Using Mindful Breath, Touch and Movement to Explore Curiosity and Openness

davidWorkshop: date, time and location TBA

Submitted by

David Home

Workshops

The workshops will primarily be experiential and based around principles such as ‘Beginner’s Mind’, ‘Going-with-the-flow’, ‘the power of now’ and ‘Yielding to overcome’. Using, breath, touch and movement linked to oriental approaches to health and wellbeing the workshops will explore how to become more open to both internal and external stimuli. For example, using improvised movement to seek out and express internal urges, or to use a prop/limitation in order to humble oneself to an external influence/restriction in order to examine or evaluate possibilities not perhaps considered before.

 
We shall use breath and movement to increase awareness of the energy flow within and beyond the body and encourage the desire to expand what we can ‘sense’ through less recognised senses such as balance, kinaesthesia and energy sensitivity. The aim will be to explore what one ‘feels’ when connecting to oneself and others through individual and group holistic movement and body awareness activities, in order to encourage greater trust in and openness to our body-intelligence. This process of embodiment and helping to get to know ourselves more deeply invites the curious mind to link and delve more deeply, respecting the tenet that ‘the more we can feel, the more we can feel’, ad infinitum. It is acknowledged that an unusual or ‘curious’ experience can create ‘doubt’ but perhaps curiosity is the positive side of the same coin and perhaps through overcoming doubt we can trust more, be more open and transform curiosity into a trigger for adventure.

 
In addition to the principles mentioned above many of the theories used will be rooted in traditional oriental concepts such as yin yang and the body-mind, rather than the more traditional Western perspective of Cartesian dualism versus monism and these concepts will underpin the explanation and understanding of what might be felt during the experiential work.

Message from David:

”It would be helpful if participants had some background knowledge or awareness of the symbol yin/yang and the basic philosophy or way of thinking associated with it, as I shall be referring to it as part of the core theme.”

Some background reading such as:

  • Hoff, B. (2002) The Tao of Pooh. London: Egmont.
  • Nhat Hanh, T. (1987) The Miracle of Mindfulness: a manual on meditation. Boston MA: Beacon Press.
  • Tolle, E. (2005) The power of now: a guide to spiritual enlightenment. London: Hodder Mobius.
  • … or something similar would be beneficial.

In addition, participants need to wear, loose modest clothing for moving freely.

Biography

David has been teaching Mindfulness in Movement on the Dance and Movement Studies course for almost ten years at the University of Derby and has been working as a Complementary Therapist and teacher for over twenty-five years. As a qualified acupuncturist and shiatsu practitioner his approach is informed by oriental concepts of health and wellbeing, as well as a knowledge of western anatomy and physiology. In his practice he has investigated the connection between mindfulness and touch, and the research thesis for his Master of Arts in Education investigated whether ‘Mindful Touch’ could enhance the relationship between practitioners and patients. The approach was whether the teaching of sensitive touch would be beneficial in the training of those involved in the Healthcare Sector.

The initial results from the MA were very positive and he has since been asked to give workshops on the radiography programme at the university, as well as for Youth Care Workers and the PG cert for Compassion Focused Therapy, a course primarily for already qualified therapists who wish to improve their skills. David is looking to expand the use of this approach in training and is currently working on developing a programme of Practical Mindfulness for Creative Wellbeing, and is currently conducting a pilot study with the support of a substance and alcohol misuse charity.