Guidance for Participants
Mindfulness in Movement Classes
These classes which integrate an appreciation of awareness in the present moment (‘mindfulness’) with gentle physical activity. Each session will consist of short awareness practices along with sequences of Qigong/Tai Chi, stretching and self massage.
You should be encourage by the variety of studies that demonstrate that moderate aerobic exercise performed several times a week is beneficial for both mental and physical health. (click on bold highlights to follow links)
Typical Class Format (90 minutes)
20 min – warm up /loosen up body and mind
30 min – Progressive movement sequence (one move flows into another – learn over few weeks)
10 min – Sitting meditation
30 min – Progressive movement sequence
- Teaching takes the form of suggestions which you may wish to work with.
- Look after yourself (body and mind) and see what works for you.
- If any of the practices don’t seem right for you ask for alternative suggestions or leave them out.
- Let the trainer know about any on-going medical condition, injury/operation or current treatment before each class. If you are in any doubt about the appropriateness of a practice don’t do it and seek advice from your therapist/doctor.
- Practise will be best done in a spirit of kindness and curiosity about your experience. It is helpful to start with curiosity.
Try the practices out, but don’t be overly zealous about it. That should mean working at somewhere in the middle range ( Between 30 – 70%) of maximum effort – depending on your mental and physical energy levels at the time.Turn up with an intention to practice, but not being competitive with yourself or anyone else.
Oh yes – enjoy the practise!
Video links for movement sequences used in class are available on YouTube as follows:
- Shibashi 1 standing (This sequence can also be done in a seated position) NB. The sound track is rather distracting, you may want to turn it down! I would also suggest trying the practise at a slower rate than on this video, let the normal rate of breath lead the practice)
- Shibashi 2 (A little more aerobic and good for balance)
- Eight Brocades (a classic preparatory practice which can be beneficial as a regular practice in its own right). A downloadable booklet with helpful advice on this practice can be found at http://www.taichileeds.com/uploads/1/0/9/5/10953462/ba_duan_jin.pdf
If you want to practice meditations at home there will be occasional handouts in class and additional resources can be found in the useful links page on this site.
N.B. Only practise at home to the extent that you have been introduced to the same practise in class – there is no need to rush – build up your practise gradually – doing a little, frequently is better than doing more occasionally.