What is it? Mindfulness is an ancient practice with tremendous benefit to us in modern life. To be mindful means to come home to the body and dwell in the present moment, noticing thoughts, feelings and bodily sensations without censorship. This attitude of benevolent awareness can be cultivated in everything we do - movement and exercise, cooking and eating, brushing a horse, and riding - as well as in "formal" meditation such as a sitting practice.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction. Breathing with awareness and coming into the present moment (ie mindfulness) is a highly accessible and effective way to gain perspective and reduce stress. Though mindfulness has its roots in Buddhist meditation, a secular practice of mindfulness entered the American mainstream via Jon Kabat-Zinn's Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) programs, spawning countless programs around the world. Thousands of studies have documented the physical and mental health benefits of stress reduction through mindfulness. We now know that practicing mindfulness changes the structure of our brain in very positive ways - improving memory, cognition and helping release tension and trauma.
Applying Mindfulness in Your Life. Mindfulness helps a person work deeply and facilitates behavior change from the inside out. I can't imagine restructuring personal habits without the self-compassion it engenders. If you want to explore mindfulness or refresh an existing practice, consider applying it through nutrition counseling, your relationship with food, or working with horses.
Mindful Eating. Applying mindfulness to eating habits and food relationship has revolutionized the eating disorder and nutritional counseling field. I began developing this approach 22 years ago in my Awaken a New Relationship with Food program. 100s of women found healthier and more peaceful relationships with food, their bodies, and life in general.
This 8 week mindfulness-based class will help you cultivate the awareness and skills to unravel food addiction and the depression, weight gain and low energy that go with it. Further your understanding of nutrition, physiology and the mind-body connection - how the body works and how we get derailed by stress and addictions. Following a gentle and step-wise approach, build a foundation of self care practices: mindfulness in daily life and with food; compassionate presence to self; choosing balanced foods you enjoy; getting enough rest, sleep, and me-time; and setting boundaries at work, home and with your own mind. Find out how to move away from undermining beliefs and behaviors and create a life of your own!
This small and supportive class is a wonderful place to develop mindfulness in action! Come to the gym and learn the vital habit of listening to your body while improving strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. You will be reminded to take a full breath with each repetition, pay attention to how things feel, and find the right effort for you for that day. As you tune in to your body and its various sensations, the busy thinking of daily life will fall away. This is time for YOU, time for your body. Leave the gym calmer, more grounded and better able to address what arises in your day. It feels good to take care of yourself this way – for the day and for the years to come! Register
Galleywinter Farm is a beautiful oasis with many places to sit and breathe - on hilltops, viewing or sitting in the pastures, the woods, barn or front yard swing. Being at the farm will help you decompress and come back to center. Horsemanship activities at Galleywinter Farm seem to provide a deep sense of connection and peacefulness often hard to come by in our busy lives.
Sitting with Horses is a wonderful way to begin or enhance a mindfulness habit in your life. Horses are the ultimate mindful beings, living out of doors in the reality of present moment. If you are particularly busy you might need the additional support of being in nature or with horses to help you access the benefits of mindfulness. Come visit the farm and discuss developing a nature-based meditation practice.
"You can't be anywhere else when you're with the horse. It's wonderful that way."
These programs are inspired by the results enjoy when we blend the best of great disciplines such as The Alexander Technique, Sensory Awareness Training, Mindfulness Meditation, Centered Riding, Experience-Based Horsemanship, and Positive Psychology. They are wonderful for learning mindfulness or strengthening an existing practice.
Mindfulness, Horses and Healing was our most recent complementary practice course, a special 8 week program helping participants reconnect to and define their sacred space or circle - in horse language, their capsule. Through the medium of guided meditations, reflective listening and journaling, and groundwork with horses, members gained greater access to their innate wholeness and creativity. Support for these programs is kindly provided by Maria Kluge.
No experience with meditation or horses required.