Mindful Movement

Movement is an accessible way for practitioners to cultivate mindfulness and connecting with the body is an essential skill for mindful living. The Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness is fortunate to have a community of mindfulness teachers who are also registered yoga teachers, movement coaches and/or have experience and training in teaching movement practices such as Nia, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and various martial arts.

Recovery Friendly Ashtanga YogaRecovery Friendly Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga is an ancient system of yoga in which a flowing, progressive series of postures is coordinated with breath and concentration. The Primary Series is called Yoga Chikitsa, meaning yoga therapy, because of the cleansing and healing effect it is meant to have on both body and mind. This class is appropriate for absolute beginners and is recovery friendly in that it:

  • Provides a welcoming, safe, and supportive environment for people in recovery
  • Rejects assumptions perpetuating stigma surrounding mental health concerns
  • Incorporates trauma sensitive practices
  • Prioritizes healing of body and mind

Upcoming Classes:
Starting January 3, 2019: Every Thursday from 5:45- 6:45 pm with Tracy Ochester, PsyD, RYT-200.

Pre-registration for each class is required – use our calendar to register for the dates you wish to attend.

FREE to MAM members. $5 per class for non-members. Participants of Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention may also participate in this class for FREE throughout the course of their 8-week series.

Check Out the Trini Foundation – a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to bringing the life-changing practice of Ashtanga yoga to those struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, providing yoga as a tool to aide in the recovery process and help those who are suffering maintain long-term sobriety. http://trinifoundation.org/

Inside Out Tall BInside-Out – A Body Awareness Workshop: Take Control of Your Stressed-Out Body, Mind and Nervous System

Friday May 3, 2019 from 1:30 – 4:30 pm with Sydney Spears, PhD, LCSW

This important group health-based educational and supportive workshop will explore key information regarding your stress response, body awareness, nervous system, and brain-based sensory skills. Somatic (body-based) wisdom is critical to developing greater awareness, health and control over how toxic stress tends to chronically reside in your body and mind. The lack of awareness of how your body holds and maintains stressors and negative thoughts can keep you and your nervous system trapped within various health problems, anxiety and bodily symptoms. Many of these unhealthy symptoms often originate or become worse from the inability to effectively manage certain stressors. Consequently, many people can experience ongoing stress lodged in their bodies and nervous systems with symptoms such as: chronic pain/aches, low immune system, higher blood pressure, chronic fatigue, sleep problems, over-eating/under-eating, dietary issues, digestive issues, contracted muscles, contracted postures, headaches, many colds/flu, negative thinking, constant worrying, anxiety and states of feeling overwhelmed.

Your body is the grand container of all human experiences and your nervous system is finely tuned to support every bodily function as well as your reactions to stressors. It is very important to understand how you can use key somatic knowledge, skills and practices to enhance your potential to take control of your bodily-sensory responses to stressors through nervous system awareness. By bring mindfulness to your body, you can also experience the opportunity to increase your energy, sense of greater self-control, reduce discomfort, worry less and finally have useful tools to self-manage and self-soothe your day-to-day stress in the moment. Fine-tuning your nervous system can fine tune and improve your “inside-out health.

In this course you will gain greater understanding of the:

  • realities and true impact of chronic stress on the mind and body
  • symptoms and signs of chronic stress and their relationship to mental-emotional activity
  • workings of the autonomic nervous system and how to fine tune and manage it
  • benefits of practicing skills of mindful body awareness and connection

Participants will learn brain based skills, sensory practices and simple mindful movements for:

  • tuning into the language of the body to discover health and wise choice-making
  • mindfully calming the nervous system in the moment
  • creating cues within your day-to-day life to practice skills naturally

Lean on the support from your group members and the instructor during this skills based course. Receive instruction in how to develop greater self-control, impulse control, mental control, and inner calmness when stress arises for personal empowerment

Fees (click to purchase your pass – pre-registration is required):

**Open to the general public, but 3 CEs are available for licensed mental health professionals in KS and MO.

Mindful Adaptive YogaMindful Adaptive Yoga for Chronic Body-Pain

Tuesdays April 30th & June 4, 2019 from 6:00pm-8:00pm with Sydney Spears, Ph.D., LSCSW

Have you struggled with  chronic body pain through certain conditions such as arthritis, over-sitting, sedentary lifestyle, MS, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches, low back pain, shoulder/neck muscular tightness, or other types of bodily tension? If so, this mindfulness-based adaptive yoga workshop has been specifically developed for chronic bodily-pain survivors. Participating in this experience may be helpful in managing or decreasing  some of your physical discomfort as well as the stress that typically accompanies these conditions.

A recent study in the Annal of Internal Medicine found that among 313 people with chronic low back pain, a weekly yoga class increased mobility more than standard medical care for the condition. According to the Harvard Review, another study found that yoga was comparable to standard exercise therapy in relieving chronic low back pain.  An analysis of multiple research studies involving more than 1,600 participants concluded that yoga can improve daily function among people with fibromyalgia osteoporosis-related curvature of the spine. Also, engaging in the practice of yoga also improved mood and psychosocial well-being.

This exploration of mindfulness and adaptive yoga will begin and end with a brief discussion about the mind-body connection, mindfulness and chronic pain. This will be followed by mindful breathing awareness exercises in order to practice relaxing your body and help free your mind of worries and distractions. Mindful breathing is a vital component of adaptive yoga and navigating chronic pain for possible tension release. The session will proceed through a series of simple yoga postures based from your choice of using  a yoga mat  or a chair.  Adaptive” yoga forms will be offered with various options and  modifications to accommodate your individual ability, strength, flexibility and pain experience.  For example, most people with multiple sclerosis can participate in yoga on a chair rather than the floor.

Your instructor  will contact you before the workshop to make sure this mindful adaptive yoga workshop is the best fit for your chronic pain and answer any questions you might have. During this workshop it is useful to listen to your body so that you do not  push your body further than it should move. Please be aware that you are  always welcome to stop or modify movements at any time within this session.

It is also highly advised that you contact your health provider to find out whether adaptive yoga might be an appropriate experience for you, especially if you have been experiencing medical problems, recent surgery, highly restricted mobility or working with a physical therapist or a psychotherapist/counselor.

Fees (click to purchase your pass – pre-registration is required):

Once you’ve purchased your pass(es) use our calendar to register for the date(s) you wish to attend.

Labyrinth Walk MEMEGuided Labyrinth Walks – A Moving Meditation

A labyrinth is an ancient symbol of wholeness, combining the imagery of the circle and the spiral into a meditative path. The labyrinth also can be seen as symbolic for navigating the path of life and healing. Walking a labyrinth can provide a sense of solace and quiet a distracted mind, offering space to ponder insights, clarify intentions, and source internal wisdom. Experienced as a walking meditation, the labyrinth represents a journey to our center, reflecting on intentions, and reconnecting with ourselves and others.

Individual and group facilitated labyrinth walks are now being offered as a benefit of membership in Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness. $25 for one participant and $10 for each additional participant in a group. Walks are scheduled by appointment and locations are available across the KC metro area.  Contact Angie for more information at angie.hardage@mindfulness-alliance.org or (316) 640.1557.