Wednesday, July 10, 2013

NEW! Mindfulness Meditation Classes at Healium

We will soon have another great evening class on offer! Beginning Wednesday, 7 August, Karl Baker will be leading a four-week introductory course in mindfulness meditation. In today's blog, Karl shares his perspective on the significant benefits of a mindfulness meditation practice.

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Mindfulness meditation is growing in popularity as an effective way to reduce stress, reduce anxiety and depression, as well as increase feelings of well-being, depth, self-awareness and enjoyment of life. It is proving to be increasingly popular with everyday people - business people, moms and dads, students, particularly because of its non-religious and simple approach.

Many peer-reviewed studies are now illustrating (1) how mindfulness and meditation work to reduce stress, anxiety and depression; and (2) the significant positive impact this approach has on our emotional state, immune system and feelings of well-being.

Adopted in-house by companies such as Google, mindfulness meditation is also getting traction with celebrities such as comedian Ruby Wax. "If you want to free yourself from anxiety and stress, and feel truly at ease with yourself, then mindfulness is for you," Ruby says. She describes mindfulness as "the practical watching of your own thoughts, like a shrink would do, but now you're not paying."

I have found mindfulness meditation to be highly effective in a number of ways: I've reduced negative thought patterns, I look after myself in a genuine way more easily, I'm more available for other people. I've become friendly with difficult emotions, enjoy life more, and simply like myself a whole lot better. These are common outcomes from a mindfulness meditation practice.

My approach to teaching mindfulness meditation is to "keep it real" - practical and not precious. I base the facilitation and instruction on my own experience and as much as possible have you feel in to and trust your own experience too. In the classes, you can sit on a chair rather than a cushion if you prefer (I do). Each class has a period of guided meditation with a theme, instruction and discussion, plus a handout sheet with more information.

I've received extensive one-on-one training from experienced meditation teacher Jeremy Logan. I've also attended many intensive silent retreats and received instruction from mindfulness meditation trainer Stephen Archer. I find that I am very much learning too and look forward to sharing this practice with you!

Where: Healium.

When: 6.30 to 7.15 pm Wednesdays, 7-28 August.

What: Four-week introductory course in mindfulness meditation. Limited to 20 students.

How Much: $55.

Who: Karl Baker. He's been practicing mindfulness meditation for over 10 years. A first-class honors graduate of Victoria University, he's set up three successful businesses, lives in Upper Hutt, has a sweet tooth and enjoys craft beer. Visit his website at

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