Mind & Emotions / Mental Sheath

The mind receives information about the external world through the five senses. If the senses are unrestrained, the resultant stimuli can create agitation, disturbance and confusion in the mind. The mind is also the seat of emotions and feelings. If unchecked, the mind will lead a person to non-ideal actions. Understanding and taming the mind and emotions through holistic practices can render it to be an effective instrument to support a balanced, healthy life.

The mind is a beautiful entity offering an internal universe unto yourself. Refocusing attention on our thoughts, feelings, and actions promotes self-exploration and supports our worldly actions and reactions.

Akhila Health Mind Module

Woman covering her face

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way of life. By engaging in simple practices on a daily basis we cultivate the presence to attend to any situation, thought, emotion, or body sensation without judgment. This may be the most effective tool we have to navigate through life with more ease, comfort, and joy.

Science is proving that mindfulness practices and techniques have a biochemical effect on the brain that reduces stress and improves the quality of life. In the Akhila program, we incorporate mindfulness practice into every session.

Subtle Therapies

The mind is thought to be influenced by smell, sight, sound, touch, and taste. The mind is considered a subtle body; therefore treating it is known as subtle therapy. In brief, subtle therapies introduce favorable sensory inputs such that the mind is affected in a positive way.

In Akhila Health classes, we bring awareness of these subtle therapies.

  • Smell: Aromatherapy – calming or energizing
  • Sight: Color Therapy – color’s influence on mood
  • Sound: Sound Therapy – sounds that promote relaxation
  • Touch: Massage – self-massage
  • Taste: 6 tastes – sweet, sour, salty, pungent, astringent, and bitter

Guided Meditation

Meditation can remove stress and replace it with a dose of inner peace. It is one of the best tools we have to balance our emotions, deal with physical and psychological distress, and promote the peace of the present moment.

Practicing meditation solo can be a daunting task. Guided meditation is a supported practice that can help one find a calm and peaceful state. This kind and gentle practice is an important component of experiencing the benefits that meditation offers.

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery is a gentle, but powerful technique that focuses and directs the imagination. When properly constructed, imagery has the built-in capacity to deliver multiple layers of complex, encoded messages by way of simple symbols and metaphors. It involves the whole body, the emotions, and all of the senses.

Over the past 25 years, the effectiveness of guided imagery has been increasingly established by research findings that demonstrate its positive impact on health, creativity, and performance. We now know that in many instances even 10 minutes of imagery can reduce blood pressure, lower cholesterol and glucose levels in the blood, and heighten short-term immune cell activity.

Click here for a sample guided meditation.

Woman tossing leaves

Healing Arts

We consider ‘Healing Arts’ to include arts and crafts. Working on art projects can help release pent-up energy and frustration. Art modalities include drawing, coloring, and painting that elicit the imagination to express ideas and feelings. Journaling is another stress reduction technique that can have a positive impact on general well-being.

Crafting requires one to fully focus on a task which helps disengage the mind from stressors. Studies have shown arts and crafts can have positive physiological effects such as lowering heart rate and blood pressure. Depending on interest, we may teach knitting, cross-stitching, and crocheting. These repetitive and rhythmic acts may evoke a relaxation response.

Progressive Relaxation

During stressful times, tension accumulates in the body. Progressive relaxation is a process in which we consciously and progressively tense and relax various muscle groups in a systematic way.

This is a transformative tool that is easy to learn and practice. It brings to our conscious awareness the feeling of holding tension and the feeling of being relaxed and at ease.

Yoga

Yoga is an ideal practice to help release stress and trauma that is held deeply in the body. Through gentle movement and deep diaphragmatic breathing, we are able to release tension in the body, calm the mind, and open energy channels.

In the Akhila program, we offer poses that are accessible for a wide range of body types, yet dynamic and powerful in the ability to move energy. Yoga is a great practice to understand how and where we hold tension and start to create new patterns that enable greater ease of movement and peace of mind.

"I enjoyed everything but especially practicing Mindful Eating and Drawing. Thank you so much! "

Workshop attendee, Women's Cancer Resource Center, Berkeley, CA.