Satsanga Yoga & Wellness

Prevention and Treatment Programs at SUNY at Buffalo


Currently, our prevention and treatment research involves the assessment of the efficacy of both prevention and treatment groups. Our groups are a semi-structured mix of dialectical behavioral therapy, cognitive strategies, media literacy and activism. In addition, all of our groups include both Yoga and meditation.

Curricular Sequence

The Prevention and Treatment programs follow a purposeful curricular sequence. That is the earlier sessions address individual understanding and coping strategies (i.e. Focus on Me Being Female). The following session contents involve those topics that address the interface of the participant and her immediate world (e.g., family and friends; Focus on Me being a Female In My World). The final sets of session involve the participant’s interface with culture and media (i.e. Focus on Me Being a Female in My World in My Culture).

The Magazine: Prevention Program Activism Project

Unique to the prevention component of the program is the project. The project is a constructivist activity that occurs during the last four weeks of the program. Following the presentation of material for the first seven weeks, the participants are presented with the dilemma, “what can we do about this?” They then have the next four weeks to create and publish their own magazine, a healthy magazine for girls. Once published, they distributed it to their schools and it is presented to their families and classmates.

Self-care and Symptom Reduction in Treatment Program

HarmonyThe treatment program content follows a similar content model as explicated in the prevention program. However, as this participant population is also actively symptomatic there is are additional content components that directly address symptom reduction. The group members work to understand he role that eating struggles have played in their lives. As a group we work to find healthy ways to self-regulate, negotiate emotions, understand our relationships, and take care of our needs. It is a very challenging and wonderful journey.

  • Safety Contracts. One of the innovations of this program is that the manner in which symptoms are addressed is specially handled in a way which honors the wellness model and reduces risk for individual members to inadvertently trigger each other into further symptom manifestation. To do this the treatment group signs a risk reduction contract at the intake session. This contract specifies that no symptoms or strategies are to be discussed prior to, during, or after group sessions. All group sessions are to be considered wellness oriented. Each week members turn in a journal/homework folder in which they can choose to turn in their journal and/or worksheets. These are completed privately responded to by group leaders in writing and returned each week so that each member can explore symptoms in a private and safe manner.

Program Session Format for both the Prevention and Treatment Groups

10 minutes Review of home practice or group–shared homework form previous session (Introductions the first week); Overview of the sessions’ activities.
55 minutes Body: Yoga practice with instructor’s discourse connecting movement to the session’s content.
40 minutes Mind: Session journaling and thinking content; Each session covers varied content topics including: individual stress and coping, functional neuroanatomy (mind/body understanding), emotional regulation, assertiveness and competence, self-expression, media literacy, and in the treatment groups the functional analysis of unhealthy and healthy choices.
15 minutes Body/Mind: Relaxation and Guided Mediation; The groups are led in relaxation and guided meditation that integrate the session contents and provide active practice in relaxation.

  D i s o r d e r e d    E a t i n g  
  An eating disorder creates one single parameter (or way) to alter and interpret mood. At times, it is easier to focus on this single parameter because what is going on inside (cognitive, emotional, and physiological experiences) and what is happening on the outside (family, community, and cultural issues) get so complicated, conflicted, and/or overwhelming that we want to believe that if we get this one thing right, it will all be okay.

(Paraphrased from Sheila M. Reindl in her book, Sensing the Self)