Mindful Self-Compassion

By Steven Libowitz   |   January 30, 2020

Think about what it would be like in moments where you are challenged to offer yourself the same kindness, care, and support that you would naturally extend to a dear friend. That’s the impetus behind Mindful Self-Compassion, a new eight-week course from Hattie Bluestone, DPT, and Anahita Holden, PhD, being offered at Yoga Soup in February and March. Developed by Kristin Neff, PhD, pioneering researcher in the field of self-compassion, and Christopher K. Germer, PhD, leader in the integration of mindfulness and psychotherapy, MSC is an empirically-supported program designed to cultivate the resource of self-compassion through teaching core principles and practices that enable participants to respond to difficult moments in their lives with kindness, care, and understanding. The course includes guided meditations, short talks, experiential exercises, group discussion, and take-home practices to integrate self-compassion into daily life.

Research has shown that self-compassion greatly enhances emotional well-being, boosting happiness and reducing anxiety and depression. Recent randomized controlled trials found that participants in the eight-week MSC course experienced significant increases in mindfulness, self-compassion, compassion for others, social connectedness, life satisfaction, and happiness, as well as decreases in depression, anxiety, and stress. Better yet, the gains in wellbeing were maintained one year after the course.

At the upcoming MSC course, students will learn the theory and research behind mindfulness and self-compassion as well as a variety of tools to relate to difficult emotions with greater moment-to-moment acceptance and motivate oneself with encouragement rather than criticism. The MSC program offers seven different formal meditations, 20 informal practices, and 14 experiential exercises, along with the theory and rationale for each one, so that you can become your own best teacher and find tools that support you best.

Tuition for the series that meets at Yoga Soup from 2-4:30 pm on Sundays, February 2 to March 22, is $400, or $200 for students; scholarships are available for the financially challenged. Email hattiebluestone@gmail.com or visit www.yogasoup.com/category/events.


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