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What is mindfulness?

By Gina - View All Blog

Have you heard that Pilates is mindful exercise? Many students ask me what that means, so I thought I would write about it in today’s blog.   

What is mindfulness? How do I achieve it? What will it do for me? What I learned is there are many possible answers to these questions.

What is mindfulness? According to Jon Kabat-Zinn, “Mindfulness  is the awareness that comes from paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally.”

How do I achieve mindfulnss? Mindfulness is a practice, not a destination. It is a way of living. In the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, being mindful is simple but not easy.

I heard from someone who attended a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program recently, and I thought the ways they implemented mindfulness were very interesting. Those ways to practice mindfulness included a guided body scan, meditation, mindful eating, mindful movement, and paying attention to our senses (smelling, tasting, feeling, seeing, and hearing) during events throughout the day.

What will mindfulness do for me? There are many potential benefits of practicing mindfulness, including decreased stress, decreased chronic pain, decreased anxiety, improved anger management, and improved quality of life.

Personally, practicing mindfulness is helping me become more responsive rather than reactive. It is helping me focus on the present, rather than dwelling in the past or worrying about the future. It is helping me become a little less judgemental with myself by focusing on the process rather than the outcome. And for all of that, I am grateful.

“Mindfulness means seeing things as they are, without trying to change them.  The point is to dissolve our reactions to disturbing emotions, being careful not to reject the emotion itself.  Mindfulness can change how we relate to, and perceive our emotional states.” Tara Bennet-Goldmen,PhD in Emotional Alchemy

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