Balanced Body and Mind is a class we offer that supports students to heal in three ways.
First, the curriculum teaches them to use body-based practices like exercise, breathing and mindful movement to heal and re-regulate emotional and mental and physical imbalances.
Secondly, it helps them to heal their relationships with others by encouraging them to bring virtue to their peer relationships as they support each other in class and out in these healthy practices. We do this by having the girls work in supportive teams and encouraging peer leadership and peer teaching wherever possible.
Third, it helps them heal and develop their relationship with their “holon.” By holon we mean the interconnected web of all relationships in a person’s life, including social and spiritual relationships. It does this by creating a space for meditative focus which invites them to become more open to their relationship with whatever greater source of inspiration and strength they experience in their life.
Students who participate often report:
“I just feel better.”
“I’m less anxious.”
“I feel calmer.”
There is now abundant research supporting the great benefits of these practices for physical and mental health and well-being. Yet many of us still struggle to make these practices a regular part of our daily life.
It isn’t surprising that teens in treatment, who can benefit so greatly from exercise and meditative practices, also struggle to engage in them.
As Mike Beswick is fond of reminding us, it is often the very thing that is the most difficult for us to do that is the most needed for the change we wish to experience.