May Recap: Mindfulness

Reducing Stress, Resetting Yourself, Mindfulness and Meditation

Mindfulness, per Wikipedia, is the practice of purposely bringing one’s attention in the present moment without judgment — a skill one develops through meditation or other training.

This conversation centered around identifying and reducing stresses in our lives and discovering tools and techniques to reduce stress and enhance mindfulness.

Alight Ashram

Meet our conversation sponsor: Alight Ashram

Enna Maria “Mia” Fagnilli, Founder of Alight Ashram, a yoga and meditation space for both virtual and in person learning, is a Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor whose personal and professional practices join together the traditional yogic path with a modern understanding of leading mind-body, exercise and nutrition sciences. She is a critical thinker and creative who weaves together more than 20 years of education and practical experience with time honored ancient practices.

Having traveled and lived both at home and abroad, making friends, embracing cultures, and delighting in the beauty of the world, Enna Maria uses her voice to increase awareness and encourage actions that support individual and collective health and human rights, environmental responsibility, and animal welfare. She holds a CPT, GPTS and PES through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, Yoga Alliance RYT 200, and has been a Master Trainer Educator for both the P90X LIVE and MoveStrong Functional Fitness Equipment brands. Nomadic by nature, she and her family currently consider Nashville, TN base camp and share their home and hearts with their adopted pets: Sushi, a loving and loud Bombay black cat, and Bakersfield, Alight Ashram’s CHO (Chief Happiness Officer), a mixed breed Everything Beagle.

Finding Your Way Home. How Exploring Different Styles of Meditation Can Lead You To Harmonious Practice

Meditation: what a broad brush! For most that one word in one stroke paints a picture of peaceful people sitting silently, eyes closed, in perfect union with themselves and the universe.

I can only speak for myself, but when meditation was first suggested to me by my midwife, I was intimidated. How could I as a new mom in her mid-twenties with a very tired body and very busy brain ever achieve enlightenment? When would I have the time? What if I was distracted (and with a newborn there was no doubt that I would be distracted)? Fast forward to today; my practice is still bumpy, but less so. It is still sidetracked by life’s surprises, and yet, it has grown to encompass more than just quiet moments alone on my mat. Meditation is a practice that infuses a steadying awareness into even the most mundane and manic moments.

I am grateful to be able to teach and to demystify mediation as I guide others in exploring their own individual practices, but with so many types of meditation practice how do we know where to start?

Exploration.

Being curious and open to experiencing multiple modalities of meditation allows each of us to distinguish which practice(s) meet our needs in the moment and to build a tool box into which we can reach when our inner and outer worlds pull us away from being present in what is into the fray of distraction and disharmony. The two most recognizable forms are focused or concentrative meditation in which a thought, word(s), or physical practice like breathing or waking are used to promote focus while open monitoring practices aim to awaken awareness as an observer without trying to control thoughts or emotions that arise.

Whatever style of meditation we choose to practice, there are four qualities that all meditation practices share
– an open, nonjudgmental attitude
– intention for the practice (focused or open monitoring)
– a comfortable position for the practitioner
– a location with minimal distraction

Meditation has been proven to facilitate the lowering of blood pressure, to improve mental well-being and to develop specific capacities such as calmness, clarity and concentration. If you are curious about learning to meditate, I invite you to join this Great Reset conversation!

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