Beginning with Meditation

We begin each class with some meditation time. Students sit cross legged, eyes closed for anywhere from 1  to 5 minutes. Deep breath in, deep breath out. Breathing in the positive, breathing out the negative.

dom meditating (2)Doing the best we can to clear our minds of all the chatter.

We meditate to help us focus. It encourages us to be present in the current moment. Letting go what happened earlier today. Letting be what may or may not happen later. Numerous studies on meditation comment on its benefits. Even a short daily practice can significantly reduce stress, improve focus, increase awareness, and aid productivity and performance.

It’s often hard for students, young or old, to sit quietly for even a short period. Like anything we want to improve, we practice. There are many different guided audios, videos, classes and articles about  ways to meditate. Start slowly, try not to judge yourself, and persevere. Find what works best for you!

Here are some helpful links: 5 Tips on How to Meditate for Beginners,  How to Start a Beginners Meditation PracticeBest Meditation Podcasts 2015, Meditation for Beginners

Sabonim Says (Practicing Focus and Mindfulness)

sabonima Korean term and title signifying a master level martial arts teacher/instructor

Our theme for the end of the school year is maintaining focus.  We remind our students and parents that like everything we want to excel at, this takes practice.

We play a game with our grade school students, a modified Simon Says, to encourage focus, concentration and listening skills.  In order to be successful at the game you need to stay present in the current moment. It only takes a few seconds off task to miss an important direction.

We challenge our adult students as well, beginning every class with a brief meditation.  A recent article in the New York Times examined how mindfulness can help manage stress, improve communication and increase productivity. They quoted Dr. Baime from the University of Pennsylvania who said that mindfulness helps “create a world where you experience depth, meaning and connectedness. You see joy and sadness more fully and settle more deeply into an authentic way of being.” (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/23/your-money/mindfulness-requires-practice-and-purpose.html?pagewanted=1&_r=0)