• Tina Langdok - Professional Yoga Therapist

Refresh your life with Mindfulness



Fresh by Naomi Shihab Nye

To move

Cleanly.

Needing to be

Nowhere else.

Wanting nothing

From any store.

To lift something

You already had

And set it down in

A new place.

Awakened eye

Seeing freshly.

What does that do to

The old blood moving through

It's channels?


As I prepare to offer the eight week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course this fall, I find myself returning to the benefits of the Mindful Practice and why the traditional twenty hour course commitment makes a difference. I’ve taught 30 MBSR courses for individuals, groups, and corporations since my certification in 2014 and find that I’m still inspired by the nuances of the teachings. I like knowing that current research in neuroscience supports the practice as an effective way to reduce stress and change the structure of the brain to be more supportive and less reactive. But the longer I sit on the cushion, the more I appreciate the subtle results of committed practice.


To lift something you already had and set it down in a new place. Awakened eye. Seeing freshly.


Fresh. It seems like such a simple word. My online dictionary had some interesting definitions to share. New. Different. Not faded or impaired. Not canned or frozen or otherwise preserved. Bright or healthy in appearance. Not salty. Presumptuous. Impudent.


The word implies a newness. Almost a sassiness or rawness. And the next word that jumped into my head was Perception. Mindfulness brings freshness to the way we perceive our lives. But what does that mean? Our reality is refined by the memories and experiences of our past. We are born fresh and over time we ripen. We are frozen, canned, preserved, faded, impaired. Most of us don’t even notice because it happens so gradually. Like drops filling a bucket of water, we become our life’s experience if we seldom sit down and reflect.


We shape ourselves to fit this world

And by the world are shaped again (David Whyte)


So why bother? What’s the advantage of checking in and noticing how we feel? What we think? Doesn’t it seem easier to carry on as we always have? Perhaps. But we do have a choice. We can choose to practice mindfulness and notice when we’re carried away by habits that may not be in our best interest. Instead of the world and our experiences sculpting us – we can become the sculptor.


The fact that our brain is neuro-plastic means we have a responsibility to keep it healthy- in the same way we eat nourishing food and exercise daily to keep our body vital and well. If we smoke and eat junk food, we get sick. If we acquiesce to the Auto Pilot world of stress and mindlessness, we get sick too. But just as leafy green vegetables nourish our body, meditation nourishes our mind, and with continued practice, changes our brain structure making us more efficient, more kind, and less reactive. Returning to the anchor of the breath is like lifting weights to tone the body. Toning our brain is a choice – an option – and an evolutionary challenge. But it takes work and commitment, and that’s where the eight week MBSR Course comes in.


We know that the brain is an organ of habit, and plasticity insinuates an ability to change, but new neuro-pathways don’t happen by wishing. If we worry a lot, we get good at worrying. If we are negative a lot, we get good at being negative. If we judge a lot, we get good at judging, and if we practice broad, present moment, open awareness- we get good at being Mindful. Committed practice opens the doorway to changing stale and outdated habits that usually occur on autopilot, into new ways of being that are more intentional, nourishing, and supportive for body, mind, and heart.


What does that do to the old blood moving through its channels?


Instead of continuing to run on the hamster wheel of mindless chaos, we can choose to refresh our being – by sitting down, noticing how we feel, what we’re thinking about, and opening to the possibility of choice and freedom in new ways of being.


The eight session Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) course is the gold standard in clinical research. It’s offered all over the world and accredited teachers are governed by Standards of Practice that keep the teachings fresh and current and set the bar for success. The course is secular, instructional, and experiential and requires discipline, effort, self-compassion, and patience on the part of individuals who choose to participate.


In addition to formal meditation, the course includes informal practices like practicing mindful activities, mindful movement, mindful walking, group exploration of Mindfulness concepts and pair sharing.


Are you ready to freshen up your point of view? Try Mindfulness.


Fresh by Naomi Shihab Nye

To move

Cleanly.

Needing to be

Nowhere else.

Wanting nothing

From any store.

To lift something

You already had

And set it down in

A new place.

Awakened eye

Seeing freshly.

What does that do to

The old blood moving through

It's channels?

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