ALL WE HAVE IS NOW
Do you feel life is flying by? Always in a rush, so much to do and people to see, we sometimes forget about ourselves and our state of mind. At Rocycle you can have that moment of me-time, those 45 (or 60, or even 90 ha!) minutes where it’s all about you. But do you ever spend any other time focusing inward and on yourself?
As you know, we are about Mind, Body and Music, and our instructors are trained to help you enjoy all of that. Last week they had a great workshop by Davina Parsley about mindfulness and meditation, and we want to share this brand new knowledge with you.
What is mindfulness, exactly? Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one’s attention to the present moment, which can be developed through the practice of meditation or other training. It means paying attention in a particular way – on purpose, in the present and non-judgmentally (Jon Kabat Zinn, 2001).
Until recently, most people thought of monks in lotus position up in the Himalayas for hours on end when they thought of meditation. But that’s not the case anymore. Meditation is now modern, with all sorts of apps and other outlets that make meditation accessible for everybody.
The benefits of meditation are long-standing and evidenced in scientific research that shows how it improves both physical and psychological health. A 2003 study conducted by Davidson, Kabat-Zinn and others found that it improves brain function and the immune system. Another study showed its ability to improve your working memory capacity as well as the potential alteration of the physical structure of the brain in a positive way.
While meditation is a way to become more mindful, they are not one and the same.
Mindfulness is being aware of the world around you. With mindfulness, you focus your attention on the present and mute your thoughts about later. The focus is on what you are doing in this moment and enjoying it. Mindfulness means that you are more aware of everything, and, while this sounds nebulous, it is beneficial to practice mindfulness in all that you do.
How often do you eat a meal without really tasting it? Have a shower without thinking about what you are doing? Listen to a friend talking while thinking about something else, whether it’s what you plan to say next or wondering where you can grab a croissant nearby? By consciously bringing the attention to these every day experiences, they become more fulfilling and more spiritually nourishing. You don’t have to do this every second of every day, just more often. Choosing one routine task each day and making this your mindfulness practice can help to establish the habit. And, before you know it, you’ll be doing it more and more!
Mindfulness meditation is a form of meditation that focuses your conscious attention on the here and now, helping you to be truly present in the moment. With this form of meditation, you train your brain to separate urgent issues and background noise. Each day, you are confronted with so much information and so many emotions that it makes it difficult to process. Through mindfulness meditation, you are able to better focus on the important issues. Through regular meditation practice, some people come to sleep better, feel happier and achieve both personal and professional goals with ease.
In short, all you need to do is take a few moments to focus and experience what you are doing throughout the day, as well as to find the time for a breathing exercise. It’s as easy as taking ten minutes after breakfast but before you run out the door. Try to find a breathing exercise with a voice that you like that will guide you through the moment – you can find one on YouTube or through an app – helping you slow down, pause for just a moment. Meditation isn’t about getting rid of your thoughts; it’s about being at ease with them. Find a moment every day to meditate, whether it is 2 minutes or 20, and build it into your daily routine, as you would with a shower or brushing your teeth. Eventually, you’ll feel like you have more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. Remember, there is no right or wrong, no bad or good with meditation. All that matters is you do it. You’ll feel better after. We promise.
If you want to learn more go to: www.tameyourmind.co.uk