Living mindfully comes with many benefits, and none of them are limited to just adults! Mindfulness has the ability to provide children with simple tools to understand their nervous system, make healthier decisions and regulate their feelings.
By helping children to learn to focus on a single thing, such as a sound or their own breath, they can calm their mind and develop emotional fortitude. Consistent mindfulness practices for children leads to less impulsivity, refined concentration skills, and more awareness of how to respond thoughtfully to tough situations.
Having recently completed a two and a half week assignment of being granny-nanny to my three youngest granddaughters (ages 10, 8 and 3 years old) while my daughter in-laws served in Africa, the words to the LEGOLAND theme song “Everything Is Awesome” will be forever etched in my brain. Nominated for Best Original Song at the 87th Academy Awards, the LEGO Movie song is infectious with its catchy rhythm; it’s difficult to not start shaking from side to side as if your body has turned into a little block-like-structure, bouncing around uncontrollably, when the words flow through your mind:
Everything is awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team!
Everything is awesome when you're living out a dream!
Was I living out a dream while spending 16 non-stop, action-packed, emotion-filled days dedicated to childcare… days which could easily be likened to one of the roller coasters at LEGOLAND, where we spent part of a week? Certainly… if this adventure was designed to assess and define the progression of my mindfulness practice!
How did I not lose my mind? By consciously and mindfully choosing to use as my sanity mantra the words, “Everything Is Awesome!”
Yoga Teacher Training,
Shortly after SWIHA was founded, a guest massage instructor came to our modest campus to offer training on a technique known as “positional release therapy.” In this type of therapy, the body is positioned in strategic ways so as to release the muscles and tension stored from past injuries, accidents, and traumas. Within the first few hours of the workshop, one of the students had a reaction to the position in which her body had been placed. She began to cry and then shake; finally, her left hand involuntarily contorted into a claw-like cramp. The guest instructor (who had over 20 years of experience) stood by in confusion, looking as if he had never seen an emotional release before. Immediately stepping up to the table, I offered the student a guided visualization, taking her to a “safe place” and instructing her to concentrate on slowing her breath to calm her mind.
As the guest instructor look on incredulously, he commented, “In all my years, I have never had THAT happen on my table!” Luckily, I had the grace to not say what I was thinking, which was: “And you never will… because you don’t know how to ‘hold space’ for others!” Even if I had shared what I was thinking, this instructor probably wouldn’t have understood what I was talking about.
Cranial Massage Therapist,
If you’ve ever found yourself suddenly moved to tears in yoga class, you’re not alone. The sensation can be a little alarming if you’re not used to crying at the gym, however, rest assured that it’s a sign of good things happening. Our bodies tend to hold onto a lot of tension that’s both physical and emotional at its root. Just like our shoulders can tighten up when we’re hunched over the keyboard day after day, our hips can tighten up from emotional stress as well. Certain yoga poses unleash the tension and suddenly make you feel something that you haven’t felt in a while.
When you’re holding a yoga pose you’re often attempting to balance as well as stay strong and support your own body weight. (Our egos fight pretty hard to avoid being the person who topples over onto their mat.) These moves are using a variety of muscles at once, require concentrated breath, and also physically stretch us in new ways.
Noushin Mazlaghani admits that it was life’s challenges that brought her to study at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA). “More than 8 years ago, when I had my first massage, I was at the lowest point in my life.” She was divorcing after 27 years, grieving for her dad's death, recovering from two major surgeries, and dealing with an empty nest. “I experienced total relaxation and freedom from all my anxieties during my massage, and I had complete peace. This experience totally shifted my life, and I committed myself to bring this peace to others.”
This transformational experience led Noushin to go on and graduate from both the Massage Therapy Professional Massage Practitioner 750-hour program and the Polarity Associate Polarity Practitioner 200-hour program. “After graduating in 2010, as a licensed Cranial Massage Therapist and Polarity Practitioner, I opened my own center to be at service to others.” This center is called the De Language Healing Arts and it is located in Scottsdale, AZ. It is here that she serves her clients with the unique combination of the modalities of Cranial Therapy and Polarity. There are no other Polarity clinics around other than the one on the SWIHA campus. The mission of her center is for clients to experience serenity. “My practice is all about YOU experiencing total health and freedom in your own body. We look at your body in a deeper context as just a structure, we explore the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical aspect of your being together, for a tranquility and vibrant experience of yourSELF in all areas of your life that are most important to YOU.”
mind body spirit,
Cranial Massage Therapist