We are honoured to have a guest writer, Jenn Crane, provide a review of her experience at our Morning Mindfulness Classes.
I recently had the pleasure of attending a Morning Mindfulness class at Art Nest Creative Studio. As I walk into the space at 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning, I am greeted by calming music, dimmed lights and a single flickering candle at the centre of the room. The room is small and intimate. The instructor greets me with a calming spirit and asks my name. She then offers me a cushion for comfort to compliment my yoga mat that I’ve brought as well.
From a seated position, the class starts and I’m already feeling at ease by the way the instructor is opening up the class. She explains that there is no right or wrong way to practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply the art of being still, observing your thoughts and remaining in the present moment. She explains how your mind will wander, how it is natural to think of all your to-do’s, what you may have said to someone earlier and what you’ll be cooking for dinner that night. She encourages us to try our best to stay in the present moment and to not judge yourself if we’re unable to do so.
She goes on to explain where mindfulness was created and how it has become a very important tool in the wellness community, especially with healthcare professionals. And then she hands us all a grape…
Well, I will never look at grapes the same way again. We studied that grape. We described every inch of it from texture, blemishes, colour and more. And held the single grape in our hands and felt the weight of it. It was amazing how heavy that tiny grape felt when your mind is solely focused on it. And then it came time to taste it. WOW. The flavour seemed to be more intense than I’ve never known a grape to be - my mouth is watering just recalling the experience.
But what was this experiment all about? It was to show us that when we stay in the present moment, with your focus only on one thing at a time, how calm and relaxed our mind can become. Welcoming these “grape moments” into your day, the instructor explained, has many health benefits such as reducing anxiety, lowering stress (cortisol) levels and increasing contentment.
We finished off the hour long class with a body scan. As we laid down on our mats, she guided us through a type of meditation where you think about every muscle group in your body. As I moved from different areas of the body in my mind, I try to relax those muscles as much as possible. At the end of this meditation, I’m in the ultimate state of relaxation - almost drifting off into dreamland.
Mindfulness has been and continues to be a very important part of my wellness journey. It allows me to be a more present parent, spouse and friend. It helps me to identify when I need to slow down and take a break.
If you’re interested in bringing a little more mindfulness into your life or simply wondering what it’s all about, I highly recommend this class. And at $10 a session it’s a small price to pay to invest in yourself.
Morning Mindfulness Classes are every Wednesday at 9:30am at Art Nest and are led by Wendy Koll and other instructors. To register for upcoming classes please email: firstname.lastname@example.org