Mindfulness is the ability to be in the present moment. Whether that is at work, driving or taking a walk. It’s about completely being present and aware of what you are doing and feeling. It's accepting what is...in the here and now.
Mindfulness can be honed by meditation, yoga and qigong practice. You can also simply bring your attention to the everyday activities you do. Something as simple as doing the dishes can be a mindful practice. This can extend to your favourite sport so you can enjoy it even more and perform even better. It can bring you firmly into your activity with focused awareness and strong concentration.
The 8 week mindful movement course I teach is the qigong form called Hatchi-Danken - 8 silk of brocades. This is originally from Japan and was taught in the Zen temples to keep the monks body supple and flexible. It utilises 8 movements that connect mind, breath and movement as one. It can help with increased flexibility, improved posture, correct breathing patterns and opens up the joints for increased mobility. It can slow down the mind to such an extent that peace can enter.
The research on Mindfulness practice has been documented since 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, with the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program, and has thousands of studies documenting the mental and physical benefits of mindfulness. This has inspired schools, prisons and hospitals to add the practice to their programmes. The mindfulness programme at these Institutions, now gives great benefits for health and well-being, including:
∙ Improved sleep quality. ∙ Improved blood circulation. ∙ Reduces negative emotions and stress. ∙Fights depression and prevents relapse. ∙ Improves memory, attention skills and decision making. ∙ Increased awareness to your mind, body and environment. ∙ Enhances relationships. ∙ Builds a stronger sense of yourself and your values. ∙ Makes us more resilient. ∙ Reduces anxiety.