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Calm Focus Joy: The Power of Breath Awareness with Heidi Thompson

Posted: July 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Heidi Thompson, the author of “Calm Focus Joy: The Power of Breath Awareness – A Practical Guide for Adults and Children” joins Enterprise Radio. 
Heidi has been practicing breath awareness for more than thirty years.

Listen to host Eric Dye & guest Heidi Thompson discuss the following:

  • Why did you write your book, Calm Focus Joy: The Power of Breath Awareness?
  • What is breath awareness?
  • You write that breath awareness helps to reduce stress? Could you explain how it works?
  • You also write that it is important to train the attention so we can focus better. How does breath awareness accomplish this?
  • Can you give our listeners some tips on how they can begin to practice breath awareness?

Duration: 8:16

Heidi Thompson’s new book, CALM FOCUS JOY: The Power of Breath Awareness (Coldstream Books) teaches a simple exercise called breath awareness that helps children and adults feel more calm and focused.

Current studies confirm that breath awareness meditation can strengthen attention, relieve depression, boost the immune system, sharpen cognition, and awaken insight into the amazing mind/body phenomenon. Researcher Britta Hölzel, PhD, observes, “It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.”

Promising scientific reports are motivating parents, educators, and child-care professionals to learn about meditation. They are asking, “How do I meditate? What technique is best? Is meditation safe? How do I teach children?” There is no shortage of information; countless articles, books, Internet sites, programs, techniques, and workshops can be found offering “how to meditate” advice.  However, for a novice, sorting through information, deciding which technique is best, and figuring out how to teach children may be overwhelming. Thompson hopes that her book will answer many of these questions, sort out the confusion, and help a beginner get started.

Calm Focus Joy is written in easy-to-understand language and offers progressively challenging breath awareness lessons for adults and a special ten-step program for children. Supporting the practical lessons is a theoretical framework consisting of teaching strategies, read-aloud instructions for children, stories, answers to commonly asked questions, tips for organizing programs, and current scientific research—everything needed to learn breath awareness and then teach it to children. Dr. Bob Chaudhuri, psychotherapist and medical instructor, University of Toronto, concludes his book review with, “Calm Focus Joy is an engaging manual that all children should be exposed to. Thompson’s strategies present a clear and plainspoken guide for all ages. I would highly recommend it to teachers and parents for their students and children.”

Heidi Thompson has been practicing breath awareness for almost 30 years. She was one of the first to introduce it into B.C. schools by pioneering a program called Mindmastery, which included teaching breath awareness to children of all ages and abilities. The young participants often commented, “Breath awareness is hard to do, but I want to continue.” Encouraged by consistently positive outcomes and the ease of implementing Mindmastery into classrooms, Thompson compiled her lessons, stories, and instructions into a teaching manual, which evolved into Calm Focus Joy. Thompson writes, “The world’s most valuable resource is the human mind. Let us do everything within our power to protect, nurture, and develop this precious commodity. We know that happiness and health are achievable through the cultivation of calmness, focus, and joy; therefore, by establishing peace and happiness within, and empowering children in the same way, we will have taken a giant step in transforming our world into a better place.”

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