Simone Da Costa is a yoga teacher and mind-body therapist. A mind-body therapist is any trained professional who uses various tools to access both the mind and the body to move towards healing. Such tools that are incorporated with the consent of the individual are: guided meditations, imagery, mindfulness and traditional talk therapy or counselling.
How did you get started in your profession?
I got started in this profession due to an early inclination to do what I could, to reduce the suffering of others. My heart opened to the world and was often broken by the sheer pain of seeing the burdens that some people bear. From a young age, I encountered my own share of inner turmoil and pain so I spent many years pursuing different ways of finding more inner harmony, self awareness and personal growth. The more I learn, the more I want to share what I know with others. My motivation within this field is to help guide individuals towards the steps they can take to reduce their pain, suffering, confusion, anxiety or depression.
What is your philosophy on health?
My philosophy on health is that it’s best approached in a holistic manner; mind, body and spirit. If we make steps to improve our physical health, we shouldn’t neglect our mental health. There is even our emotional well-being to consider and each one impacts the other. Our mental and emotional states are often the more difficult or uncomfortable issues for us to acknowledge and address but they are equally as important for our overall health and well-being.
Could you tell us a bit about mind-body therapy?
Mind-body therapy is my integration of all that I’ve learnt over the years in the fields of yoga, mindfulness and psychology. I’m currently pursuing my Masters degree in Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy which adds to my mind-body practice. Mindfulness based Psychotherapy is an integrative therapy with an emphasis on self awareness, of course, mindfulness and the relationship between the therapist and the client. This mode of therapy encourages approaching life’s difficulties with compassion; being gentle with your process and embracing acceptance of what is, en route to your solutions.
My favourite aspect of Mindfulness Based Psychotherapy is the level of awareness that the therapist is taught to greet the client with due to extensive, personal practice in mindfulness techniques. The therapist isn’t there to greet a client as a broken person in need of “fixing”, it’s more about the client undergoing a journey towards healing, growth, happiness and fulfilment and the therapist being there to guide, support and walk alongside him or her on the journey.
How would someone be able to improve their mental and emotional health and where should they start?
A good starting place for improving mental and emotional health is to develop a personal practice of some sort where you can check in with yourself in a very focused, yet gentle way. It’s important to sit in silence from time to time and take a break from the noise and busyness of the world.
We are on the go 24/7 and we barely take enough rest and relaxation time. Anxiety and depression are becoming ever more prevalent and many people suffer from burnout and from being overwhelmed.
What gives you the most fulfilment from this profession?
The most fulfilment I get from this profession is when I get feedback from my students or clients. When they report back to me saying that they feel more peaceful, clear, calm or have found some resolution or even just their next step forward due to the work we’ve done, it truly fills my heart. If I’m doing work that helps someone in any small way, I’m fulfilled knowing that I could help them to make that difference in their lives.