Embodied stress reduction through principles of the Japanese martial art of aikido
The Japanese wisdom of the close connection between body and mind is expressed through many traditions. Aikido continues this tradition and adds, as the “martial art of peace,” aspects of human interaction. Many techniques are aimed not only at training the body, but also the mind: serenity, mindfulness, focus and centeredness.
Physical processes taking place under stress, such as the excretion of the stress hormone adrenaline, have an explicit effect on the mind. Mental strategies alone can only calm the mind and not the body, and therefore have limited success, sometimes resulting in quite the opposite: mantras such as “Stay calm, don´t get angry!” can put even more pressure and stress on us.
From body to mind
Mental processes can be made accessible to experience by means of a “detour” via the body. Simple techniques from aikido and other martial arts help in gaining clarity and serenity in situations of stress by offering physical anchors to come back to when the mind is in upheaval. It becomes easier to recover after distress, and therefore be prepared for new situations of stress when they arise. Practising physical principles helps the body develop a physical memory which can easily be called upon in difficult circumstances, and which helps us to stay calm, centred and relaxed.
Also, dealing with situations of conflict – one of the most common activators of stress – is practised and learned as part of the process. The participants become acquainted with their own inner resources to enable new strategies for conflict resolution and decrease stress in conflict situations.
The seminar aids participants to:
- Understand stress better, detect it earlier and work with it in a self-aware way.
- Increase cognitive and emotional competency in stressful situations.
- Stay calm and focused under stress.
- Develop a repertoire of exercises for stress prevention and for dealing with acute stress.
- Build and maintain resilience against stress.
- Clear stress after it has occurred.
Please do not hesitate to contact me to request more information about my Embodied Stress Reduction Seminars or schedule an appointment. I am looking forward to your call or e-mail.