Looking for an Exeter meditation session?
Well, you’re in the right place.
Although meditation has been practiced for millennia, it’s seen a recent resurgence in popularity, especially in western medicine.
At Kiterise, we know how important the mind-body connection is and for this reason, we’re pleased to offer one-on-one mindfulness meditation instruction.
Unsure if it’s for you? In this guide, we’ll cover the basics and what you can expect from your appointment.
What is meditation?
First of all, let’s define the terms. Meditation is simply,
A practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
There are many different types of meditation, one of the more popular and effective being mindfulness, which we tend to practice at Kiterise.
Mindfulness is simply the practice of paying attention to the present moment and its contents.
It’s the art of becoming aware.
Whether that’s of your thoughts, sounds, sights or sensations, mindfulness offers us a way back to the present moment.
Great, you might think. But why’s that even important?
The importance of mindfulness meditation
Increasingly in today’s world, people are distracted.
We’re always one click away from becoming lost in a digital world, a constant desire to escape boredom.
Just take a look around on public transport. Bent bodies and drawn faces hunched over backlit screens.
We repeatedly flit from one stimulus to the next, our attention spans shorter than ever before.
Our brains are hypersensitive, responding to all manner of pings, alerts and notifications that we didn’t evolve to anticipate.
The result? A perpetual, insidious stress that’s seeped into the social fabric.
Meditation offers an antidote, a path back to a easier existence…
A way to slow life down to a more manageable pace, calm frayed nerves and reclaim our attention.
By simply paying attention, we can squeeze the most of every moment of this juicy little experience we call life.
Benefits of mindful meditation
Meditation is practiced for a variety of reasons and benefits all aspects of life.
In regard to health and wellbeing, mindfulness can be particularly useful for pain and its associated stress.
Whenever we suffer from physical discomfort, especially if it’s been present for some time, an alarm sounds in our body, alerting us to the problem.
This alarm is what we experience as pain. Once registered, we have a succession of psychological reactions, namely the desire to switch of the alarm or escape, resulting in huge emotional stress.
Over time, our nervous system becomes ever-more sensitive, the alarm to sounding with very small triggers.
In advanced chronic pain, this alarm might be sounding constantly, with no obvious way to turn it off.
Meditation is a useful technique to help us acknowledge our symptoms.
While it’s not a cure for physical discomfort, it can help us redefine our relationship to the symptoms.
Instead of trying to shut the pain down, or run away from it, which can cause the alarm to grow louder, it can teach us to observe the sensations as impartially as possible, taking as much power away from the pain as possible.
Mindfulness helps us get know ourselves better.
If I told you that someone was walking around, speaking out loud to an imaginary person all day, it might be cause for concern.
And yet, this is exactly what we do in our heads all day long.
Our thoughts are recursive loops that frequently focus on the most negative, unflattering and embarrassing parts of our lives.
These thoughts are like background music, and sometimes become so strong that we get caught up in them, absorbed by their content.
Frequently, we may relive past events, imagining perceived wrongs or what we should have said in that last argument with our partner.
Or our thoughts are transporting us into the future, where we catastrophise, envisaging worst case scenarios or doom and gloom.
So what’s the effect of becoming so embroiled in thought that we loose track of the present moment?
Well, perhaps the most pernicious effect is that we live in an imagined reality of our own making.
We respond, not to events and situations as they are, but in response to our thoughts, which are frequently fear based.
And the worst part?
We actually mistake those thoughts for who we are.
Those negative thoughts about our appearance, relationships and career become intertwined with our identity, indistinguishable.
In our Exeter meditation sessions, we can help you come the realisation that that’s not the case and that we’re not defined by the contents of our mind.
With the amount of distraction available around us, the art of focus is becoming an ever-more valuable skill.
Whether that’s concentrating on our studies, or getting a work project completed on-time, mindfulness can help.
Let’s face it. Performing challenging tasks is mentally taxing.
Just the thought of getting stuck into a tough task can send even the most diligent of us off to the sofa to turn on Netflix.
Deep down, we know that it would be better to just crack on with our work, but we frequently procrastinate on what we know would be good for us.
Our Exeter mindfulness sessions can teach us to observe our mind and those sweet whispers that we mistake for rational impulses to take a break.
Once we stand back and observe all the tricks our minds wield to get us to take the safe, easy option, we can start reclaim our focus and productivity.
How to do mindfulness meditation
When people picture meditation, it’s frequently of hippies contorted into fantastic positions on straw mats.
But the truth is, mindfulness can be practiced anywhere and at any time. So even when you’re sitting on cathedral green or down by the quay, you can be practicing.
And the best part? Nobody will know it.
At its essence, mindfulness meditation is simple the art of paying attention to whatever’s arising in present moment.
A common place to start is with the breath, which serves as a good anchor – something that’s usually subconscious and regular but also constantly changing.
It also mirrors much of our attitude towards life; an experience we often take for granted but one which can be observed from a place of consciousness.
So to start, begin with the following in mind:
- Sit in a comfortable position. You can sit cross-legged, although I prefer to sit upright without any back support. If you lie down, you run the risk of falling asleep.
- Close your eyes.
- Bring your attention to your breath.
- Hold your relaxed awareness on the gentle inhalation and exhalation, without forcing or controlling your breath.
- Your mind will invariably start to wander. When it does, simply bring it back to the breath.
- Start with 2 minutes of this exercise and as you get used to it, you can increase the time.
This is a basic outline of the process, although their are more subtleties, which can be better explained in the session.
It sounds simple, but much like treading a tight rope, it’s not easy and requires practice.
How long are the sessions?
Please leave at least 30 mins for your meditation session which is enough for the practice and any questions which may arise.
What should I wear?
Any comfortable, loose clothing will be fine.
How much are the sessions?
The cost of an Exeter mindfulness session is £50.
How many appointments will I need?
That depends. Mindfulness really doesn’t require any bells and whistles and can be as simple as sitting down and turning your attention inwards.
However, instruction is always useful. I was personally meditating for a long time before investing more in my practice and I found the extra advice hugely beneficial in my approach.
Often we’ll combine mindfulness elements with the other physical treatments that we offer.
Also, people suffering from chronic pain may need a course to get to grips with some of the concepts.
How to book an Exeter meditation session
Like all of the therapy offered at Kiterise, we only work with select clients who are ready to invest in themselves.
Therefore, reach out via the contact form and we will get in touch to ask a few questions.
Meditation classes near me
Some clients can’t always commute into the city for an Exeter meditation session.
In this instance, we may be able to come to you if you’re based nearby, although the cost of the sessions may vary depending on where you are.
Other clients simply wish to discuss their mindfulness experiences and don’t always need to be present in person.
That’s why we also offer remote, Skype-based consultation for meditation.
If that’s not suitable, we may be able to recommend local meditation teachers and classes in your area, so just contact us to enquire.
Alternatively, check out our clinic page to see what other services we offer.