Newsletter 4 — Meditation and Wellness

Welcome to the July newsletter! Did you miss us? We took a break for June to bring you this special two-part missive on the benefits of meditation.

Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, lower the heart rate, and strengthen the immune system. Sounds familiar from my proclamations of massage, right? So how can both massage therapy AND meditation produce this effect? According to theNational Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, the practice of focusing one’s mind on thoughts, feelings, and sensations — and observing them in a nonjudgmental way — results in a state of greater calmness and physical relaxation. More calm + physical relaxation = less stress and lower heart rate, which leads to a decrease in production of stress hormones detrimental to the immune system.

Before these scientific links had been explored, meditation has existed in many forms over many millennia. Its origins are based on ancient religions and spiritual traditions whose belief systems promoted a sense of well being and compassion as a route to happiness. Most of these practices exist today in some form, whether it be mindfulness-basedtranscendentalZenvipassana, and Buddhist meditation, to name a few. All have one thing in common: attempting to quiet the mind and release it from anxiety, stress, insomnia, and other disturbances in health and well-being.

Yes, your mind can do that!

To help you along, here are some NY-based centers that offer group workshops and classes. Scroll down for this month’s coupon after you check out the links!

All of these are donation-based:

The Three Jewels — Tibetan Buddhist. Classes are weekday mornings from 8-9 with various leaders and Fridays at 7:00pm withVenerable Phuntsok

Greenhouse Holistic — open community meditation. Sunday July 17th with Steve Prestiani and Amanda Copabianco (one of my fave yoga instructors!) at 8:15 – 9:15pm

Shambhala Center — mindfulness/Buddhist. Public sitting and evening chants, 5:30 – 7 weekdays, Sundays, 9am – 12noon

New York Insight Meditation Center – mindfulness/vipassana. Next beginnier’s class is on July 10th!

Jivamukti Yoga Center — yogic. Daily morning meditation classes at 8am (click on “classes” then “daily meditation classes”)

Have more to add? Post them on the Somata Wellness Facebook Page!

BodyWork Therapy Spotlight

There are a million modalities, or types of bodywork therapy. This month, the spotlight is on WatsuWatsu is a combination of Shiatsu, dance, meditation and water therapy. It employs the acupressure points and meridian work of Shiatsu with flowing movements in a warm therapeutic pool. The results are a kind of dance – an individually crafted choreography guided by a practitioner along with a client’s breath. In its stillness it is connected to meditation and in its movement it is connected to bodywork. The buoyancy of the water allows a deep relaxation while joints and muscles are gently stretched. During the treatment the therapist supports the clients body at all times. I’m more mellow just describing it. Click here to learn more about the pain management and other wellness applications of Watsu and other forms of aquatic bodywork.

Thank You For Reading!

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