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Embodied Positive Psychology Summit: Pre-Summit Workshops

Workshops (Choose One)

Get inSPIRED: Let Your Yoga Dance for Positive Psychology [EPPSP-161:S1]

Megha Nancy Buttenheim with special guest Maria McManus
Let Your Yoga Dance is one of the most fun, exuberant, high-spirited elements of WBI’s Certificate in Positive Psychology (CiPP). It also goes deep, providing opportunities for self-care and self-awareness. Megha has created an Expanding Joy movement curriculum that embodies the teaching tenets of positive psychology and SPIRE, WBI’s approach to whole-person well-being—encompassing Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Relational, and Emotional aspects of the self.

Come get inSPIRE-ed through the dance of yoga as we

  • Learn about the latest studies in embodied psychology
  • Explore the SPIRE methodology through movement
  • Practice feeling resilience, compassion, joy, zest, and love in the body, not just the mind.

Speaker and writer Maria McManus, a CiPP graduate, will join Megha to provide an evidence-based understanding of why Let Your Yoga Dance for Positive Psychology takes happiness to a whole new level.

Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice [EPPSP-161:S2]

Ryan Niemiec
Character strengths are those universal personality characteristics that are the best parts of yourself, such as gratitude, hope, social intelligence, bravery, curiosity, or fairness. Mindfulness is a way of working with your attention that can boost self-awareness and deployment of these qualities. As the research around both areas has grown exponentially in the past decade, practitioners from the fields of coaching, psychology/counseling, education, and business are integrating these territories and applying them in their work.

Ryan Niemiec’s Mindfulness-Based Strengths Practice (MBSP) approach weaves together the perennial wisdom and science of mindfulness with the modern science and practice of character strengths. MBSP has been piloted with success across multiple cultures, and adaptations for specific populations are being developed. Ryan’s work has been described by meditation luminaries and Positive Psychology leaders as “a remarkable contribution to the field of transformation and awakening.”

In this interactive workshop, which includes dyad work, small-group discussions, mindfulness/strengths exercises, and meditations, you learn

  • Why mindfulness and character strengths are important to well-being
  • New ideas, research snippets, and practices that can be immediately applied, personally and professionally
  • The pros and cons of autopilot mind and an approach for working with autopilot
  • How your signature strengths impact your daily life—and why it’s more important to amplify top strengths than to boost lower strengths
  • How signature strengths can overcome obstacles in mindfulness practices.

Note Participants are asked to take the free, online VIA Survey (viacharacter.org) prior to the workshop and bring their results.

Recommended Reading Mindfulness and Character Strengths: A Practical Guide to Flourishing, by Ryan Niemiec, which includes a 10-track CD (available in paper or e-book formats).

Cultivating Positive Teams and Group Environments [EPPSP-161:S3]

Phoebe Atkinson and Nancy Kirsner
According to Christopher Peterson, a pioneer in the field of positive psychology, “It is within groups that we live, work, love, and play, and groups should therefore be a primary focus of researchers interested in health and well-being.”

In this workshop, you learn the research related to teams and groups, and experience firsthand the impact of Positive Psychology principles blended with traditional models of interpersonal effectiveness. Informed by the appreciative and strengths-based practices of positive psychology and Positive Organizational Scholarship, we explore the key ingredients to enhance interpersonal team dynamics and cultivate flourishing environments. Informed by the real-life lessons from WBI’s Certificate in Positive Psychology course, we also look at how these practices are applied by leaders and members of groups working in blended learning and virtual platforms.

Areas of focus include

  • Common models of group development and team effectiveness, including Richard Hackman’s high-performing teams and Bruce Tuckman’s stages of group development
  • The characteristics of good “morale” as described in Peterson’s “Group Well-Being” study
  • Positive spiraling and expansive emotional contagion as applied to groups, viewed through the lens of Positive Organizational Scholarship and Sigal G. Barsade’s concept of “ripple effect” and emotional contagion
  • How to build team connections using Jane E. Dutton’s sociometric and high-quality connections approaches for activating and accelerating team formation and increasing overall team effectiveness and group well-being.
Presented in partnership with Wholebeing Institute

Program at a Glance

Yoga Experience
Suitable For
Program Theme
All Self-Discovery


Megha Nancy Buttenheim, MA, E-RYT 1000, founding director of Let Your Yoga Dance® LLC, specializes in bringing a gentler, kinder yoga practice to the world.

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Ryan Niemiec, PsyD, is a psychologist and the education director of the global nonprofit VIA Institute on Character, the leader in advancing the science and practice of character strengths.

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Phoebe Atkinson, LCSW-R, psychotherapist and coach in private practice, uses experiential training methods to help groups and individuals gain personal insight and effectiveness.

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Nancy Kirsner, PhD, TEP, has more than 35 years of experience in the fields of mental health, education, and consulting.

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