When the current zeitgeist for self improvement is getting too much, the Om resonating from the new Bikram studio on the corner making your hackles rise and your signature scrawled proudly on the petition against the raw food café that replaced your local Chicken Cottage; this is a glimpse at what there is on offer in the world of mindfulness and meditation that hopefully will save the eye-roll.
Even if you’re a seasoned city slicker or spend all your time in one nook of it – you’re never far from a siren, a billboard or a disturbing news headline. We need to create space in our lives for stillness, for reflection but a lot of us rarely find the time and the balance between stimuli and inner calm. How we like to think of it at H&H is that it’s only a few minutes of your time a day, instead of reading about someone else’s life in the Metro or on social media, take a moment to focus on you and yours.
It’s exhausting living near the edge of an outburst, with your emotions just below the boil. Mindfulness, which can be learned through meditation, helps maintain your emotions and reactions at a level where awareness and compassion are powerful enough to act as the antacid to your fiery belly of frustration.
It’s a journey that should last your whole life and the first steps can be quite daunting, spending time with your own thoughts, or indeed trying not to have any at all. Finding this head space just for a few minutes each day has been proven to help ease stress, anxiety, headaches, improve concentration – the list is long and the literature vast. What everyone does agree on is that there is no harm in stillness, in silence.
If you’re a yogi, you will know that the most important part of a yoga session is Savasana. So if you can give me your full attention, silence your Whatsapp whistle and your 67 Facebook notifications because H&H is going to give you some self-help SWAG..
If you’re a beginner we hope you find something that resonates with you and if we’re preaching to the converted maybe a new source will open up to further your experience. Nam’gonna go mediate.
Deepak Chopra is acknowledged as one of the masters of Eastern philosophy in the Western world and founded the Chopra Center for Wellbeing. He regularly partners up with, the queen of everything (and all the rest) Oprah Winfrey, to create free content for those investigating self-improvement. The website is full of free resources. .
UCLA have a department dedicated to the practice and research of mindfulness. There are videos and audio files that allow you to practice on your own at an introductory level and an option for online classes if you wish to deepen your practice.
The Free Mindfulness Project was set up for the mindfulness community to share their resources, leading to a varied collection of guided mediation links, advice and exercises. We love the 4 minute body scan to get you grounded and observe your inner experience.
TED.com is such a great resource and with so many amazing talks to get inspired you can spend hours trawling through the many fascinating topics and speakers but for now let Pico Iyer and Andy Puddicombe motivate you to do nothing.
Words by Kristina Ducker