To help better understand the benefits of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, we sat down with Barnes Class teacher, longtime yoga instructor and mindfulness coach Ali Gilling to learn more about her latest class.
Q. What is the connection between yoga and MBSR?
Having taught yoga and meditation for about 20 years, I wanted to give my students a better understanding of meditation, and arm them with some simple tools to help them learn to relax.
Q. What was your certification process like?
I did an 8-week Mindfulness course in 2000 in Oxford shortly after returning from India, where I completed my yoga teacher training course. I began to introduce some of these mindfulness practices into my yoga teaching through time.
Q. What made you decide recently to add MBSR to your offerings?
Over the last few years, I realised that absolutely everyone can benefit from learning these simple techniques to help manage stress, not just within the yoga classes or for people who regularly practice yoga. That’s why I decided to add on the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Programme (MBSR).
Q. Tell about some of the benefits of MBSR.
This course can be life-changing and there has been a lot of research about mindfulness in students after undertaking the program. Reports have shown significant changes in brain pattern, behaviour and an overall positive affect on quality of life.
Q. What do you hope students take away from your class, or understand from your taster course?
I hope students learn how to manage stress better, which will ultimately leads to a happier and healthier life. I absolutely love teaching MBSR.
Hear what some of Ali’s MBSR Autumn 2016 students had to say about the course:
“I went to Ali’s 6-week Introduction to Mindfulness course and found it so useful! I did not hesitate one moment to join the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course. I think it was one of the best decisions I have made for a long time.”
“The tools that Ali teaches are, for me, life changing. I now have the capability to realise when my thoughts are running away, or when I am becoming anxious or stressed and bring myself back to a relaxed and calm state. It has enabled me to deal with any day-to-day problems head on, in a highly effective and relaxed way. This now happens so automatically, I wonder how I managed to become so stressed in the past.”
“The meditations and breathing exercises that Ali takes us through are so practical and helpful and I use them often during the day, without the need to take precious time out. My sleep is also much improved. In truth, my whole outlook in life is so much more positive and life has definitely improved.”
“I feel blessed to have these tools at my disposal and cannot recommend Ali and the MBSR course highly enough. Ali’s teaching style is wonderful and she herself is a very kind and approachable person. On top of that I feel so blessed to have made some wonderful friends on the course, we are in touch regularly and inspire and cheer each other along.”