Role of yoga and meditation in the context of dysfunctional self: a hypothetico-integrative approach

Adv Mind Body Med. 2014 Summer;28(3):22-5.


Aaron T. Beck describes habitual patterns of schemas (ie, organized patterns of thought or behavior) as vital elements of emotional and behavioral experience, whereas biased processing of information accompanies psychopathological states. In this article, the authors propose a hypothetico-integrative approach to understanding the role of yoga and meditation. This approach is based on the background of Beck's model of the psychopathology of the dysfunctional self. The authors have found that the practices common to most forms of yoga and meditation are (1) focusing of attention; (2) creating a state of relaxation; and (3) developing mindfulness through efferent attenuation, sensory attenuation, and nonanalytic attention. Biological studies of meditation and yoga have found a tendency toward use of the relaxation response, the involvement of the attentional networks, and, likely, the cingulatecortex, particularly in the process of bare attention (ie, awareness without thought). This highest level of nonjudgmental awareness may help in obtaining a better-adjusted resilient self.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Attention
  • Humans
  • Meditation*
  • Mental Disorders / physiopathology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Mind-Body Therapies
  • Mindfulness*
  • Perception
  • Yoga*