What’s With Mindfulness?

You have to have been living under a rock if you haven’t seen an article talking about all of the benefits of mindfulness. But, what is it exactly and what is the difference between meditation and mindfulness? Let’s go back to around 1979… Jon Kabat-Zinn was working at a clinic and trying to get his patients to be open to the idea of meditation. Because there are a lot of judgments surrounding what meditation is and thoughts that it has to be a spiritual experience, he decided to call it mindfulness. After doing so, his clients were open to trying meditation (or mindfulness) and saw a huge amount of benefits from it. Jon eventually developed a source of training called Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), which is commonly used today to beat stress and anxiety.

A lot of people assume that in order to meditate or have a mindfulness practice, it has to look and feel a certain way. The truth is, it may be different for everyone! Some find it helpful to sit on the ground, but some prefer a chair. We typically recommend not laying down unless you are more awake, as you may find sleeping too easy!  Whatever position, just ensure it’s comfortable but you still feel energized. If there are noises to be distracted by, try playing some light music that just involves instruments rather than vocals.

And, while there are a ton of guided meditations/mindfulness practices on YouTube, we find Les Mills’ videos to be really enjoyable and well done. Here’s one of theirs to try out:

This practice focuses on developing our concentration. By allowing our mind to focus on counting our breaths, we can reduce the natural busyness of the mind, and give it a chance to be still and find some ease, helping us look at our experience with a fresh and more spacious perspective.

Les Mills Mindfulness, Concentration: TEN COUNTS

Let us know how this goes. If you loved it or wish to get better, try out some of our yoga and Body Flow classes as well. They always include meditation at the end of class, which are sometimes guided.

author: Angela Bland