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Mindfulness & Meditation

exercise, life purpose and happiness all fit together

Exercise, Life Purpose and Happiness

Exercise, life purpose and happiness are a trio of ideas that enhance each other in meaningful ways. While your clients might not agree about the happiness part when they’re in the middle of a set of burpees, linking all the beyond-the-biceps benefits together can provide motivation and greater success.

Three people sitting in meditation.

Meditation Basics

What Is Meditation? Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way fitness is an approach to training the body. Someone with no knowledge of fitness tools and methods may think her…

Diverse group doing tai chi outdoors.

Tai Chi Is Good for Older Adults

Why tai chi? These Chinese movement patterns have been around for centuries. In recent years, study after study has proven their benefits—particularly for older exercisers—yet most fitness professionals seem to know little about the practice….

Truespeak Meditation

HELP! I Can’t Meditate… I’ve Tried

It’s easy to understand how some folks can believe that statement to be true. It’s a lot like how some say, “I can’t exercise. I’m uncoordinated.” Or, “I can’t do yoga. My muscles are too tight.” It makes sense that when you believe there is only one way to accomplish something, it’s easy to feel defeated.

New Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program

As green exercise and the health benefits of spending time in nature gain more prominence in popular and scientific news, the Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is introducing a Mindful Outdoor Leadership Program in October.
The curriculum includes elements of forest bathing, Ayurveda, yoga, outdoor skills, and research related to nature’s health benefits.

New Review Determines Weight Management Tool

Mindfulness practices such as meditation and conscious eating techniques may offer secrets to losing weight and keeping it off, say researchers from Montreal’s McGill University.
Noting some inconsistencies in prior findings, the researchers undertook a comprehensive analysis of 19 mindfulness and lifestyle modification studies that included 1,160 subjects. Here’s some of what the scientists learned from their investigation:

Meditation: Part of a Heart-Healthy Lifestyle?

The American Heart Association has released a scientific statement noting that meditation has potential to reduce some heart disease risk factors and may be considered an adjunct to a heart-healthy lifestyle of good nutrition, physical activity and smoking cessation, combined with medical treatment for conditions like high cholesterol or high blood pressure.

Question of the Month

With the American Heart Association’s recent recognition of meditation and mindfulness practices and with meditation studios appearing in Los Angeles and New York City, it’s clear that these activities are going mainstream. Are you or is your facility integrating this trend into programs? For example, are you offering yoga and meditation classes or meditation-only sessions?

Share your responses with executive editor Joy Keller at [email protected]

Cultivating a Home Yoga Practice

Do your yoga students hunger to build a home practice but struggle to stick with one? Sustaining a regular home yoga practice can be challenging even for the most loyal yoga enthusiasts. But practicing independently—as a complement to learning from a skilled teacher—offers a variety of advantages that make it well worth the effort. Find out why a home practice can benefit your students, how you can encourage them to create the space for it, and what will help them get on the mat every day.

Mindfulness, Stress and Blood-Sugar Regulation

A Penn State University study found that women with overweight or obesity had significantly lower levels of stress and fasting glucose after participating in a mindfulness-based stress reduction [MBSR] program. Researchers evaluated the effects of MBSR on cardiometabolic outcomes in 86 women with overweight or obesity. The 8-week MBSR program—which consists of group training in mindfulness, stress reduction, mindful movement and meditation—includes weekly 2.5-hour sessions, one 6-hour retreat and a recommendation of daily home practice.

The Science of Yoga

“Jane,” like many clients, tried yoga to reduce her stress and anxiety, but she often held her breath during triggering moments, taxing her to the point where she’d feel faint and need to lie on the floor. After taking yoga sessions with Nicole DeAvilla, RYT 500, of Kentfield, California, Jane immediately felt calmer, more grounded and more optimistic.

Control Your Moods, Achieve Your Goals

Anxious, fatigued, unhappy, uncertain? We’ve all been there, all known times when our emotional hot buttons take over. We swear to ourselves that this time we will overcome them and stay committed to our goal, but it doesn’t work and we react with indulgent self-gratification. “I had such a long day, and I just don’t feel like going to the gym today.” “I’ve already fallen off the wagon so I’ll just eat what I want and start again on Monday.”

Can You Climb Out of Depression?

Access to indoor climbing gyms has become more widespread, and so, too, has interest in
the benefits of the sport. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of Arizona and the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg in Germany studied the impact of indoor climbing
on depression.

Women, Men and Mindfulness

Educating men in mindfulness skills via mind-body movement like yoga and tai chi may be more successful than encouraging introspective activities.
In a paper presented in Frontiers in Psychology (2017), Brown University researchers in Providence, Rhode Island, discovered that men and women respond differently to training in meditation and mindfulness skills. Women significantly improved a negative mood by participating in the training, while men felt slightly worse.

10-Minute Meditation Helps With Anxiety

For people with anxiety, just 10 minutes a day of mindful meditation is enough to prevent the mind from wandering, according to a preliminary study reported in Consciousness and Cognition (2017; 51, 157–65). Mind-wandering disrupts productivity and contributes to accidents, and it’s particularly an issue for people with anxiety, as they tend to worry and ruminate about negative events that are not happening in the present moment.

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