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

14:45
Chigwell Road, South Woodford. Picture: Google Street View

Police are appealing for witnesses after a woman died following a car crash this morning.

12:00
Hugh Noble, left, plants tree at South West Essex and Settlement Reform Synagogue

A synagogue has been celebrating its 60th anniversary with one of its founders planting a tree at its grounds.

A therapeutic garden is one of three environmental projects in the borough set to benefit from Tesco’s Bags of Help scheme.

Yesterday, 17:31
Cranbrook School in Mansfield Road, Ilford could close by July.

Parents were left shaking in anger after they received an email informing them their children’s school could close by July.

Most read news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Ilford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe