Accelerated Happiness

Accelerated Learning Skills Applied To Yoga

Accelerated Happiness. Healthy Living Magazine

Accelerated Happiness. Healthy Living Magazine

In the late 1990s Michelle LaBrosse was asked to teach a course to aerospace professionals who wanted to obtain project management professional (PMP) certification for added credibility within the industry.

But in studying already existing courses for the exam, which requires 4,500 hours of professional experience as well as a bachelor’s degree, she discovered how boring they were and “the course work was dumbed down horribly for the lowest performing learners. That was bad enough. But what made things even worse was that 40% of people taking these courses were failing even with 6 months of preparation.”

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LaBrosse took on this dismal situation and developed a course in which she guaranteed her students that after 4 days of intensive training they would pass their PMP exam. “To do this, I needed to control everything about their existence for those four days. I had them adopt diet, exercise and lifestyle approaches that would get and keep their brains in peak performing condition,” she says. But some 12 years and 60,000 students later, her life changed drastically.

happiness for difficult times

When her mother was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, LaBrosse took her knowledge and experience in accelerated learning to create a total program to cope with what would be a most difficult journey.

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Thankfully her mother was in good physical shape before being diagnosed, but now it was difficult to stand up or remember things. However with yoga her mom could perform simple tasks again—if only she could remember her poses. Using linkage skills from accelerated learning, Michelle first envisioned a yoga mat with each of the illustrated asanas that her mother was to do. (A version of these yoga mats is now available to students as part of her “Happiness Project.”)

The brain cancer progressed and her mother passed away in 2012. But doing the yoga with her daughter to maintain as much of her capabilities as possible “significantly improved the quality of her life through this end of life event,” LaBrosse says.

Read: Yoga And Mental Quality Of Life

This experience and her own circle of friends led to a larger insight: what her mother learned could be used by women in their 40s, 50s and 60s. In fact, there’s evidence that yoga is good medicine as one ages.

"I Am A Nice Person When I Do Yoga"

In the June 2014 issue of the Journal of Holistic Nursing researchers found that yoga practitioners believed their interpersonal relationships “improved” because their attitude and perspective had changed, making them more patient, kind, mindful and self aware. They thought they could better weather difficulties such as divorce and death. A number discussed feeling a sense of purpose and a sense that their practice contributed to a greater good.

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“There appears to be an aspect of community associated with yoga practice that may be beneficial to one’s social and spiritual health. Yoga could be beneficial for populations at risk for social isolation, such as those who are elderly, bereaved, depressed, as well as individuals undergoing interpersonal crises.”

Read: Yoga Is Not A Drug, But Addictive

Taking her idea further, LaBrosse became a registered yoga teacher and created an online course called “The Happiness Project” for adults “so they can quickly learn and adopt practices that enable them to age with grace, comfort and ease.” It also enables students to do their yoga at home without the necessity or expense of joining a studio.

“The Happiness Project” ( includes a 10 hour online program besides yoga mat and attending an educational accelerated learning retreat (see next page). “But the core is what is taught. All the techniques taught in the online class use discoveries in interpersonal neurobiology; how you relate to others impacts long term brain health.”

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