Summer of 2015…..a lovely time to be present in the moment, listening to the sound of the wind in the trees.
I’m preparing for the fall session of LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE AND YOUR BRAIN at Ryerson University’s LIFE Institute. The 8-week program starts at the end of September, Wednesday Sept. 30, and this time around I’ll be doing a couple of classes in a lovely studio at the Ryerson Athletic Centre, where we can practice mindfulness while we stretch out on mats and exercise, incorporating some Feldenkrais moves. Enjoy the summer. Inhale,”Here” and exhale, “Now.” Breathe and pause. Again. Nowhere else to go. Just this moment. Now. Encode. Now.
NEW POST — June 2014
I want to let you know that I’m returning to Ryerson’s Life Institute in September 2014, for an 8-week session of LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE AND YOUR BRAIN. I think we’ll be starting on Tuesday morning, Sept. 23, but check with the LIFE INSTITUTE.
I’m extending the sessions by two weeks so that we can strengthen our practice, learn more skills and techniques, and focus on developing daily habits to enhance mindfulness, find inner peace and contentment, and understand how we get triggered.
I learned a lot from last winter’s Ryerson sessions, and I will be bringing back some of the scientists and guests who enlightened us with their knowledge and insights. I keep on being amazed at how naturally most people take to my guided meditation. All you have to do is sit in a chair, close your eyes, breathe and follow my voice. It’s easy. We’re building neural structures, opening neural pathways, and nourishing our brain.
IF YOU’RE A MEMBER OF THE GRANITE CLUB, I will be leading sessions there for 4 weeks in November, 2014.
IF YOU WANT TO START A MEDITATION GROUP DOWNTOWN, I have space to work with one more group. My long-running home group — nearly four years — is going strong. We’re gratified by the transformations we feel within ourselves and see among our fellow meditators. It’s a great gift we give each other: our concentration, our commitment to being present in the moment and holding the space for each other.
Join Judy Steed at Ryerson University’s LIFE INSTITUTE for the launch of her new six-week course, LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE and your brain!, starting Friday January 31, 2014. (www.thelifeinstitute.ca) on the Ryerson campus south of Gerrard St., between Yonge and Church streets.
Judy’s classes run for six consecutive Fridays starting at 10:10 am until just before noon. Participants must join the LIFE INSTITUTE to take part in its programs. The fee is $80 and offers access to a rich array of activities and events.
“Judy Steed is a gifted, empathetic teacher and
“Meditation with Judy, has been transformative for me. It has helped me to lean into some issues, and put them into perspective.” Colette B.
About the LIFE INSTITUTE: “Our members don’t just develop lifelong learning, they develop lifelong friends. True friendship comes from learning together, doing together and building together. When you participate in LIFE’s programs, you broaden your horizons alongside like-minded individuals. There is so much more to LIFE than the obvious! Spend a little time with us and you’ll learn why we’ve earned the reputation as a friendly 50+ learning program. And, yes, membership has its benefits! Your annual LIFE membership entitles you to: Access Ryerson University facilities, including the Library, Sports Centre and cafeterias. Receive our newsletter, LIFElines three times a year. Register for in social events, clubs, walks, outings and travel opportunities. Take computer courses and access our dedicated LIFE computer education lab (CEL)
Suggested reading for Judy’s program: * Norman Doidge, The Brain that Changes Itself. * Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight * Rick Hanson, Buddha’s Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom
It’s all about brain plasticity – which means we CAN rewire the brain at any age. We CAN teach an old dog new tricks. We can sharpen our memory and our cognition.
We are living in a hopeful time – thanks to “the revolutionary discovery,” in the words of Toronto psychiatrist Norman Doidge, “that the human brain can change itself.”
In The Brain That Changes Itself, Dr. Doidge’s best-selling book on neuroplasticity, he notes that for the past 400 years, we believed the human brain was fixed at birth, only to decline over the years, neurons dying off as we aged. NOT TRUE!
In fact, “the brain can change its own structure and function through thought and activity,” Doidge writes.
WHAT WE THINK AND HOW WE THINK ACTUALLY CHANGES THE STRUCTURE OF THE BRAIN.
American neuroscientist Michael Merzenich, author of Soft-Wired: How the New Science of Brain Plasticity Can Change your Life, is sometimes called “the world’s leading researcher on brain plasticity.” That’s according to Dr. Doidge. who notes Merzenich’s findings that “plasticity exists from the cradle to the grave; and that radical improvements in cognitive functioning – how we learn, think, perceive and remember – are possible even in the elderly.” He believes that the brain “can grow and change itself with proper nourishment and exercise.”
“Ageing causes changes to the brain size, vasculature, and cognition. The brain shrinks with increasing age and there are changes at all levels from molecules to morphology. Incidence of stroke, white matter lesions, and dementia also rise with age, as does level of memory impairment and there are changes in levels of neurotransmitters and hormones. Protective factors that reduce cardiovascular risk, namely regular exercise, a healthy diet, and low to moderate alcohol intake, seem to aid the ageing brain as does increased cognitive effort in the form of education or occupational attainment. A healthy life both physically and mentally may be the best defence against the changes of an ageing brain. Additional measures to prevent cardiovascular disease may also be important.” U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health,
Enjoy life, reduce stress, practice mindfulness – fully alive in the present moment – these are the goals of Judy Steed’s guided practice and programs.