N-A-M-A-S-T-E: practical steps to mindfulness

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Date: Mar. 2005
From: IDEA Fitness Journal(Vol. 2, Issue 3)
Publisher: IDEA Health & Fitness
Document Type: Article
Length: 1,361 words

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Yoga instructors often greet students individually at the door with a sincere namaste. This Sanskrit word--meaning "hello" and "goodbye"--conveys the message, "My inner peace meets, greets and salutes your inner light." Mind-body professionals who educate clients on the meaning of this word bring centuries of mindful greeting into each subsequent session. To help you incorporate specific mindful training techniques when working with a client, try remembering namaste as an acronym.

>N stands for NURTURING the client's brain-body-breath relationship. You begin nurturing when you ask your client how his body is feeling ("How is your energy level today?") and how his brain and breath are responding ("How is your concentration level today?" "How has your breathing been this week?"). Focus on words instead of the numbers we traditionally use. One way to nurture the trilogy of brain-body-breath is to give your client reading materials to take home. Encourage the client to read at least one article on the mind-body approach for every traditional strength training article you recommend. This post-training "homework" continues your nurturing of the brain-body-breath connection well after the session has ended.

>A stands for ALIGNING the body with the brain and the breathing. Try beginning the session with a fitness fact, quiz or riddle pertinent to the day's training program. Stimulating a client's thinking early in the session will improve productivity throughout and promote mindful exercise as you "train the brain." Sharing a thoughtful quotation or motivating story before a workout can also inspire your client's mind and spirit. Try a powerful, deep inhalation and exhalation to align the mind and body for work.

>M stands for MOTIVATING your client to pursue integration of brain, body and breath. As a mind-body personal trainer, make it a goal to plant the seeds of motivation so your client cultivates mind-body fitness and integration independently. Show her the benefits of both physical and mind-spirit cross-training. Share article clippings from the media and Internet showing how mind-body fitness rounds out the total approach to well-being. Exposing your client to ongoing research and...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A130052815