I often hear teachers of mindfulness say that they feel uncomfortable teaching MM. Reasons for this are many: some don’t have a regular movement practice themselves, some are attending a yoga, Pilates, Tai chi or fitness class, but don’t feel confident to shift from partaking to teaching, and some of them are even trained movement teachers, but can’t put their finger on the “mindfulness” aspect. Although their baseline of confidence differs, there seems to be a need to clarify the “awareness” aspect of this movement practice.
Then there are also concerns about the issues the participants might bring and how to accommodate them. I don’t think it is good enough to say “just do what you are comfortable with.” Most participants want to partake and would like to have more guidance how to move safely and within their abilities and limitations.
MM, when taught confidently, is a powerful tool for staying present. It involves both awareness and acceptance of present experience, stepping into our deep capacity to meet difficult and pleasurable sensations, thoughts and emotions. It is a process during which we are mindful of the body that is moving, mindful of breathing, and mindful of the movements of our mind. MM is helping us to engage in a continuous process of kind and embodied presence.
It is also a way of healing our deep yearning to feel connected to ourselves and others. By being invited to turn to our body, we notice how often we have compromised our relationship with our body, and how we tend to withdraw from it or distract our attention and move it elsewhere. But by turning away from our body we are driving a wedge between us and our body, between us and others (who we meet in their bodies).
The invitation to turn to the body is not always an easy one. We might have been brought up to fight the body. We were made to believe that this body needs fasting, eating more or eating less. We were hiding it, or working hard to present it in aesthetic ways, and possibly most of us at some time were engaged in negative self-talk.
By beginning to look within, to smile and to see with fresh eyes, we can begin to relax and a sense of ease arises. MM allows to develop sensitivity and to receive a felt sense of a vibrant aliveness inside the body, irrespective of an illness.
By practising MM, we learn to reconnect with ourselves, to experience our integrity, to stay wakeful and to step out of our habits of doing and thinking that don’t serve us anymore.
We will learn
- To develop an appreciative connection with our body
- Awareness of movement from the inside out
- new movements to enhance sensitivity
- Explore the place of MM within the 8-week course
- Basic anatomy of the shoulders, hips, pelvis and spine
- The 5 lines of the body
- Principles of MM e.g. variation, use of repetition, curiosity, joy)
- More about the breath in connection with movement
- 3 sequences to teach (standing, sitting, lying)