Cover image for Aligned, relaxed, resilient : the physical foundations of mindfulness
Aligned, relaxed, resilient : the physical foundations of mindfulness
Johnson, Will, 1946-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Shambhala, [2000]

Physical Description:
x, 137 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BL624.2 .J64 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



"The emphasis on the mind in meditation can be somewhat misleading- If we pay attention only to mental processes and overlook the experience of the body, we can remain stuck in our heads and not be able to break free of the involuntary thinking that we find so claustrophobic and toxic. This short, practical guide helps us embrace the fact of our embodiment-the experience of the sensations, movements, and gestures of the body-and to realize that mindfulness is the natural state of awareness of a body that has learned how to experience its feeling presence. Johnson takes us through the three primary principles of the posture of meditation- alignment, relaxation, and resilience. He devotes a large part of each chapter to specific practices to help the reader experience different aspects of physical presence. This book is of interest to meditators of all traditions-Buddhists, Hindus, Christians, Jews, and others-as well as therapists, bodyworkers, and anyone interested in body-centered psychology and other natural modes of healing."

Author Notes

"Will Johnson is a certified bodyworker and director of the Institute for Embodiment Training in his hometown of Cobble Hill, British Columbia."

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

In the burgeoning literature on meditation, this fills a special niche. Johnson not only knows meditative traditions--most intimately, the mindfulness tradition of Buddhism--but is also a professional body worker with an expert's knowledge of human physiology. In this brief but ample book, he shows how meditation helps us in three major ways. We become, he argues, aligned not only in terms of posture but in deeper terms of our connections to our bodies and to the earth itself. We also become more relaxed, not lazily but in an alert and lively fashion. Finally, we become more resilent, our immune systems may get a boost, we may become more graceful, but those alterations stem from a greater spiritual flexibility. A fine, approachable, and useful book. --Patricia Monaghan

Library Journal Review

Johnson, director of the Institute for Embodiment Training in Cobble Hill, British Columbia, believes that the body should not be overlooked in meditation. As he points out, the Buddhist principle called mindfulnessÄsensing the body's presenceÄis known as "the royal road to enlightenment." The themes expressed here are largely continuations and reconstructions of those in Johnson's other book on the physical realm of meditation, The Posture of Meditation: A Practical Manual for Meditators of All Traditions. Focusing on bodily sensations and aligning the body so that it is not in opposition to gravity are stressed through numerous metaphors. Just reading Johnson's grounded and rhythmically poetic prose will put one in a meditative state. Suitable for beginning meditators or advanced meditators with somatic orientations, this book is recommended for large public libraries.ÄLeAnna DeAngelo, Springfield, MS (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.