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What is all the Rage about Mindfulness Practice?

Three advantages to beginning a mindfulness practice:  

  1. it is not time-consuming – five minutes at any time of day will help ease the mind 
  2. mindfulness practices can be done anywhere 
  3. it is cost-effective


Mindfulness is self-regulation of attention facilitated through:



We typically don’t observe the quality of our breath until we feel an emotion that steals our breath. Spending time slowing the breath down and practicing to regulate the breath at off-peak stress times will allow you to channel that calm breath in times of stress. Use the breath as a tool to calm the parasympathetic nervous system down to return to a state of calm.  


Seated Meditation: 

There is a misunderstanding that meditation is about training yourself to cease all thoughts. The practitioner brings awareness into the present moment to observe thoughts and witness emotions tied to those thoughts without assigning judgment. The technique reduces stress and anxiety by allowing the practitioner to come to a state of acceptance to what is rather than trying to manipulate what was or will be


Movement Meditations: 

You may find you already have a movement-based practice that brings calm. Yogis practice the physical postures to train the body to be able to sit in seated meditation. Other movement meditations you likely have incorporated into your life are gardening, knitting, walking, running, and even, dare I say it, cleaning the house! When the body is actively involved in a repetitive or focused movement, the mind must be present. If you are engaged in movement meditation and your mind leaves the task at hand you will make a mistake (drop a stitch, fallout of step).The goal is to have an active awareness of thoughts and harness them when they wander off then bring them back into the present moment. 


Written Mindfulness Practices: 

Journaling about the day’s event to rid your mind of circular thoughts is a great tool to release your mind from what it is remunerating on. Write it down and move on! 


Mindfulness practices alone are not a panacea, however, they are a valuable tool to incorporate in tandem with other physical and mental therapies. Remember – it’s a PRACTICE. You’ll never be perfect at it. Just show up and do it anyway! 


Michelle Shipley, Yoga Director at Compass Rose Wellness Centre


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