Spoiler alert… Mindfulness is not all about the mind. Apologies if I have shattered any illusions you had, but Mindfulness is also about being present with our bodies. Many of us live our lives from the neck up as if our heads were not connected to our body. It’s not until the body lets us down in some way by presenting pain or other symptoms that we pay it some attention, usually by taking it off to the doctor in the hope we will be offered a quick fix to make everything better.
In our Mindfulness practice we firstly learn to recognise distraction and settle our minds. We then move to the next stage which is Grounding. In Grounding, we begin to focus our attention on the sensations in our bodies, touch in with areas of tightness or tension, and recognise if we feel cool or warm. Often we begin by scanning through the body, just checking in with how it’s doing. Once we have ‘zoomed in’on different areas, we can then ‘zoom out’ and become aware of our whole body in its entirety. We can simply rest in the body, being aware of how it feels and of the space around it.
One of the key Mindfulness body practices is called the body scan. During this exercise, we can spend up to half an hour sitting or lying down and paying each part of our body very close attention. When we do this it is really important to cultivate an attitude of compassion towards ourselves. Often we have complicated relationships with our bodies,therefore we approach this practice in a kind and gentle manner, showing gratitude and appreciation to our body and everything it does for us. If we can do this, then we are open to receiving all of the wisdom our body holds. Through the body, a great deal can be revealed to us about the habits of our mind. Our body is always present. It cannot go into the past or the future (unlike the mind) and therefore has a great deal to teach us about being in the present moment.
– Ashley Watson
10:00 – 11:30
£12 drop in (also available on Daily Practice Pass and blocks of 5 or 10)