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“I want you to fall in love with the feeling that you feel when you breathe deeply and sit in silence. I want you to know the peace and tranquility that these practices can bring to you and your life experience.”

Expect to be able to deal with difficult situations more easily. Expect to be able to choose what is best for you and those around you with less confusion or upset. Expect to be able to move through your day, more awake and aware after practicing the breathing exercises and one of the mindfulness techniques in the morning. Expect to sleep more peacefully when breathing yourself to sleep. And then drop all expectations and just notice what shows up in your life and your relating with others.

The gratitude I feel for the breath and these practices is immense and has truly been the driving force behind sharing them with you, both through the Mindful Me group sessions and the Mindful Me booklet.

Each 30 minute Mindful Me lesson starts with the introduction to and practice of a yogic breathwork technique such as alternate nostril breathing or dandelion breath.

We then move onto the introduction of a “Mindful Moment,” where we close our eyes, consciously relax the body, from the top of the head, down through the neck, the shoulders, the torso and so on and begin to notice our breathing. We practice the foundation awareness of breathing for some time then, before moving on to a meditation or other mindfulness exercise.

The primary benefits of these techniques is that they create awareness of “what is”, “the present moment” and how we are feeling or experiencing ourselves, our thoughts and emotions in the now. As such we….

  • learn to focus our minds and manage our thoughts consciously with awareness
  • learn that we have our thoughts and emotions, they are not us
  • learn that powerful feelings do pass and that we can choose to act on behaviour that is good for us or empowering rather than fall into anger or aggression, upset, guilt, or shame
  • learn to have self compassion and compassion for others and come from a context of non-judgement
  • become more self confident, have self awareness and improved decision making

There is also research identifying that there are benefits in brain development to be had from the practice of meditation and mindfulness.

“According to Dr. Kirk Strosahl and Dr. Patricia Robinson, “research indicates that brain training involving mindfulness practices can strengthen areas of the brain responsible for attention, emotional control, and problem solving…” – http://www.mindfulteachers.org/p/benefits-of-mindfulness.html:

“Mindfulness  for  young  people  is  easy  to  carry  out,  fits  into  a  wide  range  of  contexts,   is  enjoyed by  both  students  and  teachers,  and  does  no  harm.

mindful-me-in-khayalitsha
Mindful Me with The Earthchild Project in Khayalitsha in 2016.

Well  conducted  mindfulness  interventions  can  improve  the  mental,  emotional,   social and  physical  health  and  wellbeing  of  young  people who  take  part.  It  has been   shown to  reduce  stress,  anxiety,  reactivity  and  bad  behaviour,  improve sleep and   self-­‐esteem,  and  bring  about  greater  calmness,  relaxation,  the  ability  to manage   behaviour  and  emotions,  self-­‐awareness  and  empathy.

Mindfulness  can  contribute  directly  to  the  development  of  cognitive  and   performance skills  and  executive  function.  It  can  help  young  people  pay  greater   attention,  be more  focused,  think  in  more  innovative  ways,  use  existing knowledge   more effectively,  improve  working  memory,  and  enhance  planning, problem  solving,  and reasoning  skills.” – https://mindfulnessinschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/MiSP-Research-Summary-2012.pdf

Each Mindful Me lesson is designed specifically for the age group and makes space for movement and relaxation as well as “sitting.” Mindful Me is suitable for children from age 3, teens and adults and we offer sessions for the teachers and classroom assistants at a school too.

mmes-teachers
Mindful Me with the teachers and classroom assistants at My Montessori Eco School.

For more information or to arrange for a free trial of Mindful Me at your child’s school please contact mindfulmecapetown@gmail.com

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