Mindfulness and mindfulness meditation are not one and the same. Each practice fosters different aspects.
The formal mindfulness meditation practice can be practiced as sitting meditation, walking meditation, lying down meditation (body scan) and as mindful yoga. The length of the practice is up to each practitioner, most often it ranges between 10 and 45 minutes per day.
How often should we practice formal mindfulness meditation?
In a recent talk, Prof. Mark Williams from the Oxford Institute for Mindfulness, pointed to findings from latest research, which suggest that if you formally practice mindfulness between 0 to 3 days you will yield 50% less than if you practice 3 to 6 days a week. Every day counts, literally. Interestingly, he also noted that whether you are enthusiastic about your practise or not doesn’t matter. You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it to reap the benefits!
What is informal mindfulness practice?
The informal mindfulness practice can be manifold. Designed to be practiced during the daily events of our lives, it is about bringing our kind and gentle awareness to the full range of our experience. In this way we switch from “doing” (left-brain analysing, thinking, planning…) to the “being” mode (right-brain experiencing, sensing).
Weaving mindful awareness into our everyday means to pause for a moment and to notice what is happening within us and around us. It is simple and ordinary. We observe our most immediate experience such as our breathing, thoughts, feeling, bodily sensations and our environment. It is not to be mistaken for a forced break in which we tick off a mental checklist of what we feel, see, hear, think as quickly as possible.
Both practices, formal and informal, are part of our 8-week Mindfulness courses but why not give it a try right now!
Right now, notice your breathing… the movements of breathing in your body… noticing your body… your thoughts, feelings and any physical sensations that arise as you rest with gentle awareness in your body… noticing the surroundings… sounds, vision…
Read more about the informal practice »