introduction to meditation
The mind is like a muscle, it needs exercise to stay strong. Neuroscience is providing outstanding evidence that the brain is more plastic (as in its ability to be manipulated to change), than was once thought, and that by strengthening neural pathways, we can develop new ways of thinking and responding to life's challenges. Meditation is a transformational tool which when practiced regularly, can help us respond more effectively to everyday stress and gain more control over our thoughts and emotions. Studies into the brain have shown that people who meditate regularly have a reduction in cortisol (a stress hormone responsible for the fight, flight or freeze response), making them better able to cope with stress, are generally more relaxed, happier and less likely to suffer from anxiety and depression among many other benefits including improved memory and cognitive function. But setting up a daily practice can be challenging and this course has been designed not only to teach the basic principles and reliable techniques, but you will also learn ways to overcome barriers and excuses for creating a daily practice. So if you are ready to take the next step and welcome in new habits that could help transform your life, then this is a great place to start! Sessions rotate on a 8 week basis, with each session acting as a drop in workshop.
Our next course starts on Wednesday 6th March but you can drop in to any session!
Sessions last 1 hour and will develop your skills in a different area each week:
Week 1: Introduction to meditation, what it is and what it is not. Why we meditate and how to set up the foundations of a good practice. How to meditate.
Week 2: Developing a practice, meditation objects, watching the breath.
Week 3: Watching thoughts, mind wandering and what to do, deepening awareness of meditation objects.
Week 4: Body scanning, mindfulness of body, bringing meditation into everyday situations.
Week 5: Gratitude, using meditation to cultivate loving kindness.
Week 6: Going deeper, longer meditations, distractions and how to use them.
Week 7: The parts of the breath, strengthening the ‘meditation muscle’.
Week 8: Making meditation stick, securing our practice, what next.
The Health Works, 111a Hoe Street, Walthamstow, E17 4RX
Days and Times: Wednesdays 6-7pm
Cost: Drop in £8/£6 concessions, full 8 week course £56/48 concessions. For concessions please bring evidence of benefits on the first day of attendance.
Please wear loose clothing and feel free to bring along any cushions if you wish to use your own.
Please note: this is a secular course which acknowledges some Buddhist meditation techniques but is not tied to any faith and you will not be taught any aspects of the religion or its practices. Although meditation can help with stress reduction and management, this course is not equivalent to an MBSR/MBCT course and it is advisable that if you are suffering from acute stress, depression or anxiety, you should seek medical advice before entering onto this course.
Mindfulness in Schools
Mindfulness is an important life skill which is fast becoming recognised as an effective strategy for reducing the negative impact of stress and anxiety, brought about my modern living and fast paced lifestyles. Because of this and the many other positive benefits attributed, more and more schools are adopting mindfulness into their curriculum, with research demonstrating hugely rewarding impacts on young peoples health and wellbeing, as well as improving their ability to stay focussed on their learning and cope better during stressful times inside and outside of school. We are proud to offer the .b programme designed and developed by MiSP (Mindfulness in Schools Project), with full accreditation from the organisation. The curriculum offers an in-depth introduction to mindfulness for secondary school students and staff, that is accessible and immediately useable for beginners, making it very user friendly and appealing for young people and staff with little, no or some knowledge of mindfulness techniques. With 9 years experience as a classroom teacher, Rowenna is also an experienced secondary teacher with outstanding planning, delivery and classroom management skills.
As well as learning how to become more present, reduce the effects of stress and anxiety, gain more control of their emotions and responses, students develop communication and relationship skills (including fostering a more positive relationship with the self as well as others), and learn vital techniques for improving focus, behavioural and sleeping patterns. This course has been fully endorsed by leading professionals in the field of mindfulness and psychology, and is completely secular and accessible to people of all backgrounds. We can offer the .b programme as a series of session of up to 10 weeks for students and staff, which can be tailored to the needs of your school, timetable and students. Sessions last from 45mins-1 hour but can also be delivered as part of an inset or drop down/PSHCE day.
In addition to this, or as a stand alone, we can offer your teachers mindfulness based meditation classes to help combat the effects of stress. We all know that schools are challenging places to work, and with higher demands on teaching staff than ever, we need to ensure that our teachers are well equipped to deal with the daily stresses of the modern school.
Feel free to contact Rowenna to discuss how we can support your school to become a mindfulness school, or visit the MiSP website for more information on the .b programme:
Mindfulness in the workplace
staff wellbeing packages
Recent research has found that stress is the number one reason for staff absence from work, losing companies millions of pounds each year. With mental health issues on the rise in the UK, staff wellbeing is becoming a major focus of many organisations, and with mindfulness and meditation being one of the most effective ways combat stress, even doctors are suggesting their patients take it up. Meditation is fast becoming recognised as an effective way to manage stress and has been proven to lower levels of cortisol - a stress hormone which helps activate the body's fight, flight or freeze response, and increase levels of serotonin - a chemical found in the body which promotes feelings of happiness and wellbeing. Many workplaces are introducing meditation as a way to help improve and support wellbeing among their staff, as not only can it help your staff manage their stress levels more effectively, support higher brain function and productivity levels, it can also promote a generally happier workforce and atmosphere. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss how we can tailor a package to suit your staff and workplace needs.