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The job of the heart is to distribute oxygen throughout your body. When you use your diaphragm more, your heart doesn't have to go it alone and work so hard. So take a little pressure off your heart and share the workload with the diaphragm.

With Embodied Mindfulness, you have multiple resources for practice; you not only witness your interior with open attention, but also at times actively intervene/ respond with imagery, micro-movements, various breaths, sounds, or forms of self-contact.

PRODUCTS

guided Audio: Embodied Mindfulness

These somatic practices for cultivating embodied mindfulness have been developed over the past 15 years with students worldwide.

This orientation to the landmarks of your inner landscape while using "somatic mantras" is a simple way to remember your body while stabilizing your mind.

The audios are best utilized after attending a workshop or online class with Jamie. Click here for upcoming Embodied Mindfulness Introductory online classes and here for 2017 Embodied Mindfulness Leadership Training.

Audio # 1: BASIC SOMATIC SITTING

This 85-minute MP3 contains five unique Embodied Mindfulness practices, focusing on breath and alignment while sitting. Ideal for people wanting to begin a daily embodied meditation practice.

1) 180° Belly

2) Short – Medium – Long Breaths

3) 360° Belly

4) Belly Condense

5) Movement, Breath and Stillness


$12 for a digital download


Audio # 2: Intermediate Somatic Sitting

This 90-minute MP3 contains five more somatic explorations that develop the foundational practices covered in Audio #1.

1) Silent + Breathy AAH

2) Silent + Breathy Vowels with Waterfall

3) Three Sensory Endpoints

4) Tongue, Skull, Eyes & Jaw

5) Body Activation and Tongue


$12 for a digital download


PAYMENT
You can pay by credit card with your PayPal account - send payment to naturebeingart@gmail.com on Paypal

Or mail a check to:
Jamie McHugh, PO Box 367, Gualala, CA 95445

Embodied Mindfulness: some thoughts

(Excerpts from a longer article - Click here)

I created this specific application of Somatic Expression to bridge the gap between stillness and movement that I often observe in meditation practice. Instead of more physical effort to “get into our bodies”, what is often needed is motor activity in tandem with mental focus and sensate awareness. Embodied Mindfulness is a combination of how you sit (alignment) and breathe (movement), what you focus on (sensation/kinesthetic imaging), and when and how you participate (receptive/directive).

Sitting comfortably and easily, with maximum support, is the middle ground between the full relaxation of lying on the floor and the full activation of standing on one's two feet. This makes sitting the ideal position for learning how to breathe fully and fluently; to integrate inner and outer perception; to combine breath and movement; to connect the head and tail through the centerline for maximum stability; and to sense and explore the subtle realm of micromovements for maximum mobility.

My teaching motto is: “Whatever we repeat is what we're actually learning.” If you don't take the time to attend to your body’s organization in space when you sit in meditation, you are effectively repeating and reinforcing suboptimal patterns of somatic support. In traditional meditation practice, attention is focused on the quieting the body and mind. As each spiritual tradition has its own specific practice, many people usually only know one way into conscious stillness - whether it's watching the breath or repeating a mantra. With Embodied Mindfulness, you have multiple resources for practice; you not only witness your interior with open attention, but also at times actively intervene/ respond with imagery, micro-movements, various breaths, sounds, or forms of self-contact.

Your outer container is primarily still in Embodied Mindfulness as with meditation; but you also respond at times. You give yourself permission to punctuate the stillness with movement just as you periodically punctuate movement with stillness in movement practices. These responses can eventually lead into outwardly discernible expression; these somatic explorations in sitting are in fact the developmental precursors to more active movement expression in the world.

By giving attention to your centerline, you line up the bones and organize the muscles around your spine to enable structural equilibrium. You can feel centered and integrated when you allow the full pulsations of the breath to sweep through your whole torso. This increases not only muscular strength and efficiency, but also encourages psychological equanimity: balanced body structure and easy breath flow supports a balanced and centered psyche. That's why Buddhists for 2,500 years have spent so much time sitting upright! But you don't have to be a Buddhist to sit mindfully - you only have to be a human being with a vertebrate structure.

Beginning: In first sitting on a chair, start with the question – am I getting enough support? Can I sit upright with ease and comfort on the chair? If not, what can I do with my body and how can I adapt the environment of the chair? What happens when you move your pelvis backwards to get support from the back of the chair? If it is too far, place a cushion between the back of the chair and your spine so your whole back is well supported. Are your feet on the floor? If not put a folded blanket or a cushion there. Since we are all various heights, it is not surprising that a one-size-fits-all chair would need adaptation! With your pelvis and feet in place, take a few full bodacious breaths to stabilize your pelvis and let your weight drop down through your sitz bones into the chair. By lowering your center of gravity, the upper body receives more support from the core muscles of the lower body; you don't have to work so hard to maintain uprightness. And once that support is in place, it is easier to move from your pelvis, which is the source of mobility.

When you focus on balancing your skeletal structure in sitting, it is easier to stay present without accruing stress and strain. The three points of focus in sitting are: your pelvic bowl, your spine and your skull. The pelvic bowl holds the pulsation of the breath in the belly. Your spine rises out of the pelvic bowl all the way up to the atlas (the uppermost vertebrae located between your ears). Your skull floats on top of the atlas, like a bobble doll, so you can sit with softness in the jaw, vibrancy in the tongue, and ease in the eyes.

 




Jamie McHugh

 

Click here for upcoming Embodied Mindfulness Introductory online classes

 

Click here for 2017 Embodied Mindfulness Leadership Training.