After a long professional career in arts management and a lifetime passion of practicing yoga, I completed my first MBSR course in 2013 – to bring some stillness to my over active mind. Since then, I have not looked back and set up my own mindfulness practice, SamMantra – my mantra, to a healthier, happier me.
As a teacher in training, I am trained to teach the MBSR 8-week course. Currently, I teach taster mindfulness classes and stress management courses that blend creativity and mindfulness practices together. I am passionate about working with a range of health and wellbeing experts on developing events that help eliminate the growing disease of stress in society today. I am particularly interested in offering everyday mindfulness practices to individuals and groups, working with families and children.
Recent projects include: an 8-week wellbeing and mindfulness programme at Nuffield Health, Surbiton and a 4-week mindful parenting programme with a coaching physiologist. I have also taught on yoga and mindfulness workshops and more recently, a mindfulness and yoga retreat with Kingston Yoga.
Mindfulness allows us to investigate our own physical, emotional and mental health experiences and encourages an openness and acceptance to whatever we may find. By living in the present moment, we can come to realise that a lot of our stress and suffering is unnecessary. As humans, we learn to train our physical bodies to be healthy and fit. But do we listen to our minds, bodies and hearts?
Neuroscience research has shown that regular mindfulness practice can help reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety and depression. Mindfulness also gives us the chance to pause and make wise choices in life, and become more resilient in the face of day to day challenges. This has certainly been the case in my life, as I have learnt to respond creatively to life’s stressors, holding thoughts, emotions and sensations in open-hearted awareness
As mindfulness teachers’ we are all teachers in training and as such it is paramount that the courses we teach, whether for clinical or general population are underpinned and held by good practice guidelines. For my own training, it is important for me to follow an in depth and rigorous course that is recognised by the UK network, so that I can feel confident in the knowledge that the experiential and evidence based learning is of a recognised professional standard. As a teacher, the guidelines are important to adhere to: to ensure good ethical practice in the field with regular supervision for teaching and personal practice. Membership of a recognised network also allows opportunities to share knowledge of the latest research and best practice with fellow teachers and peers.