Take a moment to pause and consider what brought you to this page. What is in your mind and heart and body that caused you to bring this web page on to the screen of your computer?
More than likely, you quickly identified a “problem” or “challenge” that you face in your life. This is something that causes you to suffer in some way, physically, emotionally or spiritually. Among the difficulties people report when they come to our mindfulness classes are such things as:
- Chronic Pain
- Anxiety and Worry
- Relationship Difficulties
- Sleep disturbance
- Grief and Loss
Now step back from your definition of the problem for a moment, and notice that there was also an aspect of you that was aware of this difficulty and was open to working with such challenges in a different way. Perhaps that “inner voice” was seeking peace, balance, equanimity or a sense of control. We like to consider that voice your “inner wisdom”. You have had that sense of what feels right or wrong for you as long as you can remember, even though there have probably been times when you could not hear it, or you ignored or misunderstood it.
The primary goal of our Mindfulness for Stress Relief program is to reconnect you with that inner wisdom that resides deep within you. To offer you an opportunity to rediscover yourself and to access the qualities and strengths you possess inside.
A taste of ‘Mindfulness’
Sit back, take a moment to become aware of the surroundings you are in, the sensations in your body, the thoughts in your mind and the feelings in your heart. Are you feeling curious, excited, skeptical, hopeful or bored? Are you aware of physical sensations of tension, pain, warmth or numbness? Can you hold all of the amazing and varied things in your awareness for a moment without having to change them, get rid of them or get lost in them? Can you experience this very moment for the precious, fleeting and beautiful thing that it is?
You have just tasted some of your own ability to be mindful and we invite you to cultivate it further through participation in one of the Mindfulness programs that we offer at the Alaska Center for Mindfulness!
8-week class overview
The ‘Mindfulness for Stress Relief’ program merges mindful awareness training and gentle yoga exercises. Mindfulness practice is ideal for cultivating greater awareness of the unity of mind and body, and of the ways our unconscious thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can undermine emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
Our program is an 8-week intensive training in various mindfulness practices, based on ancient healing traditions, to empower participants to take an active role in the management of their health and wellness.
The mind is known to be a factor in stress and stress-related disorders, and meditation has been shown to positively effect a range of physiological processes, such as lowering blood pressure and reducing overall emotional reactivity. In addition to mindfulness practices, our stress relief program uses simple yoga movements to help reverse the prevalence of disuse atrophy from our culture’s largely sedentary lifestyle, especially for those with pain and chronic illnesses.
The program consists of a 2-hour orientation session, eight weekly 3-hour sessions, plus one all-day session on the Saturday or Sunday of the 6th week of the program.
Weekly classes are a balance of didactic teaching, experiential practice, and small and large group processing. The all-day session is primarily an experiential session where we are practicing mindfulness together for a sustained period.
Students are asked to practice approximately 30-45 minutes daily at home, which includes guided relaxation & meditation practices, reading, and written reflection exercises. It is important to understand that your success in the program, whether that is to diminish your pain levels, stabilize your mood, or be less stressed, is directly related to your commitment to fully engage in the entire 8 week process, inside and outside of the classroom. The teaching and learning environment is designed to be highly supportive of each participant.
Our program is primarily based on Jon Kabat-Zinn’s ‘Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction’ class, but we’ve included some additional mindfulness exercises and content that we’ve found beneficial and useful, based on our many years of experience teaching a variety of mindfulness classes.
Join one of our Stress Relief programs now and re-discover that the most powerful tool for healing yourself is the wisdom that’s always been within you!
For our current class schedule click here.