The goal of bodily or physical transformation is to attain a physical body that is optimally healthy and functional to allow us to experience life fully. This includes not just a healthy body but also an optimal breathing process (breath work) and a heightened sensitivity to the changes in our body (felt sense).
To achieve this goal, we focus our effort in these areas:
A healthy lifestyle includes eating healthily, having good hydration, exercising adequately, and having good rest and sleep.
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Our two favourite forms of exercise are Tai Chi and Yoga.
Tai Chi is a form of ancient Chinese exercise that strengthened both body and mind. It keeps the body flexible and the mind focused. It also involves a regulated breathing technique that synchronises with the movements.
One of the best form of exercises that encompasses both the body and the mind is yoga. Yoga is not a subject that can be mastered theoretically. It has to be put into practice. The best way to learn yoga is to study under a good yoga teacher.
Our physiological and natural breathing pattern is actually abdominal breathing, where our abdomen expands when we inhale and contracts when we exhale. However, for most people living in modern stressful societies, breathing has become more disjointed. Most people breath in by expanding the chest instead of the abdomen. This chest breathing is more restrictive and unnatural, and is an impediment to good health.
Focusing is a general word that means paying attention to a specific object. However, psychotherapist Eugene Gendlin used the word “focusing” to denote a specific process that involves an open and non-judging attention to an internal knowing, often vague at first and difficult to be described in words.
He found that this internal awareness is crucial to the success of psychotherapy in patients and also to self knowledge.
Progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) is a deep relaxation technique that has been effectively used to control stress and anxiety, relieve insomnia, and reduce symptoms of certain types of chronic pain.
Progressive muscle relaxation is based upon the simple practice of tensing, or tightening, one muscle group at a time followed by a relaxation phase with release of the tension.
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Mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) is an eight-week evidence-based program that offers secular, intensive mindfulness training to assist people with stress, anxiety, depression and pain.
Developed at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center in the 1970s by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn, MBSR uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness, yoga and exploration of patterns of behaviour, thinking, feeling and action.
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