this goal might offer, a wider umbrella that applies not only to one's body image but also to one's whole life.
After the creation of greater insight through Listen, the next step is Learn. Gaining knowledge about self comes first, with further questioning and writing exercises to explore one's learning style, personal nature, personality, and identity. This step also expands on the use of language. The authors review the impact of common slogans and sayings on self-talk. This includes morality language as it relates to food ("you are what you eat"), combat language as it relates to fitness ("just do it"), social media trends (e.g., yoga selfies), and the connection between fashion and status. For each of these areas, the authors select several powerful examples which are examined in detail. They propose alternative body mindful statements to counteract these extremely prevalent and potentially detrimental messages. Summary exercises connect this new information back to one's body mindful goals and intention. The final chapter in this section offers body mindful language suggestions to address other influences that may have contributed to a negative body narrative, including religion, ageism, and nicknames.
The Love step builds on the foundation of the first two steps by incorporating yoga practices to affirm and strengthen a body mindful approach. The authors expand on the reductionist view of yoga as fitness by introducing both mind-oriented and body-oriented yoga skills. The mindful practices include mantras, affirmations, and sensory activities. For the yoga asanas, or physical postures, the authors introduce sixteen basic yoga poses. As with the other exercises in this book, the yoga poses are designed to be empowering. The authors focus on postures that encourage both outward energy and inward introspection. Each pose is illustrated using a simple black and white drawing accompanied by a short descriptive explanation. Those familiar with the physical practice of yoga will recognize common poses like mountain, tree, and warrior. A daily practice of both the physical and other yoga techniques is recommended.
The final step, Live, centers around taking the body mindful approach outlined throughout the book and utilizing it in one's interactions with others. The central theme is becoming a "body mindful ambassador," which involves qualities such as listening compassionately to others and recognizing others for their internal worth rather than external characteristics. A last exercise revisits the body narrative with the intent of creating a new, body mindful narrative.
This book is engaging, accessible, and affirmative. It is well-written in a reader-friendly format, including ending each chapter with a numbered summary of key points. Given that I am both a yoga teacher and a psychologist myself, the ideas presented highly resonated with me, particularly the emphasis on language. At the same time, I found the "Learn" section of the book to be overly repetitive, with repeated examples illustrating the same basic point. Overall, however, I though this book was an extremely worthwhile read. I would recommend it both as a self-help manual and as a guide for supportive others, from helping professionals to allies.
© 2019 Beth Cholette
Beth Cholette, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who provides psychotherapy to college students.