This series is going to give you a basic idea of the qualifications you should look for in a great mind-body teacher to guide you through lifelong learning. Part 1 came out last week, and this week we are continuing the qualities to look for.
It is one thing to learn a movements, stretches, forms, and strengthening exercises, and another thing to practice them correctly as an integrated mind-body practice. This week we go over some of the ways that a great mind-body teacher will do that.
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. How you should breathe while doing each stretch or tai chi form is of key importance to the practice of those techniques. Deep breathing correctly will allow you to relax your muscles more effectively, which will improve your progress on everything we discussed last week. Increasing oxygen intake is also one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your health.
Not only should your teacher show you how to breathe deeply while practicing, but also while doing your regular daily activities. In the car at a red light. At your desk when you finish a work project. In line at the grocery store. A great teacher will remind you to always look for moments to breathe deep and be mindful.
A great mind-body teacher will instruct you in sitting, standing, and moving meditations. There are teachers out there who know sitting meditations only, or moving meditations only, but a truly wise teacher will have lots of experience with all forms of meditation. With a great teacher, you will learn how to focus your mind and breathe in the way that best accommodates your current form of meditation. A great practitioner knows that each form of meditation is good for different goals, and will help you develop all of them so that you have a well-rounded mind-body experience.
Next week, we'll continue on with even more qualities to look for in a mind-body teacher!
Happy stretching, deep breathing, and empty your mind!