Monday, 26 August 2013

We offer two courses on Mindfulness i.e. an Introduction to Mindfulness for Health and a full 8 week course on Mindfulness. 

Introduction to Mindfulness for Health

This one day course will give an introduction to various approaches to mindfulness-meditation, including some gentle movement (based on yoga, T’ai Chi and Qiong). We will introduce three mindfulness meditations: the bodyscan, the Mindfulness of Breathing and the Kindly Awareness practice.
This introduction day will be suitable for anyone suffering from stress or poor health, and will teaching the methods of “coming home” to our present experience, inhabiting our bodies more fully, quietening the restless mental activity (anxiety and stress) that we can all suffer from, when we are not able to switch off from our on-going “internal dialogue” (over-active thinking). 
This day would also serve as a refresher or practice day for those who have already done the longer course.
As we will be working on the floor for some of the time (mat work exercises and some meditations), please bring a yoga mat, blanket or cushion.
Term 4 Sunday 12 October 2013 or 8 December 2013
Fee $40
Time 11 am – 4 pm

Location Risingholme Community Centre; please use the entrance at 99 Hawford Road

Tutor Mike Inman

Mindfulness (full course)

This course will explore various approaches to mindfulness-meditation, with guided meditation-relaxation practices, and gentle movement (based on yoga, T’ai chi and Qigong). The course is suitable for anyone suffering from stress or poor health, and will teach methods of ‘coming home’ to our present experience, inhabiting our bodies more fully, quietening the restless mental activity (anxiety and stress) that we can all suffer from, when we are not able to ‘switch off’ from our ongoing ‘internal dialogue’ (over-active thinking).
What will I learn?
  • Learn to inhabit the body more fully – rather than living in the noisy ’internal dialogue’ of constant thinking.
  • Learn awareness of breathing, how and where the breath comes from in the body.
  • Learn how poor breathing (not paying attention to how we breathe) may be associated with tension and stress.
  • Learn to work with positive emotion and kindness to self and others.
  • Learn to live in the ‘present moment’ rather than in the past or future. Take time ‘to smell the flowers’.
  • Learn ‘pacing’ how to moderate our daily activities, and avoid the ‘boom bust’ cycle of overdoing and burnout, or living on ‘nervous energy’ and stress.
  • Learn to keep a ‘daily activity log’ and pacing diary
  • Learn an appreciation of poetry, beauty and aesthetics – and how to stay positive and present in our experience
  • Learn how ‘staying present’ and cultivating ‘kindness and generosity’ can reduce any anxiety or social phobia in interactions with other people in the workplace or daily life, and lead to more creative outcomes.
  • Learn how to potentially use these skills of attention to body sensation, breath and positive emotion in any ‘challenging’ situation – to further educational goals (exams etc), job interviews and workplace skills, and increase confidence, relaxation and self-assurance.
  • Learn how to potentially also use these skills in any communication to ‘ground’ and ‘ease’ any situation by being ‘centred’ in oneself, and staying with awareness of breath, emotion and body sensation to allay anxiety and stress.
This course is suitable for (almost) everyone. There are no pre-course requirements.
There is a suggested reading list if you would like to read more about Mindfulness and Health, but it is not necessary to read anything if you don’t want to.

Mindfulness-based stress reduction, and Mindfulness-based pain-management can be very helpful for those living with pain and illness, and people can attend this course with any health issue. The gentle exercises are simple and safe, and suitable for those who may not have good levels of fitness.
However, this course will probably not be suitable for those with significant ‘learning disabilities’, or for those with other mental health issues.
Mindfulness based approaches have been also been used to help prevent relapse into substance use (e.g. alcohol) and addiction – but this course would not be suitable for those currently in withdrawal.
‘Mindfulness’ has also been used (e.g. mindfulness based cognitive behavioural therapy) for helping to prevent relapse into depression, but again this course will not be suitable for those currently depressed.

About your tutor
Mike grew up in England and studied Acupuncture, T’ai Chi and Qigong from his early 20’s, going to China to study at a teaching hospital there (1987) after finishing his diploma in London. He then spent time in Japan (teaching English) and continuing his study of acupuncture and Qigong. Returning to London, he studied Osteopathy, and then Chinese Herbal medicine. He also continued his interest in ‘practical’ meditation and yoga and his interest lies in body-mind awareness (integration) and practices as they can be applied in modern healthcare and healing.
Mike trained in the Breathworks programme (UK) from 2004, training also with its founder Vidymala Burch, among others, and it is this training that has perhaps had the greatest influence on the Mindfulness for Health material presented here. 
Mike lives with his family in Linwood, Christchurch, where he practices as an Osteopath, Naturopath and Acupuncturist.

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