Getting mindfulness off the cushion and into … well, the bedroom, for example

I’m very excited about the workshops coming up this autumn – they’re all pushing mindfulness into different directions. There’s compassionate mindfulness and savouring at the Spa Road centre with me, Alistair, and then in a lovely return to the Special Yoga Centre in Kensal Rise, Kathy Osborne and I are running a weekend looking at how mindfulness can impact our relationships.

I’m very excited about the workshops coming up this autumn – they’re all pushing mindfulness into different directions. There’s compassionate mindfulness and savouring at the Spa Road centre with me, Alistair, and then in a lovely return to the Special Yoga Centre in Kensal Rise, Kathy Osborne and I are running a weekend looking at how mindfulness can impact our relationships.

I know Kathy from my psychotherapy training institute, the Minster Centre, but she is an inspiring yoga teacher and meditator who worked with Deepak Chopra and has done a lot of intensive study of how yoga breathing and movement impact our moods and emotions.

As I work with mindfulness more and more, it seems to get up from an incense clouded cushion and stroll into the kitchen, the bathroom, the shops and the bedroom. Most powerfully of all it seems to impact how we relate to one another. Traditional introductions to mindfulness often spring out of the monastic tradition (in which I trained, and for which I have huge respect) and this background concentrates on the individual’s sphere of contemplation. My work in the therapy world concentrates very much on the interpersonal world of relationships. How are we getting on with our parents, our children? With out colleagues? our lovers and our friends?

And contemporary research into human development and neuroscience show that emotions are the magnetism that brings us together, push us apart or make us rub up against each other like cheese-graters. Emotions are the – often non-verbal and unconscious – powerhouse of our relationships, shaped and charged from an early age. And it is in being mindful of our emotions that we can stop being stuck in patterns and start to move freely and creatively in the our lives.

Come along. We’re running one workshop at SYC on the 29th/30th October this year and the same course again in 2012 at Spa Road. Booking happens here.

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