The Mindful Body method consists of different elements, which are all built around 12 Master Classes. All of these classes have a psychological and a physical theme, which work specifically with different thoughts and feelings as well as with a certain area of the body. The physiological theme answers to the question “what” and the psychological theme to “how”. All themes can be used in conjunction with another, which means that the possibilities of creating a class are wide. A Mindful Body class lasts 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes, and can be modified to last for as long as 90 minutes. The numbers in front of the theme help customers and instructors to identify the area of the body that is being worked on, an abbreviation of the theme.
Every Mindful Body class consists of four core elements in 45-90 minute long classes. In shorter classes the elements are modified according to the theme. The purpose of each element is to further enhance the mobility of the physiological area that is being worked on – each theme takes the movements deeper into the body. The 4 core elements of each Mindful Body classes are:
Strengthen & Open
Warm Up consists of dynamic stretches, of different exercises for the spine, balance elements and an element to strengthen the core. The Warm Up targets the physiological area, but opens up and warms the body up as a whole – it imitates the physical symptoms of stress (increased heart rate, elevated levels of blood pressure, faster breathing) so that it makes it easier for participants who have trouble relaxing, to be more physically active in the beginning of the class, so they are able to better let go of the physical and emotional stress.
Strengthen & Open element goes deeper into the physiological area with active stretches that require the use of core muscles. The Strengthen & Open element is done on the floor, which allows for better control of movements. Breathing is emphasized as a tool to create a rhythm to the exercises and to help participants become more aware of their breathing and the difference between a tense area and a relaxed area in their bodies. The purpose of the element is to prepare the mind and the body further for the next element, to take the participant physically down to floor level but also to help them come down and calm down more on an emotional level.
Deep Stretching element itself consists of different phase: the warming up phase, where the stretch is introduced but more movement is present. The deep stretch itself, where the position is either held or done with slight moving of the body. And the last phase is the recovery of the spine after a deep stretch, in the neutral position of the spine or by moving it slightly in the opposite direction of the stretch. This is why the method works for so many people, because everything in the classes are done according to what feels the best for each individual and by taking into account the recovery process that each individual body needs. The Deep Stretching element typically consists of 2-4 different sets of stretches.
Relaxation is the final element, where the psychological theme is brought to a new level, as participants are relaxed and open to listening and feeling. The Relaxation element begins with slight movements in the physical area that has been worked on to further enhance the feeling of the area and to be able to combine it with the emotions that this area has been carrying.