Sunday, December 6, 2009

What is the Mindful Gym Experience?

The Mindful Gym Experience is a cross pollination of both physical and mental activities. The aim of the Mindful Gym Experience is to engage anyone in the act of releasing stored emotions through utilizing their conscious body and mind during a physical workout.

Alison Leigh Siegel, MFT has created and researched this blend for over two decades and is completely firm in her belief of the results that can come from this work. Alison decided to levy the tradition of a regular workout with one that is *more* than just that. Imagine the endorphin release by running or doing your regular workout. Now imagine some if not most of your current issues being melted away as well through your workout. It's like working out your body and mind at the same time!

How is this done? Videos will come but for now, I can explain. When you circuit train, you move from one machine to the next quickly. This beat is not quick, but really slow and intentional. Every move you make in the gym is a conscious one. It is done with mindfulness and conscious effort. You are not going for the "gold". you are going for peace and release at the same time.

You gain peace of mind and body by releasing old stored up emotions through your slow and deliberate activity. You release calories, toxins and other bodily waste through secretions your body removes automatically while you go through the workout.

Stay tuned for more on the Mindful Gym, by alison leigh, MFT, CMT, fitness coach

Friday, July 10, 2009

Core Exercises for healing the SEXUAL Chakrah

First of all, WHAT IS YOUR CORE and why is it important?
Your core muscles extend from your pelvic floor, through your abdominal muscles, and up to your diaphragm. Your core muscles, along with your back muscles and buttocks, help compose your body’s sexual and creative center. We rely on this for stability in life as well as giving us the ability to stand tall and proud in the world.

Due to injury, instability and common misalignment from improper movements, we need address this as one of the first areas to work on. Increasing stability in the core area also increases our libido and first chakrah, the muladhara.

In fact, almost every yoga move uses this area to center, stabilize and empower further movements.

Chronic pain from lower back injuries is the most common symptom that someone has injured their core. When we focus on this, we can prevent injuries, improve posture, and reduces if not get rid of lower back pain.

The root chakra has also been called the "grounding force energy" which allows people to connect with the earth, which is the most important foundation upon which to stabilize our being.

Energy and Muscles:
The root chakrah is related to the hips, legs, lower back and sexual organs.anus, adrenal glands and pelvic floor muscles. When you are poorly grounded, your spatial understanding in terms of where you are is impaired. You also may stumble around mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Grounding our core will enhance the ability to function effectively each day you are here.

When you root chakra his blocke, you may feel fearful, anxious, insecure and frustrated. Common symptoms may include weight issues (anorexia, bulimia, obesity,etc)

Exercise that "get to our core"

Begin with a silent meditation with the conscious intention of the words, "I AM", "I am grounded", "i am here". You might also try, "I accept my body as it is now", "I feel it, love it and validate it".

Then lye on your back, bend your knees and bring the soles of your feet close to your buttocks on the floor.

Press down on using your quads, pushing your feet into the ground with impact.Then, gently squeeze your buttocks and press your pubic bone downward feeling the earth beneath you. Breath out.

When we have sex, we use this energy and the muscles without even knowing it. You might imagine the same movement while doing these exercises. Remember though, they are micro movements, not big ones.

WHAT FOODS ARE associated with the first chakrah?
Eating is a first chakra activity. When we eat, we are nourished and our physical body is supported. Eating grounds us. Meats and proteins are first chakra food.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

History of "The gym"...

The word γυμνάσιον (gymnasion) was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual education of young men (see gymnasium (ancient Greece)). The later meaning of intellectual education persisted in German and other languages to denote a certain type of school providing secondary education, the Gymnasium, whereas in English the meaning of physical education was pertained in the word gym.

The Greek word gymnasium means "place to be naked" and was used in ancient Greece to designate a locality for the education of young men, including physical education (gymnastics, i.e. exercise) which was customarily performed naked, as well as bathing, and studies. For the Greeks, physical education was considered as important as cognitive learning. Most Greek gymnasia had libraries that could be utilized after relaxing in the baths

After the ancient Greeks, gyms disappeared for centuries. Medieval and Renaissance life was physically arduous enough, and ordinary people got all the exercise they needed working on the land and carrying out chores.

By the 19Th century, though, schools and colleges were building gymnasiums (and even today, the word "gym" means "school gym class" to many people). The YMCA also built a number of gyms for physical exercise and social sports and games.

During the mid 19Th century, the Turnvereine (gymnastics unions) movement led to the founding of Turners, German-American gymnastics clubs. These had a political as well as an athletic element.

1930s - Boxing Gyms

A form of gym known as the "boxing gym" began to appear in the 1930s, with the founding of Cus D'Amanto's Gramercy Gym in Manhattan in 1939.These gyms were to train fighters and boxers - not places for general exercise.

Gold's gym chain, still going to day, was founded by Joe Gold in 1965 in Venice, California, which became a landmark for bodybuilders (despite the dirty state of its equipment). Joe Gold founded the World Gym chain in 1977.

1980s - Corporate Gyms

More and more gym chains were founded during the 1980s, including 24 Hour Fitness (1983) and LA Fitness (1984).

Do you work in an office building with its own gym? The trend of corporate gyms began in the 1980s, too, as employers began to take on a greater responsibility for employee's health.

today, lots of people are or have been gym member s - people who would never call themselves "bodybuilders", "fighters" or even especially sporty. New gym chains have sprung up over the past couple of decades; Lifetime Fitness in 1990, Equinox Fitness in 1991, and Virgin Active in 1999.

Widespread celebrity gym-going has encouraged the boon in gym membership, and gyms look set to be popular for decades to come.

by Alison Leigh Siegel, MFT, Somatic Psychotherapist, movement teacher, bodyworker, healing artist

The Mindful Gym™ is truly a revolution in health care. Combining the wisdom of both Western and Eastern Healing arts and science, along with movement, breath and mindful living activities, the Mindful Gym is designed and has been researched to address almost every condition of the human body. Dis-eases like chronic pain, emotional, physical, sexual trauma, acute injury, insomnia, addictions, etc, are all being relieved if not completely cured by using these exercises in mindfulness.

The challenge: In today's society we are increasingly plagued with dis-ease and mental/physical stress that we are not able to access because 1) we are not aware of them and 2) when we are aware we don't have the right tools to use and 3) we self soothe in destructive ways because we don't know other ways to heal ourselves.

DENIAL: when we can't deal, we just ignore a problem, put it "to the side, down, away". All of these directions of placements then become energy patterns that really just lye in the physical-emotional body stored as old trauma. Pain and suffering come from not being in touch with your body on an emotional level so we need to first "touch-in" and find places that have been stuck so then we can move through with conscious awareness and unhook these places for our own healing.

HOW is the mindful gym useful?: We are disconnected at a core level and physically , mentally and spiritually we need to be in touch with our whole selves to achieve complete mind/body wellness.

Solution: complete integration of mindful fitness that address every dimension including conscious bodywork, psycho-spiritual exercises, movement and psychotherapy.

Note from Alison Leigh, MFT: founder of The Mindful Gym™
After almost 20 years in development and practice I bring to you the Mindful Gym. The MG is a total mind/body/spiritual
workout that is founded on more than 30 different practices. I have taken the best and most relevant exercises,
movements, and body practices out of this foundation to develop and create what i believe will be the beginning of a revolutionary mind/body practice that will be spread locally and globally.

There are so many reasons for the development, implementation and application of the MG that it has been challenging on so many fronts’ mainly because the system is so intricate and complex yet at the same time, easy to do and understandable for anyone trying it for the first time.

Benefits of The Mindful Gym include:
*increased vitality, circulation, physical/spiritual awareness
* reduced stress and ability to manage it easily
* sound sleep
* reduced cortisol levels
* relief from arthritis, addictions, and many other medical conditions
* allergy and asthma symptom relief
* lower blood pressure
*increased mobility, flexibility, freedom of movement
*better understanding of the complexities of our psyche
*toned body, toned muscular system
*reduction in physiological symptoms of trauma
*overall better attitude toward life

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sexuality and MINDFULNESS...a mixed bag?

The topic of sexuality is no new subject, however when you add "mindfulness" into the mix what do you get? Some people may not know the answer to this question because they are not sure that being mindful can go together with sex. However, I can tell you that being mindful can both enhance and increase the drive to get physical.

Mindfulness, as stated in my recent blogs is about 1) Being aware of your self, your body, and your "being" as it relates to the here and now. Why is this important? Mainly so you can have a more present experience. When you are sexual, a lot is happening all at once. It can seem so hard for some to take things slowly in the midst of something hot and heavy; but studies have revealed that taking it slowly can lead to greater arousal time, and increased libido giving you more lasting power.

So, one might ask, how do I do this? First, you should be familiar with how to get yourself mindful and find someone else that is too; however if that is not available, you can practice with your lover in these ways.

1) Touch your face and/or your partners face. Feel their skin, its sensations, and feel into your own self how that connection feels for you. Relate that experience to your own sense of vulnerability while having them tell you or show you how it is affecting them. This connection allows for mutual touch and in a mindful way.
2) Let them touch you over your clothes to start. This can be very erotic, but even if it gets hot, slow down and breathe. you want it to last. you might giggle, you might grin, you might even feel uncomfortable in the slowness of the sensations you feel. That is all okay. the point is to go slowly, and be mindful. Let the sensations and the talk about what is happening on a somatic level for each individual take you into a deeper place of being. Realize you still have your clothes on and so much has happened already.

3) Sigh. When you take in a feeling of pleasure, let it be known. Inhale and exhale with voice. Give your sensual and sexual experience a louder voice. Allow it to roll out of your mouth into the air, and be mindful of all that happens afterward. Check in with your partner and ask them how they are feeling. Again, this is all about connection and not yet about sexual gratification. We are elongating this process.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

TRANFORMING the HEART: An integrated approach to mind/body healing

To deepen into your heart, or "heart chakrah", you must first
1) Be aware of where it is. In Western Medicinal terms the heart refers to the "physical" place in your body. In the East, or using Taoist and Buddhist principles, the HEART resides as an energy source located in the "heart chakrah" center. This location is esoteric, mystical and derived from the knowledge of the astral plane. (more on energy systems later).

GREEN: The color green (and sometimes pink) symbolizes the heart chakrah. This love center of our human energy field is often the focus when we want to heal our hearts. Some examples of healing would be to utilize this chakrah as fruitful reform in changing and transforming our pain into pleasure.

Examples are: transforming hurtful situations like divorce/ separation, grief process, emotional abuse, abandonment, adultery into acceptance and mindful presence. In addition, Physical illnesses brought about by heartbreak require that an emotional healing occur along with the physical healing. Learning to love yourself is a powerful first step in securing a healthy fourth chakra. The "wounded child" resides in the heart chakra.#
# Sanskrit Name - anahata