About The Joy Space
We have built our model on evidence-based practices to provide optimal therapeutic benefits in the modalities of Movement, Play, Laughter and Breath.
At The Joy Space we believe that mindful movement, accompanied by curiosity and a playful attitude, can enable us to connect deeply to the joy of being embodied in human form.
Movement exercises are incorporated into all sessions at The Joy Space. These are tailored to the specific audience and can include mindful stretching, walking, playful spinning, vigorous shaking, choreographed and free dance.
Benefits of Movement
- Brings awareness to our physical sensations and assists to anchor our minds in the present moment.
- Allows us to explore our limits and discomfort.
- Improves mental functioning.
- Improves self confidence and self esteem.
- Slow, mindful movement increases the parasympathetic relaxation response which stimulates healing.
- Enhances mobility, muscle coordination, strength and endurance.
- Improves balance and spatial awareness.
Play has been proven to be especially important for the healthy development of children. So too has the role of play and laughter in creating harmonious relationships.
Play is also a natural behaviour for adults and we can continue to utilise play as adults to foster our creativity, for role rehearsal and to promote mind/body integration.
Benefits of Play
- Play is affirming and fun.
- Play can increase self esteem.
- Play allows access to states of wellbeing and calm as well as joy and spontaneity.
- Play can increase capacity for empathy and intimacy.
- Play engages both hemispheres of the brain and can unlock creative potential.
- Play encourages fuller breaths, resulting in better oxygenation of bodies and brains.
- Play relaxes the digestive processes.
- Play eases cardiac tension and general muscle tension.
At The Joy Space we utilise laughter as a modality to enhance our health and wellbeing.
Laughter Yoga (also known as Hasya Yoga), founded by Dr. Madan Kataria in India in 1995, sits at the core of our model and informs many of our practices.
What is Laughter Yoga?
Laughter Yoga is the practice of laughing on purpose.
It is a process that enables us to laugh without the need for comedy or humour.
A program of aerobic laughing exercises is combined with yogic breathing (Pranayama) and rhythmic clapping. This allows us to achieve sustained, unconditional and free-flowing laughter without involving our cognitive thought processes. In other words, our body drives our mind.
Benefits of Laughter Yoga
For our mental and emotional health:
- Boosts mood.
- Reduces stress, anger and anxiety.
- Nurtures creativity.
- Develops self confidence.
For our physical health:
- Enhances our immune system.
- Strengthens cardiovascular functions.
- Boosts the respiratory system.
- Releases endorphins to naturally relieve pain.
For our social wellbeing:
- Improves relationships.
- Promotes social connectedness.
Laughter is a natural outcome of play. At The Joy Space we cultivate your child-like sense of playfulness connecting you to your inner joy and promoting positive social interaction.
We utilise many different forms of play including verbal and physical games, singing, dancing, role playing and creative art.
The brain is plaster, you are the sculptor, and mindfulness meditation is the tool” – Joseph Emet.
The Joy Space uses the teachings of the great Zen master, THICH NHAT HANH and the techniques of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction to bring conscious awareness to ourselves, our relationships and to the world around us.
Breath awareness, guided meditations and grounding exercises are a feature of all our workshops and classes.
When we practice meditation we attempt to transcend the body, mind and emotions.
When we practice mindfulness we attempt to achieve a mental state of being conscious and aware by focusing on our awareness of the present moment. We calmly acknowledge and accept one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations.
Both of these practices use a focused attention on the breath and can be helpful in taming our emotions when they spiral out of control or when we are wanting to elicit a relaxation response in ourselves.
Benefits of Mindful Meditation
- Improves overall quality of life.
- Promotes positivity.
- Reduces stress and anxiety.
- Assists in controlling anger, self-regulation.
- Enhances relationships.
- Promotes the development of a grateful and compassionate heart.