16 Reasons Meditation is Good For You

Benefits of Meditation: a Short List



  1. reduces stress
  2. improves focus and concentration
  3. supports healthy living through greater awareness of body and mind
  4. reduces reactivity
  5. increases capacity for flexibility and adaptability
  6. reduces rigidity of thinking
  7. increases creativity across the board
  8. reduces relationship stress by increasing empathy and compassion
  9. increases capacity for emotional regulation
  10. reduces anxiety, depression
  11. increases happiness
  12. makes it easier to deal with inevitable difficulties (acceptance)
  13. slows aging – maintaining great mental sharpness and reducing worry lines
  14. increases heart lung (cardiovascular health) as we reduce stress
  15. supports a strong immune system
  16. improves overall well-being

Not bad for sitting still and attending to the breath! And, unlike many medications, there’s no unpleasant side effects.



Classes at the American Rhythm Center June 8-Aug 16


Classes at the American Rhythm Center

Summer Session: June 8 – August 16

Yang Tai Chi (24 form) Tuesday 5:30-6:30pm

Perfect for beginners or experienced tai chi players. The world’s most popular form of tai chi is easy to learn yet maintains the traditional feel of longer and more complex forms.

We’ll focus on how to apply the lessons of tai chi to reducing stress and increasing flow in your every day life. This class is perfect for anyone wanting to shed stress, worry, anxiety and gain greater well-being, happiness and enjoyment of life’s simple pleasures. You’ll gain mental and emotional flexibility, an overall softening of the heart/mind, as well as better balance and immune response! No special gear or prior experience required, though soft soled shoes are recommended.

Meditation Happy Hour Fridays at lunch noon-1pm

Ease into your weekend by giving your self some headspace and much needed balance in body and mind. Let your tension and stress melt away with an hour of gentle, mindful movement and guided meditation. Learn to create mental space, cultivate emotional intelligence, work with negative emotions, do quick centering strategies. Come as you are. No special clothing or gear needed.

Call to sign up now! You can drop in or buy a ten-class pack! First week free.

Free-4-All 2015! June 8 – 14!
Click Here for FREE Class Schedule!

A one-time class card registration fee is required in order to purchase the 10-class or course cards.  You can click here to be redirected to a MindBody shopping cart to pay the card registration fee. You can continue to add classes directly in MindBody.

Or sign up for a single class or series of classes directly from the schedule below.
Registration may also be done at the studio.  Please arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of class to register.

American Rhythm Center
at The Fine Arts Building
410 S. Michigan, 3rd Floor
(312) 922-1272

Startling Workplace Stress Data

80% is a Very High Number

desk office stress

80% of workers feel stress on the job, nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress and 42% say their coworkers need such help; (stress.org)

Good News!

This is fixable. We can help.

Contact us for a free informational interview to learn more.


Shawn Achor on Positive Psychology and Work

I just have to share this great TED Talk by psychologist, Shawn Achor.

He says everything, (very fast), that I have read, learned and now believe to be true about the relationship between happiness and business. These ideas are central to the work we do with business, organizations and individuals.

I’d add that what we add to his equation, is mindfulness and focus or attention training, as the bedrock on which happiness can be built. Studies show that mind-wandering, a lack of focus is associated with depression and unhappiness. And of course, those things are not associated with success in business or in our personal lives.

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you, your team, your company, your community.

All is Change…

…Just look at the weather!

Yesterday was nearly 80 and today is about half that. It’s 48 here in the Windy city.


And what do we do? We complain.

Maybe yesterday some said, “Oh, it’s too hot!” And today, some will say, “Holy cow, it’s too cold!” We joke and say well, this is Chicago after all, give it five minutes, the weather will change. Funny thing is, where ever I’ve lived, that’s what people say. But we like to dramatize the weather. We talk as if the weather was personally out to mess us up, individually. Given what we know about global climate change, I’d say, it seems rather more the other way around.

But, here’s the thing; in terms of our personal suffering on account of things which change on a moment to moment basis:everything is like this. When we complain, we only make things worse for ourselves.

Suffering arises when we resist what is. Whether it’s the weather or sickness, old age, even death. None of these things can we stop. We all go through them.

What helps alleviate this unhappiness is learning to practice mindfulness that shows us the true nature of reality: the constant flow and change that is the very essence of all things including ourselves.

Through mindfulness we learn to observe without judging and in this space we can find our freedom, our happiness.and the realization that we are all in this together. We can experience this in every breath. So when you are feeling tossed about by change or feeling small and alone, pausing to breathe can restore our balance and connection to all things.

This is simple but not easy. So we have classes, like Meditation Happy Hour and free 2nd Saturday Mindfulness groups. Give it a try. We’d love to see you here.

And for today…don’t like something weather or otherwise? Try taking a breath and just saying, I consent or This too. It allows us to soften to the moment and accept what is. I picked those up from Tara Brach’s amazing book, True Refuge, which I totally recommend.

Remember, you got this! Make today amazing loves!


Mindful Movement Motivation Monday

Mindful Movement Class at Marsh Insurance Brokers and Risk Management. It was very windy but sunny and so wonderful! Thanks so much for inviting us to your offices.

Mindful movement classes release stress and create a sense of being open to the moment with greater ease. This can lead to more peaceful and productive days at work,

The equation is very simple really. Mindfulness helps us remain in the present moment, intentionally and non-judgmentally. This in turn allows us to be happier, more flexible, accepting of what comes. Happy people have higher IQs, are more creative and energetic.

It’s no mystery that those people are going to be outstanding employees and are going to help your company thrive.

There’s quantifiable, proven science to back this up. The annual losses to American companies each year are staggering; over five billion dollars. But, as Aetna C.E.O., Mark Bertolini found, that can be turned around. In fact, with only about a third of Aetna’s employees taking part in their companies free access to yoga and mediation, the company saved enough to give its lowest paid workers a 33% raise just from the money saved in getting back lost work time, about 62 minutes per week, which regained the company about $3000-$3500 per employee per year. Levels of negative stress and pain went down 19-28 percent. And so, workers have more to be happy about than their raises.


Want to make these kinds of changes at your company? We can help.

Two Tips for More Mindfulness of Listening at Work

Probably We All Think We’re Great Listeners

In fact though, when we’re supposed to be focused on what someone else is saying, our minds can be very busy with all kinds of thoughts. We may be lost in the past, projecting into the future, worrying about what we’ll say next, concerned about what action we might take next and how that will be perceived, and what about our reputations?

When We Onto All These Worries, We Hear Nothing

Sharon Salzberg, in her book, Real Happiness at Work, says, “In order to improve communication, we must learn to be mindful of what would best achieve the goals of both parties. Listening to understand without agreeing or disagreeing can show you how open you are to someone’s ideas – and how open they can be to yours.

Two Tips for More Mindful Listening

1. As you begin engage with someone in conversation at work, whether one-on-one or in a group, sit and allow your hands to relax and just rest somewhere comfortably. Really focus on the feeling of relaxing the palms of the hands, then the fingers, completely. Then attune your listening to the person speaking. When the hands are relaxed it’s nearly impossible to be tense and closed. AS the body opens, so does the listening heart and mind.

2. If you know you have a meeting or conversation coming up, make a commitment to yourself to listen more than you talk. Allow pauses to arise between verbal exchanges. In those pauses, is great wisdom. Let the words of the other sink in. Give yourself permission to take your time to reflect on your common goals and what you might want to hear in return if you were the person speaking.