Listed on January 5, 2016 in Fitness & Wellbeing, Member News

“Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn,
a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter.
If your mind is not clouded by unnecessary things,
this is the best season of your life.”

These are the words of Wu-Men who was born in 1183. Likewise the Buddha said, “As you walk and eat and travel, be where you are. Otherwise you will miss most of your life.” This opening up to awareness of our precious and fleeting lives is what mindfulness courses aim to achieve. Although with an ancient heritage, mindfulness is now taught in a secular context and more and more people are finding mindfulness techniques increasingly useful in our ultra busy and stressful world.

Mindfulness is a type of mind-body meditation, which, if practised regularly, can have very positive effects on a person’s life. It can help to make us aware of how much of our lives are spent living on automatic pilot. Mindfulness practice is now underpinned by neuroscience studies and has been shown to create changes in the brain which have been shown to influence health, wellbeing and happiness. The benefits of mindfulness go much deeper than simply learning to relax. It can help one achieve greater awareness of thoughts and feelings and so learn to observe them and so better manage many aspects of life.

At The Grange in Ellesmere we aim to introduce basic mindfulness techniques but also like to include additional practices of mindful dancing, guided visualisation and creative fun. We make use of the beautiful house and grounds to give people a taste of peace and focus which has often been lost in busy lives. The courses are for women and we do find that the mutual sharing and conversations can be really helpful as we all learn from each other. We also offer a specific mindfulness course aimed at older women making use of these powerful techniques to address the challenges of the second half of life.

Annabel Wade