Doing less is more
As we learn to quiet and still the body/mind, we can begin to let go and grow less attached to the myriad of distractions around us and within us, leading to a deeper understanding of ourselves, reducing stress, and cultivating a more balanced approach to living.
Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, in whatever activity or task we are involved, without being overly reactive or overwhelmed. It is a quality of relaxed alertness. It is important to learn to suspend judgement, and self criticism for purer awareness to prevail. Although we all have this innate ability, it often takes learning certain skills and practices to increase our ability to be mindful and get out of our own way.The Alexander Technique and meditation are two practices that can teach and develop this.
Whenever you bring awareness to what you are directly experiencing via your body and senses, or to your state of mind through your thoughts and emotions, you are being mindful. More and more research on this phenomena shows that when you train your brain to be mindful, you are actually changing the physical structure of your brain.
Meditation is the ability to learn to quiet the mind and the body, to allow spaciousness and ease within ourselves. It is an exploration, which allows us to understand what is happening within our bodies and minds in a much deeper way, in a non judgement way. Meditation helps us put space between ourselves and our habitual reactions. It allows us the opportunity to understand, more deeply, our inner workings and change habitual patterns. Through doing this, one can experience more ease and empowerment in daily living.
The Alexander Technique teaches tools to help with alignment, ease, and comfort while sitting in meditation pose.
Somatic Meditation uses our body as the vehicle and fundamental area of practice. It allows us to connect to the inherent wisdom and natural poise and balance that is already present within the body. It is about tuning in and accessing feelings, sensations, and a deep awareness within the body to become more present and conscious. The human body is a direct vehicle to consciousness if we learn to tune in, deepen and listen to the wisdom within us.
Conscious Stretching is the act of bringing mindfulness into the practice of stretching through learning to listen more deeply to your body. It involves learning to pause, in awareness, and facilitate release from the inside out, rather than pushing and striving. You learn to wait for your own body to give you the signal to proceed further into the stretch. This increases flexibility with efficiency and decreases injury risk.