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Meditation course crosses various disciplines, boundaries

November 22, 2013

The New York Times recently reported on the emerging trend of companies dedicating resources to train their employees in the art of mindfulness and relaxation. As a way to harness better decision-making and be a more present leader, companies find a little bit of meditation can go a long way.

“Meditation thickens the brain’s cortex, it lowers blood pressure, it can heal psoriasis and it can help you get a promotion,” says one expert quoted in the Times article.

Clearly those are all excellent benefits for an individual and, in turn, for their businesses, schools and organizations as professionals grow in awareness and become more calm, confident and mindful team members.

Google has been offering mindfulness workshops to their employees as “another utility widget for staying ahead.” The Marine Corps is testing “Mind Fitness Training” to help soldiers relax and increase their emotional intelligence. And many prominent organizations – including Nike, General Mills and Target – are offering classes to their employees on how to focus attention and relieve stress.

Fortunately for ASU employees and local Phoenix professionals, ASU is offering a new continuing education (CE) course involving self-awareness, movement and leadership that provides some of these same great benefits. Called “Meditation, Movement, and Embodied Leadership,” the two-day course uses the Feldenkrais method to explore new approaches to leadership and change.

“We are seeing mindfulness become an increasingly popular way for leaders to feel confident about their decision-making and energize themselves,” says Mary Margaret Fonow, director of ASU's School of Social Transformation and professor of the course. “Mindfulness can come in the form of movement, pausing between meetings or even taking deep breaths before a difficult conversation.”

Course participants can expect to learn new techniques of awareness that can be applied to their workplace and gain an understanding of the connection between mind, body and leadership, as well as ways to approach difficult workplace conversations.

The course is co-taught by Feldenkrais Guild-certified practitioner Richard Goldsand and is scheduled to take place Dec. 6-7 at SkySong. Participants may request CEUs. The cost is $295 and there is a discount for ASU employees and alumni.