‘Mindfulness’ is hot topic right now in terms of how it can improve our ability to deal with real life scenarios. Phrases such as Mindful Thinking, Mindful Eating and Mindful Parenting are regularly being thrown around the media. They are being promoted as the long term solution to successfully managing our increasingly busy lifestyles.
Evidently, being ‘in the present’ when we navigate specific situations that can ordinarily cause tension and stress in our lives, can have a considerably positive effect on our response. When taken to the extreme, Mindfulness is reported to help ease mental conditions such as anxiety, stress and depression. Powerful stuff.
So what exactly is mindfulness?
As the NHS describes it, mindfulness is:
An awareness of our thoughts and feelings as they happen moment to moment. It’s about allowing ourselves to see the present moment clearly. When we do that, it can positively change the way we see ourselves and our lives.”
Of course, the subject goes much deeper than this and you will find various definitions the further you delve.
Traditionally, mindfulness has been approached in various ways including varying practises of yoga and meditation. Personally, I have dipped in and out of this arena; sampling various DIY methods, going to classes and following advice from books and meditation apps such as Headspace. Admittedly, although I have supported the concept of taking time out to be mindful, I haven’t managed to stick at it for a prolonged period of time.
There’s something about having to remove myself from ‘life’ for regular periods of time and the disconnection between doing this and daily routine that has just never felt natural. And over the years, I have learned there are ‘mindful’ alternatives that I can integrate into my natural surroundings, like walking in the fresh air or ‘losing myself’ in deep concentration whilst making something, or baking.
So with this ‘real life’ approach in mind, imagine my excitement when I came across IKYA Meditation. A contemporary method of mindfulness that will fit in with my daily routine.
The IKYA team explain how their practice differs from other meditation techniques:
Traditional meditation focuses primarily on drawing our focus inward and away from life around us. IKYA meditation does the opposite by drawing you into your body and also deeper into your life, creating presence in every single moment. You are here, now. Engage.”
Their International Seminar invitation explains,
Modern lifestyle actively degrades your health and creates imbalances, disconnecting you from your true nature. Our culture teaches us everything about how to hurt ourselves, each other and the planet but nothing about how to truly heal.
Most of us accumulate imbalances both physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually faster than we are able to work them out and regain balance. We are causing damage to ourselves and our surroundings without even noticing. We end up lagging behind, often experiencing that our lives take control over us instead of us being in control of our lives.”
IKYA Meditation is about ‘releasing your inner healer’ which I feel resonates well with the concept of Life Seeker. We have the ability to make choices to decide how the world around us affects our mental state, which in turn, helps us to design our own happiness.
Try IKYA Meditation in Wales
The great news is that the techniques of IKYA Meditation are not only accessible in Norway, the practice is being rolled out globally and Life Seeker has the pleasure of welcoming IKYA Meditation instructors from Holland to South West Wales during the weekend of 30th Sept 2016.
During this weekend you will have the opportunity to sample some IKYA techniques at one of our drop-in workshops.
If you would like to be alerted with workshop details nearer the time, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with IKYA in the subject and we’ll get in touch directly with a personal invitation.
We will also also be interviewing Netherlands instructors Vidar Hauge and Barbara Verhoef to find out more about IKYA before they arrive in the UK.
Meanwhile, follow the Netherlands IKYA Facebook Page to stay in touch.
UPDATE 15th Sept:
We experienced a mini IKYA session recently and found it really useful. The point of IKYA is that you don’t need to find a spare hour to remove yourself from ‘life’ to meditate.
The introductory workshop will introduce you to various techniques to help you become more present/aware within what is going on around you. You will learn breathing techniques, thought processes and movements that you can take home to practice. It does take practice though and when you make it part of your life you will start to see how your mind and body begins to deal with life’s challenges more easily.
On the day, you will stand or sit on a chair and be guided through small exercises as a group. Hope you can make it, it’ll be great to meet you 😉
This article first appeared on lifesweeker.wales