Posts tagged depression
What is Mindfulness?

What Is Mindfulness?

mindfulnessDo you keep hearing the word 'mindfulness' and wonder what the heck everyone's on about? It'd be hard to ignore all of the press attention that mindfulness is getting right now, with recent articles in The Guardian, Huffington Post and The Times. You've no doubt heard about initiatives promoting mindfulness in schools, mindfulness in the workplace, mindful eating... even mindfulness for pets (no kidding)!

So what is all the fuss about? What actually is mindfulness, and why should you be doing it? Here is our simple guide to get you started.

1. Yes, mindfulness is meditation! Mindfulness is a secular (non-religious) form of meditation which can be used by everyone. But don't worry, you don't have to sit on the floor cross-legged if you don't want to - mindfulness practice can happen anytime, anywhere.

2. How does mindfulness work? Most of us don’t realise that our daily lives are dominated by distraction and mind chatter. And that distraction and mind chatter winds up being the force that drives us much of the day in terms of what we do, what we react to, and how we feel. Mindfulness teaches us simple practices to move beyond this, bringing calmness, focus, clarity and inspiration.

3. What do mindfulness practices involve? A typical exercise might involve mindfully eating a square of chocolate or a single raisin. Other exercises involve focussing fully on your breath as it enters and leaves your body, observing thoughts as they arise and practising letting them come and go with ease, without engaging with them.

4. Will mindfulness stop my life from being so stressful? Mindfulness won't get rid of life's stresses and pressures. It will, however, radically alter the way you handle them! It helps us to recognise and move away from our habitual reactions, enabling us to respond to events with calmness and ease.

5. Where's the proof that it works? Mindfulness has been subject to over 600 scientific studies, such has been the academic community's interest in figuring it out. Due to its track record it is now widely used in the NHS as an effective treatment for depression and anxiety. Click here to find out more about the science of mindfulness.

6. Ok, I'm convinced. How can I get started? If you'd like to dip your toe into mindfulness our 4 week Mindfulness ABC course is a great place to start. Or if you want to really get stuck into this practice we're running the acclaimed 8 week Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction course later this month. We also work with companies looking to incorporate mindfulness into their wellbeing programmes. Email to find out more about mindfulness can benefit your organisation.

Top 5 Habits of Healthy, Happy Mums

Top 5 Habits of Healthy, Happy Mums

mymHow often are you left feeling frazzled as a mother? Torn between  your kids, your job, your partner and a hectic social life? Sometimes it just feels like there aren't nearly enough hours in the day, let alone the possibility of a little "me time" - what a luxury that would be, right? Well, we have some great news for you! There is time. It's simply a case of taking time to make a little time. Discover a way of being in the world that is a little less stressful, a little more luxurious, and you'll soon find that by being good to yourself, you're much more able to fulfil all of your duties and obligations to others, with ease and a genuine smile! Here's how:

1. Practice mindfulness.

Most of us don’t realise that our daily lives are dominated by distraction and mind chatter. And that distraction and mind chatter winds up being the force that drives us much of the day in terms of what we do, what we react to, and how we feel. Mindfulness teaches us simple practices to move beyond this, bringing calmness, focus, clarity and inspiration. Find out more about Mindfulness here.

2. Ask for help when you need it.

Sometimes we worry that by asking for help we're sending out signals that we can't cope, or that we're not fully independent. Healthy, happy mums are confident in just how nonsensical a notion this is! Developing a healthy interdependence with those around you can be challenging as when we ask for something, we put ourselves in a position of vulnerability. According to Brene Brown our ability to be vulnerable requires courage and forms the basis for our connection with others, a connection that is critical if we are to inspire others and live healthy, happy lives.

3. Practice acceptance.

Stop being at war with yourself. If heavy traffic is making you late, think how much more stressful the situation is because you are angry about the fact that heavy traffic is making you late. Accept that which you cannot change. By doing so, you are accepting reality.

4. Remember to breathe.

The next time you find pulling your hair out stop, step back from the situation and take 3 deep breaths. It's amazing how we have our own "reset" buttons right at our fingertips yet rarely do we fully utilise the power of the breath to change the way we think and feel. Learn more here

5. "Me time" is not a luxury!

Healthy, happy mums recognise that "me time" is not a luxury but an absolute essential. By taking time out to recharge your batteries you're not only helping yourself but everyone around you too. We're all a lot more fun to be around and more productive, after a little pampering. It needn't break the bank either. Why not take a bath, head to yoga class, try something you've never done before or simply put your feet up with a good book? You absolutely deserve it, remember that.

Women's healthMother's Day is just around the corner...

Bring your mum (or mum-in-law) along to Camyoga for free from Mon 24 March to Sun 30 March. Call us on 0223 847930 to book her in! "Health is the greatest gift", said the Buddha. So forget the flowers and chocolates this year and give your deserving Mum the enduring gift of yoga. We've a wide selection of Gift Cards available to suit all budgets. How about a month's pass to get her started? Learn more... 
Julian Huppert MP Tries Mindfulness at Camyoga!

Julian Huppert MP Gets Mindful at Camyoga

The beauty of a mindfulness practice is that it simply just works. Increasing clinical evidence for its efficacy and the wider availability of mindfulness courses (such as this one) mean that mindfulness is no longer the preserve of progressive NHS services, Google execs and those working in the wellbeing industry. If greater proof were needed that mindfulness has finally gone mainstream, then it has certainly arrived in the revelation that even our MPs are practising it , with over 50 of them signed up to sessions provided in Westminster.

With this in mind, our very own Julian Huppert MP was keen to join us at Camyoga for a session! Here's what he had to say: “It was great to have a chance to pause and focus on what’s happening now rather than all the business there normally is to deal with. I’m constantly having to look at email and Twitter so it will be good to do some mindfulness practice I do that.”

But you don't need to be involved with running the country to benefit from mindfulness practices. Click here to find out about our Mindfulness ABC course, starting on 7th February and get ready to live a more stress free life!


The stillness of the blue waterReflects whirling disks of light Embracing the air

Eastern teaching often describe the seven Chakras as "whirling disks of light". Chakras are energy vortexes in the body that are located at various points along the spine. Starting at the base (of the spine) and running upwards towards the crown of the head each Chakra radiates a specific colour and energy. Furthermore, as each Chakra relates to specific spiritual, emotional, psychological and physical issues, the conscious awareness and the balancing of these energy centres lead to an overall health and well-being.

Since a Chakra treatment in 2010, which made feel feel like a whole person again,  I always wanted to know more about chakras. Chatting to Andrea, I realised that tomorrow's masterclass could satisfy my curiosity.  It is especially exciting because it will be part of a series of masterclasses exploring Chakras. If you are interested, join us on the Yoga Flow Masterclass – 17-11-2012.

The First Chakra (Muladhara) or "Root Chakra" located at the very base of the spine consists of energy paths that extend downward like a root through the legs and feet, grounding you to the Earth.

In this first of a seven part series we will explore and awaken the First Chakra, improving our connection with earth through standing poses and seated forward bends in an all-levels Yoga Flow class.

Come join if you like!