MINDFULNESS – What is it?
Whoaaaa ,slow down – LIFE is way too busy. You will hear the term MINDFULNESS more and more often, so what it is? I think we can all agree that our lives have got busier with each passing decade. There is relentless communications, social media, the expectation of constant contact and demands of daily life personal and professional. It’s important therefore to find and cultivate time for ourselves. A yoga session, a workout, a warm bath and soft music, whatever it is – we need to nurture ourselves from burnout. Mindfulness is a method of being aware of yourself and finding yourself only in the present moment. Not worrying about the future, not ruminating on the past, just the here and now, taking the time to STOP and smell the roses (pic: watch nature in action, bumble bee pollinating a flower in NZ). The best part of mindfulness is that it can done anywhere, anytime and can bring contentment and satisfaction when you master the art of it. It is why mindfulness is so effective for anxiety, depression, stress, and PTSD. My favourite place to practice is definitely outdoors, even better still at the end of a day’s walk on a hike, sitting on top of a mountain or beside a stream.
A strange thing happens when you practice meditation and mindfulness on a frequent basis – you tend to appreciate the small things around you, you find a little peace in that busy mind. But the one thing I have noticed over the last 4 years of practicing and teaching is to keep it realistic when you start. Results are not instant, it’s normal for your thoughts to float off on different tangents. Don’t give up thinking it’s too hard or that you can’t do it. Don’t for one minute think that everyone else around you is sitting in a perfect lotus position and is completely zoned, leaving you as the only one with 9000 thoughts that simply won’t shut off (did I turn the dishwasher on, what’s for dinner, I need petrol,ohh don’t forget to pick up the kids!!)
Remember you have to practice something to perfect the art of it. Mindfulness is a process of controlling and calming the mind and focusing back on the here and now. Yes it takes practice but it’s also worth the effort . In our yoga sessions or on our hikes you can learn how to meditate and do mindfulness using a number of different techniques. It has direct health benefits which we have seen first hand during our 6 – 7 week challenges. Next challenge starts 4 Oct 16.
We are all individuals with different needs so don’t be afraid to try different methods. Come and join us for a Yoga class or be adventurous and join us on the next Women’s trekking adventure in NZ, 8 – 13 May 17.Limited spaces available. Email us here for more information on our programs or hikes