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What is Mindfulness?

“Mindfulness is the awareness that emerges through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, to things as they are, with compassion and open-hearted curiosity.” 

Much of the time we are so lost in thinking and so caught up in what we have to do next, that we can miss out on what is actually happening in each moment. As a result we can end up feeling worried, anxious, stressed, exhausted or depressed. 

Numerous research studies are demonstrating the benefits of mindfulness on the functioning of the human brain, nervous system, digestive system and immune system; on coping with chronic pain and illness; on coping with short- and long-term stress; in treating depression; and on quality of life more generally: improved self-esteem, greater energy and enthusiasm for life, and general happiness and wellbeing. 

Why 8 weeks? 
Extensive research undertaken by Kabat-Zinn and many others has shown that as little as 8-weeks intentional daily practice results in significant changes: not only experientially, but also in the structure and function of the brain and nervous system. See below for more details on this. 

An 8-week course is an invitation: 

  • to get to know your own thoughts, emotions and body sensations much more closely 

  • to recognise familiar patterns and mental habits and realise that there are alternatives 

  • to recognise how you relate to yourself and to others and realise that there are alternatives 

  • to live more fully in the present 

  • above all, to be kinder and more gentle to yourself! 

A growing body of work within neuroscience, particularly using fMRI imaging, is showing how mindfulness training results in changes to both the structure and the function of the brain. 

There is a measurable effect on the heart and the digestive system, via the vagus nerve that connects the brain to major internal organs, and there are measurable increases in immune functioning as a result of an 8-week course. 

About Instructors
Jean Nash - Jean's professional background is in mental health nursing in the NHS. Over the last fourteen years she has been teaching Mindfulness in the NHS and developed this further by training at Bangor University, the Centre for Mindfulness Research and Practice which has international links and expertise.

Sonia Eastwood - Sonia has recently retired from a long career in the NHS as a mental health nurse. She has had an interest in yoga and meditation since the age of 22 which has benefited her throughout her professional and personal life. Her personal practice in these areas fluctuated over the last 34 years but she always retained some links to the skills she had learnt, finding them to be so beneficial.

Price: £225 for 8-week course

Date: Wednesday June 3rd - July 22nd 2020

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