Search

Mindfulness? See what happened when one Gants Hill coach introduced the Recorder to the meditative practice

13:56 19 June 2014

Archant staff taking a mindfullness class.

Archant staff taking a mindfullness class.

Archant

Three of my colleagues and myself are slowly rolling a raisin between our thumbs and index finger.

Varsha ShuklaVarsha Shukla

Three of my colleagues and I slowly began rolling a raisin between our thumbs and index finger.

“Feel the texture of the raisin, look at the indentations on the raisin,” coos Varsha Shukla, a mindfulness coach from Gants Hill, who has come to our office to give us a “taster” session.

She packed in her high pressure senior management job at Royal Mail nearly four years ago to pursue a career in mindfulness – what you and I would probably recognise as meditation.

“Now slowly bring the raisin up to your lips,” Miss Shukla continued. It is hard not to let your mind wander when focusing on the dried grape.

Buddhism

The mindfulness exercise lasted no more than five to 10 minutes, and, honestly, had almost instant impact on our mind’s state – a positive one, too.

According to Miss Shukla, mindfulness is clinically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

She believes – as do many others, including comedian Ruby Wax – it could have a major role to play in the future in helping to eradicate mental health problems in modern society.

Miss Shukla is setting up the first mindfulness class in the borough at the end of this month.

The meditative practice can be referred by your GP, or you can do a course in central London, but according to Miss Shukla, nobody is offering classes locally.

Mindfulness, which originates from Buddhism, was introduced by Jon Kabat-Zinn in the USA in the 1970s.

The practice encourages ways of paying attention to the moment, using techniques like meditation, breathing and yoga.

Mindfulness training helps us become more aware of our thoughts and feelings so that instead of being overwhelmed by them, we are better able to manage them.

After extracting ourselves from the inevitable pressures of the newsdesk to the conference room in our Ilford office, we all agreed we felt more relaxed, and able to cope with our daily pressures.

“I have seen it transform lives,” says Miss Shukla, who is in talks to return to Royal Mail to put on sessions at her former workplace towards the end of this year.

Mike Gibson, 52 – her colleague of 15 years – saw the impact it had on colleagues when she ran several sessions before leaving the Royal Mail.

“Most of the guys in my team got involved in the classes,” he said. “Everyone got something out of it. It was then I realised it had some meaning to it.

“I think it has its place in many organisations as we work in stressful environments.”

Mindful Mondays will take place from June 30 to July 21 at 7pm at Ursuline School, 2-8 Coventry Road, Ilford. Contact Miss Shukla on 0752 513 7278 or email info@wellbeingandwisdomworks.com

Latest Ilford News Stories

11:37
Redbridge mayor Cllr Gurdial Bhamra took the time to speak to all the stallholders at the Redbridge Community Day at Town Hall

Police officers face-painting children, henna tattoos and a fire engine open to the public were just some of the attractions at the Redbridge Community Day held at the Town Hall yesterday.

Reporters Matthew Clemenson and Ann-Marie Abbasah join the Shah Satnam Ji Green 'S' Welfare Force Wing team to clean up an alley between Highbury Gardens and New Road, Ilford.

The unsightly piles of rubbish littering an alleyway off Highbury Gardens, Seven Kings, had become an eyesore for far too long.

Michael Trump in Hainault Forest Country Park.

Council chiefs have disputed claims by a resident that they have committed “wanton vandalism” by cutting down a wildflower meadow.

Yesterday, 18:13
Redbridge Momentum with John McDonnell MP, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer. Redbridge Town Hall.

The Jeremy Corbyn roadshow rolled into Ilford last week just as the Labour leadership battle stepped up a gear.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

You could win £15,000 to spend on either their mortgage or a deposit towards the home of their dreams

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a period of time when you simply don’t have to worry about finding the money each month to pay your mortgage? When you don’t have to put money aside from your monthly income, or worry about having to afford other essential outgoings?

Which book character do you share cleaning habits with?

Whether you have more in common with put-upon Cinderella, emotionally turbulent Jane Eyre, or easily distracted Mole, you’re sure to appreciate that one lucky winner will receive four sessions of free cleaning. Enter our quiz for your chance to win. All runners up will get £10 off their first clean when making a repeat booking.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now