What is Mindfulness?
What does it mean?
Mindfulness is about deliberately paying attention to the here and now, in a kind and non-judgemental way.
It provides another way of being and responding to your thoughts, experiences and emotions.
With regular practice, mindfulness can help improve your quality of life with increased awareness and focus of the present moment - that sunset more glorious, that meal taste better, that kiss sweeter and the holiday doesn't simply fade into insignificance as soon as you return to work.
This practice can also help you bounce back quicker from bad experiences, become more resilient and also better able to manage life challenges. Mindfulness also provides a gentler and compassionate way of healing from loss, grief and trauma.
Mindfulness and its meditation practices are suitable for beginners of all ages and cultural background.
What does it involve?
Practising mindfulness involves doing two things on a regular basis, they are:
formal practice - this is a range of guided meditations from sitting, standing up, eating, walking and even lying down meditations.
informal practice - this is when we apply mindfulness and its attitudes in our day-to-day activities.
Frequently asked Questions:
Q: I can't stop thinking and I'm easily distracted, so how can I meditate?
A: Mindfulness & meditation is not about zoning out or emptying the mind of all thoughts. Nor is it possible to practise mindfulness or meditation in complete vacuum so distractions are normal and can actually be useful to develop one's resilience and focus. The practice is about simply noticing and acknowledging our thoughts, sounds, bodily sensations and all that we are experiencing during the practice (or in fact in life) just as they are without the knee-jerk reaction of judging any of them as good or bad, right or wrong or embellishing them with our narratives. It is about being a curious and wise observer of our experiences that we are able to become more discerning, level-headed and calm.
Q: I often feel tired and fall asleep when I meditate, is this normal?
A: Yes, this is completely normal. If you fall asleep that means you are either tired or your posture induces sleep. So you can either change your posture, or go and get some rest. Listen to your body. And remember you are in charge of your own practice.
Q: I suffer from chronic anxiety/depression, is mindfulness right for me?
A: Mindfulness and meditation have been proven to help with the management of a huge range of mental health issues. With regular practice and concerted effort to adopt all the mindfulness attitudes into your daily life and practising meditation regularly, you will be able to respond to life challenges in a healthier and more sustainable way.
Q: How long will it take to "work"?
A: Scientifically proven it takes an average of around 8 weeks of regular and consistent practice (both formal and informal) for a significant shift to take place. This is also a reasonable length of time to develop a new habit and mindset. Results may vary as outcome would also depend on your commitment, lifestyle, mental and health conditions too. Just remember to be gentle with yourself, Rome wasn't built in a day.
Q: Isn't this all a bit "woo woo"?
A: Although Mindfulness is based on ancient Buddhist teachings, it is not a religious practice nor is it reserved only for those on a "spiritual journey". Numerous scientific researches and clinical trials have been carried out to evidence the benefits of mindfulness and meditation. Results show a clear connection between our minds, body and immune system and how mindfulness and meditation can help improve our health and wellbeing. There are also many recent studies on mindfulness and gut health.
"Going to Juita's classes is like a hot warm shower for my head.." -Charlotte, Broadway
My approach focusses on making Mindfulness and meditation easily accessible to anyone. My passion is to share and spread the boundless possibilities and benefits which can be attained through the practice of Mindfulness and meditation. I want to dispel the myth that Mindfulness and meditation are intimidating, "woo woo" and only for "hippies".
I genuinely aim to hold an open, safe and confidential space where each person can share as much as they want and learn at their own relaxed pace and style.
I have carefully selected easy to follow guided meditations and daily practices. These can be applied anytime and anywhere regardless of the situation you are in. You can choose from any of these practices to adapt to your individual needs and daily routine. YOU decide whether to practise from as short as a few minutes to half an hour (or more!); sitting in a lotus position, lying down or sitting at your office desk. You can even practice Mindfulness while being stuck in a traffic jam or waiting for the kettle to boil or in a queue at the check out.
No special equipment is necessary, however your comfort is paramount so comfortable chairs, cushions, mats or blankets and suitable loose attire may be a good idea. It's all about experimenting to find what suits YOU best.
My classes also involve learning how to reconnect with your body and all of your senses. Be prepared to explore and be amazed! There are also walking meditations and doing simple movements to help us notice how the body moves and feels. Walking meditation may take place outdoors but you will see that the practice can be applied just about anywhere. The aim of these practices is NOT to become fit or build muscles but by connecting to our bodies we could develop gratitude and compassion to this body that has helped us move, breathe, digest food and achieve amazing things! This attitude is key to our healing and well-being.
I am also very passionate about connecting with nature hence I have trained to become a Natural Mindfulness guide. I believe being immersed in nature helps further build our resilience to life's ups and downs. Nature also helps increase our body and mind's capacity to heal from stress, anxiety, pain, illness, depression, grief and trauma.
During all of these practices I would encourage you to listen to your body and be gentle with yourself. We are not striving for perfection but rather, we are simply being in the moment as best as we can.
I am very "human" in my approach. I can appreciate and relate to the challenges triggered by pain, anxiety, depression, grief, loss and trauma as I have experienced them myself. Our stories may be different but I believe in a shared human experience where we all have very similar things we struggle with on a daily basis and we all have the same basic needs.
"I find comfort when Juita understands exactly what I am going through with my anxiety and depression. She knows where I am coming from as she has been there too. I don't feel so alone in my struggles.." - Emma, Cheltenham
It's incredible how you deliver your sessions with passion, kindness and sympathy." - Jelena, Shipton on Stour
"You have such a such a wonderful voice for guided meditation.." -Jennifer, Switzerland