The Kata is a series of movements that exercise the body, mind, heart and soul designed by Integral Transformative Practice co-founder, George Leonard.
Inspired by the martial art of aikido, yoga and strength training, this moving meditation activates all muscle groups and joints, as well as stimulates deep breathing and relaxation throughout the 45 minute series of exercises.
Benefits of the ITP Kata
Practitioners usually dedicate 5 days a week to doing the Kata, and find it’s best to incorporate it into a morning routine for the relaxing and energizing effects it has on your entire day. Other benefits include:
- Balances and centers the body and psyche.
- Articulates the majority of joints in the body and increases flexibility.
- Encourages progressive relaxation and deep, rhythmic breathing.
- Allows for a period devoted to transformative imaging and meditation.
ITP Kata Guidelines
When doing the Kata, think in terms of months or years, not days or weeks. The shift from short-term to long-term thinking and regular practice might be the most important lesson this training can offer.
You don’t need any special equipment or athletic skills to enjoy the immense benefits of the Kata. Create a quiet and comfortable space, large enough to perform stretches and gentle movements on a soft surface.
Start slowly and tune into your own body to help guide you through the series of movements. Remember, you are your own authority and safety is your number one priority.
When experiencing the Kata, it is helpful to:
- Stay in the present moment and notice how you are feeling both internally and externally. Energy follows attention.
- Move from your center (hara). This is your center of mass found just below your navel. By focusing your attention at this point, you can find a sense of calm while grounding and centering.
- Be grounded at all times. Keep your feet connected to the mat and feel the power and energy from the earth.
- Enjoy yourself and find joy in this present moment!
Ready to integrate the Kata into your daily practice?
Watch the excerpt from the Tao of Practice to get a feel for the Kata and how to get integrate the Kata into your daily life.
For those of you located in the San Francisco Bay Area, we offer a weekly kata class, on Wednesdays, at Aikido of Tamalpais in Corte Madera, from 8-9am. Please wear comfortable clothing for movement. Cusions and blankets are available at the dojo. Suggested donation $5. Contact Barry Robbins: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 924-4256 for info.
Visit our ITPI Store and learn more about the Kata series in the
book The Life We Are Given, the DVD The Tao of Practice, and the ITP Kata CD.
“The galaxies exist in you, not printed as mere images within your skull, but in your every cell, your every atom.”