This week, we continue to cover examples of the qualities that a truly great mind-body teacher will posses, and the techniques that you might learn from them. Today, we go over the two attributes we discussed in part 2 of the series. Let's get right into it!
"Every mind-body teacher will show you how to do deep breathing, and a great mind-body teacher will show you how to do many different kinds of deep breathing, and how to practice them during your mind-body prescriptions." There are too many breathing techniques to learn in one lifetime, it seems. But each time you learn a new meditation, or movement, or relaxation, a great mind-body teacher will remind you how you should be breathing during the entire exercise. Take these three breathing techniques, for example:
In the first example, I show you an exercise that is specifically for developing your breathing capacity. The breathing is the whole point of the exercise. This is important for developing higher levels of oxygen in the body. The second example (water breath) is a breathing technique that you can use in a simple sitting meditation. It is difficult to do because the monkey mind likes to go wild when you are breathing quietly, but the progress you make focusing on the water breath is well worth it. Lastly, we have the hamstring stretch (Vitamin H) combined with the water breath, the way that a qualified mind-body teacher should always show you how to do it.
"A great mind-body teacher will instruct you in sitting, standing, and moving meditations." We have done many many meditations on the blog over the last four years! Just like with breathing techniques, there are more meditation techniques out there than you could ever master. But a master of mind-body techniques should know all of the major practices (and a lot of the less common ones as well). At the very least, your mind-body teacher must instruct you in meditations that involve sitting, standing, and moving. For example:
These videos we did are great examples of meditations that a mind-body teacher would show you if you asked about a particular problem you have. In the first video, we use a sitting meditation to address the issue of getting sick after finishing a long-term project or commitment that has caused you significant stress. The second example is for a basic standing meditation technique that allows you to more effectively feel your body and energy flow during tai chi and qi gong motions. This would be an exercise your teacher would start you on if you were interested in standing and moving meditations. And last, the third technique is a moving meditation that might be a mind-body prescription for someone who has stability and balance issues.
Next week we finish us our examples of the mind-body lessons you should be looking out for from a great teacher. Then we'll consolidate all these points into a complete series blog post. After that, it's new stuff!
Happy stretching, deep breathing, empty your mind, strength your energetic system, and evoke your spirit!