Living with the Virus: Self Care to Change your Life
- Effects of Meditation and Yoga
Both meditation and yoga have anti-stress, anti-inflammation and anti-infection benefits. With zero side effects, backed by decades of research concerning their benefits, meditation and yoga provide a strong edge for people interested in improved health particularly in a period of global pandemic. Developing a meditation and/or yoga practice could save your life these days, and at the very least will improve overall well-being. Self care can also return a feeling of control over your life, while providing tools for improved overall health.
Abigail De Soto is a psychosynthesis-informed transformational coach, certified yoga instructor and mindfulness meditation practitioner/teacher with 35 years experience coaching, teaching and facilitating groups globally, in person and online. For more information on her background, values, and work, visit: S.E.L.F._System for Embodied Living and Freedom at www.abigaildesoto.com
“Mindfulness and Meditation to Combat Adversity”
Navigate the global Covid 19 pandemic with practices of mindfulness and meditation to remain healthy and calm, while strengthening your immune system. Don’t let this unsure, fear-inducing period bring you down or let worry take over your thoughts. You can do something to put the winds in your favor and naturally ride the difficult storm.
Neuroscience shows fear and anxiety weaken our immune system. When we feel fearful or stressed, our body activates the fight-flight-freeze response to help us respond to threat, but also creates stress hormones that compromise our immune system over time. Fight-flight mode accelerates heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing, while releasing stress chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol into the bloodstream, and increasing muscle tension to prepare for the fight-flight response. While this stress response reallocates energy to allow us to survive a threatening situation, energy is also pulled away from the immune system…. opening the door to a mix of bacteria, toxins, and viruses.
Though life currently seems filled with multiple unknowns linked to this global scare, the good news is we can do something to lower our stress and boost our immune system. An excellent practice available to all at any age, is what Dr Herbert Benson coined in the 1970’s as the “relaxation response,” or what today is referred to as the “restful awareness response,” cultivated through mindfulness and meditation. Neuroscience shows that these ancient practices of mindfulness and meditation help us maintain health and well-being by lessening emotional reactivity, contributing to clearer decision-making, and maintaining calm in the body and autonomic nervous system to naturally combat disease. Becoming a beacon of calm in a time of fearfulness and uncertainty can help you and those you care for. Learn simple practices that can help you stay healthy and sane, and more relaxed in the face of adversity. My invitation is to take advantage of confinement, shut-downs, and decelerated ‘business as usual’ to learn ‘take-anywhere’ techniques to calm mind-body stress responses, and remain safely anchored in peace instead of tortured by uncontrollable thoughts of what if’s….?.Like a boat safely anchored in a protected harbor, you will weather the global health challenge with lesser toll on body and mind.
Meditation activates your body’s innate healing system. The opposite of the fight-flight-freeze response is the ‘rest-and-digest’ mode in which your system activates its own inner resources to heal, restore, and return to balance. When it’s not bogged down in the fog of potential attack, your mind-body system can access its own self-correcting, healing mechanisms. But to remain calm in the face of society’s fear-generating information overload, you will need to master the undisciplined mind and its unrelenting, ‘castastrophizing’, inner commentator.
There is nothing to lose except stress and fear. Learn mindful meditation practices you can use in daily life to relieve stress, fear, and boost natural immunity to illness! (I promise you don’t have to sit cross-legged to meditate and practice mindful living…).
WHAT: “Mindfulness and Meditation to Combat Adversity” On line Class; Eight (40 minute) classes over 4 weeks with instruction and experiential practice. For more info, listen: Intro to Mindfulness and Meditation Class_Covid 19 Challenge
Classes are group–based, on line, and last 40 minutes. They include lecture, practice techniques with explanations, and online experiential practice, with time for questions and short personal sharing. Each class is recorded and available 24 hrs after the online class for additional support and in the event you are unable to attend ‘live’.
*To fully benefit and acquire the techniques, individual practice is necessary between lessons for a minimum of 3-15 minutes per day. Up to you to practice!
Objectives/what you will learn:
How the body responds to fearful situations, and why that response is suited to short-lived experiences of danger, not chronic stress and uncertainty like the Covid 19 pandemic..
To recognize signs of your personal stress response and flight into fear…and how to respond to return to a restful awareness response..
To use the breath to anchor and calm yourself, to take the charge out of fearful thoughts and emotions that loop and spiral around to control you.
To help your body re-center and connect with a calming state to assure daily health maintenance and well-being, instead of draining energy and life force.
WHEN: dates to be announced
Mindfulness and Psychosynthesis to Navigate Turbulent Times*
*2 day immersion in the Harmonics of Psychosynthesis & Mindfulness as anchors and conscious responses to today’s personal and global challenges.
This 2-day mindfulness and psychosynthesis workshop explores the challenges of navigating rapidly changing, turbulent times (at a macro and micro level) in a conscious, compassionate, present manner. Not only is our planet in distress and peril, but more and more people feel the stress and anxiety of accelerated change and uncertainty in their day to day lives.
How do we open our eyes to what is happening around us everywhere, and how might we respond with wisdom and compassion?
These are the questions and aims of this 2 day exploration with an optional 3 hour online follow-up 1 month later for participants willing/ eager to ground and realize their personal project/plan.
The workshop’s overall theme concerns awakening from the unconscious trance we all live under. Emerging from beneath the robotic, virtual reality, dominated by incessant thinking, analyzing, planning, worrying with its attempt to control everything and everyone in our lives. We’ll explore our grasping, our turning away and our habits of distraction, in favour of conscious, mindful embodied presence and awareness of life, in the here and now.
- We will use the breath and rootedness in the body as anchors, introducing or re-visiting mindfulness and psychosynthesis practices to bring us ‘home’ to our experience.
- We will practice developing courageand strength (“coeur” or heart, as it is in French) using heart-based approaches instead of traditional thinking practices.
- We will learn and practice facingfears and suffering with strength and compassion instead of default fight-flight-flee responses.
- The ‘harmonics’ of psychosynthesis. and mindfulness offer us avenues to compassionate awareness and willing spirit.
*Compassionate Awareness and Will: Assagioli’s ‘mother’-‘father’ dance: compassionate loving observer and wilful, directing/orchestrating energy of being; understanding and practice to identify and connect with both aspects of being.
Compassionate Awareness: Importance of compassion, not just awareness for self and others. Dealing with difficult situations and emotions (anger, anxiety, fear) and suffering.
- Exploring default reactions, particularly around anxiety, fear and other ‘difficult’ emotions.
- Disconnecting from reacting to develop freedom of response: mindfulness, dis-identification in action, and R.A.I.N.
- Creativity as antidote…means to move, grow, and flow. Awareness of how each person is already creative-bringing embodied awareness to open up more ways of creatively being present and responsive.
Willing: Where do I want to go with this? What is important to me? What do I want to do and be?
- How to I grow and use will in a compassionate and strong embodied way in my life?
- My personal plan/project/objectives. Grounded and realized over following 30 days with optional online feedback session one month later.
New dates to be announced. For more information contact me.
CONTACT- Questions and Interest: Contact Me