Elements

Elements

Power of Presence: SUP and Meditation

Tags: , , , , , Active Meditation, Air - Breath, SUP Yoga No comments
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As more and more attention is given to the practice of meditation, we come to realize where the magic begins. The power within meditation begins with breath awareness. Have you had that moment in a yoga class when you follow a breath all the way to an open heart – and that still moment at the top – then followed the exhale with full awareness? That’s just one opportunity for the power of presence. And you can enjoy it during any SUP session.

SUP Meditation: Presence on the water

Traditional meditation practiced while seated provides a rich opportunity to calm our mind-body and bring a new mindful presence and balance to life.  For those of us who find a sense of meditative calm while on the water, a unique practice called “Power of Presence SUP” or P2SUP can allow us to meditate while enjoying our favorite pasttime. cropped-p2sup_logo_v2_vert_250-300x300

It’s easy to head out for a paddle and become scatter-brained and defocused. Thoughts of work/relationship/life problems, busy-ness and plans chatter through our mind. With P2SUP guided meditations, anyone can enjoy a mindful and present meditation practice while standup paddling – from the very first session. (Learn more here)

Have you ever started out on a paddle ready for calm and realize you’ve got a monkey-mind along for the ride? The monkey mind bounces around from one thing to another. It is as if we are on an out of control horse, heading to the nearest cliff.  Our senses and emotions become reactive, not reflective.

Breathing Meditation: Enjoy a P2SUP experience (give us 15 minutes)

pc201522The goal of meditation is to diminish the self into focus and mindfulness so we can be free, compassionate (with ourselves and others) and discover stress-free calm.

SUP has a great effect to calm the mind. Even while paddling our ability to pay attention is sometimes degraded by the fast pace of our modern world. Before a training paddle, or one that is simply being out on the water, taking time to pay attention and practice a p2SUP meditation is the key to this end. Our sport provides us with many opportunities to meditate. P2SUP can be your guide as you develop your own practice over time.

CONTACT us and request your coupon for a FREE download of “Paddle with Courage.”

Explore More:

We invite you to Live Presence and Share Presence.

Introduction to P2SUP

The Basics of P2SUP

How Do I Begin?

Why Walk On Water?

7 Reasons to P2SUP

The Birth of P2SUP

Explore, “All SUP is Yoga.

Happiness: The Mindful Path is Ours

Tags: , , , , Active Meditation, Earth - Walk, Fire - Energy, walking meditation, Wellness, Wellness and Meditation, workplace wellness No comments
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monkeymind7No matter where we are, no matter what we are doing we bring along our active mind doing its thing. Sometimes we seek distraction, or maybe we work to create “positive thoughts’ about a situation we are not content with. Sometimes our “monkey mind” jumps from thought to random thought interrupting our calm focus. We want to be mindful. People who focused on their present moment experience (in other words, people who were being mindful, were significantly happier than people whose minds wandered away from the moment. We seek happiness, ao let’s practice being mindful.

Monkey Mind is a Buddhist term which describes the persistent churn of thoughts in the undisciplined mind. Monkey Mind is the reflexive mind ready to judge, worry, analyze, and compare everything in the moment, which is a good way to miss the moment. And in turn, we consistently miss the chance for happiness.

Power of Presence meditations for standup paddling and for walking are 15-minute sessions that allow you to practice being mindful,  “being in the zone.” This simply means being fully present with what you are doing. We can’t tell our monkey mind to stop, but we can develop our own skills and path toward mindfulness. P2Walk and P2SUP, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes.

You might assume that people who let their minds wander to happy thoughts would feel happy right? In the video below, by Matt Killingsworth, a well-defined strategy for adding more mindfulness (and happiness) is shared. He explains whyt people letting their minds wander to pleasant things were still not as happy as people who kept their minds in the moment.

Even if the activity at hand was deemed unpleasant, people were still happier when they engaged their attention fully in the now.

There is plenty of previous research that supports Killingsworth’s findings. We know for instance, that money doesn’t make us happy. Studies have shown that as long as basic needs, such as food and shelter are met, additional wealth and material goods have little bearing on happiness.

Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi leading authority on positive psychology, studied happiness extensively in the 1960’s and came up with the same results as Killingsworth. He spoke of the peak state of human beings being a state he called ‘flow’.

According to Killingsworth, the average person’s mind is wandering around 47% of our day—and when the mind wanders we don’t feel happy. Spending so much time with the mind wandering makes us vulnerable to depression, stress, anxiety and other negative emotions. monkeymind3

As many people continue to seek external gratification as a source of happiness, their wandering minds are overlooked as the source of their discontent. Time and time again as we share P2Walk and P2SUP with active, busy people we observe their delight as they discover the powerful effects of mindfulness. The data shows us what wisdom traditions have long taught – that the keys to happiness – to true well-being and fulfilment – depend not on the external circumstances of our lives, but on the state of our minds and the quality of our consciousness. Please enjoy the video below – and then take the time for Power of Presence and your own path toward mindfulness.

Workplace Wellness: 15 Minutes Outdoors

Tags: , , , , , Active Meditation, Earth - Walk, P2Walk 4 Learning, workplace wellness No comments
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P2Walk for Teachers –  The benefits of 15 minutes outdoors!

The wellness prescription for reducing stress, increasing motivation and overall health can take many forms. There are many employee meditation and mindfulness programs making positive change in workplace wellness a reality. P2Walk is designed to complement such programs or it can be used as a stand-alone solution.   (Full overview of P2Walk for Teachers here)

Teachers add P2Walk - reduce stress, increase effectiveness

Teachers add P2Walk – reduce stress, increase effectiveness

Teachers can tune in to any of our guided meditations (on phone or MP3 player) then head out for a 15 minute walk outdoors. Why do we suggest practicing P2Walk outdoors? The benefits are exponentially more positive.

Recent studies about the effects of walking and nature have been directed at understanding just how this recreational activity affects both the physiological and mental aspects of our brains. One of the main reasons for this glut of research is because we’re spending so much less time outdoors, overall. The average American child now spends half as much time outside as compared to only 20 years ago. HALF. Between work, commutes, screen time and life responsibilities, adults are outdoors even less than their kids.

Overall, Americans now spend 93% of their time inside a building or vehicle. It is seamlessly easy to include outdoor active, guided meditation to your workplace wellness initiative.

So, what does this mean for employee wellness? The bright side is, as with all great medicine, when it comes to the outdoors, a little goes a long way. P2Walk – outdoors – 15 minutes!

walk-teens1Anyone who has ADHD or has raised a child with the disorder can tell you, it’s a daily struggle to maintain grades, work performance, even relationships with friends and family. Medication can help alleviate the symptoms, but often ADHD persists into adulthood and that daily habit of popping stimulants can take its toll on your health and your wallet. A 2004 study came to the pretty obvious conclusion that getting outdoors and doing something active can reduce the symptoms of ADHD. According to a 2010 report in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology, even getting out into nature for five minutes at a stretch is enough to give your self-esteem and well-being a substantial upgrade.

Contact us with your questions and schedule your FREE initial consultation.

 

Mindfulness and Breath Awareness: Kids & Learning

Earth - Walk, Play, Wellness and Meditation No comments
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Stress and Learning

mindfulnessMany students are stressed. For some, the stress is simply living in our fast-paced, media-saturated, multi-tasking world. For others, the stress is performing, “succeeding,” and getting into a “good” college. For still others the stress is surviving in extremely challenging, even traumatic, home environments and life circumstances. Stress frequently inhibits the ability to learn.

Various exceptional meditation and mindfulness programs have been added to the school day with exceptional results. Science is now documenting the negative impact that stress is having on learning everyday, in classrooms across the country. The neurological processes that explain this interaction are collectively called executive function, which includes—

  • goal-directed behavior
  • planning
  • organized search
  • impulse control1

Not surprisingly the research proves executive function correlates with working memory, emotional regulation, and resilience.2,3,4 Over 30 years of research with adults has shown that mindfulness decreases stress, depression, anxiety, and hostility, and enhances executive function, compassion and empathy.7,8,9,10,11,12 Related studies have shown that self-compassion has academic benefits, especially when dealing with perceived failure.13

Rather than being a program “taught to” students in grades 4-8, P2Walk for Learning engages students in imagining, creating, researching, hands on learning games, discussion, teamwork, writing and speaking in front of peers. The students become part of the content-building team that enhances the P2Walk guided meditations that are a core component of the program.

Presence, Intention and Mindfulness as a Foundation for Learning

In studying second and third graders who did Mindfulness Awareness Practices for 30 minutes twice a week for 8 weeks, Lisa Flook, Ph.D. and her colleagues at the Mindfulness Awareness Research Center at UCLA documented that children who began the study with poor executive function had gains in behavioral regulation, meta-cognition, and overall global executive control. These results indicate Mindfulness Awareness Practice training benefits children with executive function difficulties.15 mindfulness

A study conducted by Amy Saltzman, M.D., in collaboration with the Department of Psychology at Stanford, with 4th-7th graders and their parents, showed that after 1 hour of mindfulness training for 8 consecutive weeks the children demonstrated increased ability to orient their attention, as measured by the Attention Network Task, and decreased anxiety.16

While the results are encouraging, it should be noted the field is young and more research is needed. Beyond the quantitative measures that can be documented by research, any teacher can share stories of students whose learning is blocked or interrupted by stress, anxiety, anger, lack of confidence or self-control.  When a young person is provided the tools to be part of the solution, to have a valuable “work” role in a process they enjoy, the change and benefits occur quickly with long-lasting impact.

P2Walk for Kids: Mindfulness 4 Learning

Tags: , , , , Air - Breath, Earth - Walk, Fire - Energy, P2Walk 4 Learning, Play, Wellness and Meditation No comments
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P2Walk for Learning

P2Walk for kids in the learning environment is similar to P2Walk for anyone. The differences include the themes of the P2Walk guided meditations, the length of the meditations and the creation/writing/design component. The constant is a guided, active, meditation practice that focuses on breath awareness and mindful intention.

Safe-WalkingLet’s begin with a definition of what we mean when we talk about Power of Presence and Mindfulness:  Mindfulness is paying attention to your life, here and now, with kindness and curiosity. As the Dalai Lama might put it: Mindfulness is practicing paying attention to what’s happening inside your body and around you with an attitude of curiosity and acceptance. It’s about being present to each moment as it happens. In practical terms, mindfulness is about focusing on now; not yesterday or tomorrow.

In school, students are asked to “pay attention” dozens of times a day. Do they know how to do that?. The practice of mindfulness shows students how to pay attention in a curious, interested manner. Practicing the art of being present and mindful while moving provides a balanced and rhythmic base that is in tune with the kinesthetic needs of most young people.

As human beings we all have the unique capacity to pay attention and live with awareness of our internal and external worlds. We can attend to the breath, the body, thoughts, emotions, tastes, smells, sights, sounds, and our impulses and actions and their effects on others and our environment. This ability to pay attention is a natural, innate human capacity. It is also a skill that enhances learning.

As meditation is being accepted as a valuable addition to the school day, P2Walk for Learning has been designed to complement that practice while providing enriching, standards-based activities for grades 4-8. P2Walk for Learning is a powerful way to enhance student engagement and the outcomes of any meditation course or school program.

Learn more about P2Walk Founder, Judy Shasek, MS

Why is Mindfulness and Breath awareness Important?

 

 

The Kids of Summer: Water Play

Tags: , , , , , , Active Meditation, Earth - Walk, Fire - Energy, Play, Play Outdoors No comments
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We all might have started out dancing in the sprinklers, Slip ‘n Sliding across the backyard and  playing tag with shorebreak waves. Lucky, lucky us – we also discovered standup paddling, and the water play just kept on happening.

I saw this photo on Facebook and immediately started grinning – that is so ME! (Photo Credit to Lisa McCoy at LisaMcCoytheliberatedsoul.com)

June 2 is my 67th birthday, the actual beginning of my 68th spin around the sun. Impossible to fathom, but exciting to contemplate. From exhilarating racing, to down wind runs that fuel my spirit with fun-fast-fantastic-ness, to serene solitary paddle on glassy dusk-time lakes – SUP invites the kid out to play whenever I need her.

It’s Summer! Grab your paddle, bare your feet and head out to play with kid that’s still and always YOU!