Mindfulness walks in the community are what I call ‘healing for the soul’. When I set up my coaching company Zenme last year I also set a goal for myself to create a mindful community. It struck me that nurturing ourselves, exercising and even making time to go for a walk with a friend often comes in second place to work and other demands on our time, which can leave everyone feeling exhausted and low. So this year I have committed to leading 12 free community walks and I’m hoping that it will inspire other people who hear about them to create their own mindful groups.
One of the things I have noticed at the meditation studios where I teach is the sense of community and the way we all enjoy it. The phones go away and we are all present and this creates interesting conversations after class. The walking helps everyone to commit to at least some sort of exercise and it encourages us to get out and actually do it as there are others keeping you accountable. We practice mindful meditation for half of the walk and then talk and enjoy each others’ companionship on the other half of the stroll. When we connect with nature in this mindful way and are surrounded by other people doing the same it has a profound and relaxing effect on the mind and body.
So if you are struggling to find motivation or you are bored exercising on your own, how about flipping that feeling on its head? You could be the motivator for others too. By you taking the initiative and creating a weekly, monthly or quarterly community where you hike, bike or swim, you could have a massive impact on your own wellbeing and that of everyone’s around you.
Take a breath
There is a lot of talk about how breathing deeply can help slow down the signs of ageing. And who doesn’t want some of that? Try the below exercise…
1. Lie down or sit somewhere comfortable and close your eyes. Put one hand on your chest and one just below your belly button.
2. As you take each breath in through your nose and out through the mouth, imagine the breath travelling all the way down past your hand on your chest and to your hand on your belly. Keep your focus on this for five breaths
3. Then, while you’re still breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth, imagine each in breath reaching every area in your body – all the way down to the tip of your toes. Feel like you are nurturing and pouring oxygen into every area of the body. Alternate between the two states for three to five minutes.
Just by tuning in to your breath in this way you can feel more energised, relaxed and rejuvenated. It’s a great anti-ageing tool to have up your sleeve and it’s free!
Nourish your mind and body
The Body Rescue by Christianne Wolff
This is not your average guide to weight loss – it educates us about foods, teaches us what’s good for us and what’s not, and most importantly unpicks the reasons why. I often feel that so many of the healthy diet books lack the explanation as to why something works or doesn’t, and instead focuses more on how much weight you would want to lose. As a life coach I’m always pleased when I come across something like this which also talks about how to change your mindset around food, raising your awareness as to how much power you have to change and how this can directly impact your relationship with your diet. For me, this is much more of a sustainable approach that will actually help your life in general to become a happier and healthier one. Christianne has a very personal and caring attitude and this really comes through in the book – she truly wants you to feel guided and supported on your journey.