“In for a count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Out for a count of 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. Use your diaphragm.”
I recently enjoyed a group Zoom guided yoga/mindfulness meditation session, led by Orlando Integrative Lifestyle Coach Alpa Raval. In the time of Covid, the need for humans to step back from constant stimuli and worldly cares is greater than ever.
Like many of us, I spend most of my days tensed up in front of a computer screen, and much of my leisure time, expecting my spindly neck to support my bowling ball head as I look down at my mobile device. I’ve used a cellphone app to listen to guided meditations for years, seeking to alleviate body tension, teeth grinding and sleep troubles, but this experience was different. The immersive experience of having a living teacher, who both practiced and led simultaneously in real time, elevated my practice.
She didn’t just speak at the participants, expecting us to blindly follow along. Ms. Raval shared the historical background of the practice of yoga—not just a series of stretches, but she applied three-fold focus on our practice, guided by intention. 1) Breathing to warm and flex our diaphragm. 2) Stretching exercises to wake up our energy channels. 3) Focused awareness to notice the monkey mind. From awareness, Alpa guided us into a mindfulness meditation in order to synthesize all these experiences. Alpa says she offers an integrative therapy of yoga and meditation is designed to wake up your own healer within. She says “When you calm the stress response, your body’s healing process becomes more powerful.”
Alpa will soon be offering a free weekly educational series on her Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/alpayoga to answer the questions Why meditate? and How do we meditate? featuring 15-minute guided practices, starting October 2, 2020 — the birthday of Mahatma Ghandi.
Ms. Alpa Raval has a demonstrated history of working in the higher education industry. Ms. Raval has a Master’s Degree in Yoga healing arts and Meditation. She is a healing arts specialist at the integrative medicine department at UF Cancer Center at Orlando Health. She has committed herself of teaching and serving local community in the Orlando area.