All posts tagged: hope martin

Your Posture is the Practice: An Interview with Hope Martin

By Debra Hiers // A great way of working with the body in meditation is the Alexander Technique, a process that enhances body awareness. This subtle yet powerful modality offers a way to be more relaxed and comfortable in your body by teaching you to recognize and let go of postural habits that cause discomfort and that distance you from being fully present in your life. It is communicated through a teacher’s verbal and gentle hands-on guidance, but ultimately teaches you how to be your own teacher and apply the principles for yourself. Hope Martin began taking Alexander Technique lessons in 1980, and completed a three-year training program in 1987. Shortly after that she participated in a month-long meditation intensive and found that even with her extensive Alexander training, she still had “a lot of trouble sitting, a lot of burning in [her] back, a lot of pain and discomfort.” She knew from her own experience the obstacles people encounter sitting on a cushion or chair for extended periods of time. “When you’re sitting, and all …

Hands of Hope: The Possibility of Bodily Ease in Sitting Meditation

A few years ago, my experience of sitting on my meditation cushion was changed in a dramatic, simple, and sustained way, when Hope Martin placed her hands on my spine for just a few minutes. Over the past three decades, countless students have had similar experiences, as she has gained a reputation for being a profoundly sensitive, intuitive body-worker as well as a gentle and brilliant meditation teacher. As she says, what she offers is highly experiential. In that space with her, a shift occurred: emotionally, in the body, in the mind. It was profound. I flash on that experience just about every time I sit to meditate, and the body, remembering Hope’s hands, relaxes into a dignified posture. The experience is elusive, and better to be experienced personally than described. But, hearing Hope speak about her work, along with some clips of a recent session I had with her (lucky me!), may bring it to life a bit more. Please enjoy this short video, and may the hands of Hope be with you. Shambhala …

Hope Martin and David Rome Explain Embodied Listening

For the past fifteen years, Hope Martin and David Rome have been bringing together eastern and western mind–body practices in a program they call Embodied Listening. In this recent interview with Shambhala Mountain Center, these two teachers explain how the Alexander Technique and Mindful Focusing can help people discover a greater sense of ease and naturalness in their lives, and how these practices are especially potent when engaged alongside traditional mindfulness–awareness meditation. Enjoy the full video interview below, or scroll down to stream or download the audio. Stream audio below.  To download, click here. About the Authors Hope Martin has taught the Alexander Technique for 30 years, trains Alexander teachers at the American Center for the Alexander Technique and operates Hope Martin Studio in New York City.  She is a meditation instructor and a Focusing trainer. Her particular passion is in helping her students discover how easeful, upright posture is an expression of their human dignity, confidence, and innate wakefulness. // Hope Martin Studio David I. Rome is the developer of Mindful Focusing, an integration …

Our Bodies Hold Our Lives

By David Rome & Hope Martin ~~~ Our bodies hold our lives. They hold wisdom and energy for living and growing—and they hold the things that get in the way of living and growing: fear, anxiety, stress and more. When negative holding patterns are not recognized, tensions build up and space for living constricts. Awareness and acceptance of the body’s holding patterns allow their release and transformation into positive energy for living. Human beings are hard-wired with the “fight or flight” reaction, an evolutionary inheritance that served us well when the everyday environment was more physically dangerous and instant reaction could make the difference between life or death. In the safer but far more complex world of the twenty-first century, we face multiple challenges that can’t be solved either by fighting or running away. This leads to chronic stress and anxiety and what psychologists call “experiential avoidance”—disconnecting from the fight-or-flight-based signals our bodies are still trying to give us. To reverse the stress and anxiety, first we have to allow ourselves to really experience what’s …

Embodied Listening with David Rome and Hope Martin

  David and Hope will be leading Embodied Listening, May 23-26 Embodied Listening is an intensive but gentle body, mind, and heart training for releasing habitual patterns that constrict our lives and relationships. When we learn to listen deeply to ourselves, we also become more open and sensitive to the feelings and needs of others. During this retreat, we will draw on several powerful modalities including: mindfulness meditation to relax mental holding patterns; Alexander Technique to release physical holding patterns; and Mindful Focusing to access deeper feelings held in the body. This workshop is highly experiential and includes periods of meditation, exploration of the felt sense, and gentle hands-on bodywork. Instructors David Rome and Hope Martin have been teaching together for over ten years throughout North America. Both are qualified Focusing Trainers as well as Buddhist meditation teachers. Recently the two teachers took some time to have some discussion and offer guided practices that you can do at home. David and Hope will be leading Embodied Listening, May 23-26 .  To learn more, please click here