Mindfulness is a new modality in Western society. Cleverly blending ancient wisdom traditions of the East, particularly Buddhism, with modern neuroscience and psychology, a series of simple skills can be learned by anyone wishing to harness the power of their mind.

The 2015 UK Mindfulness All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) investigated how to incorporate mindfulness into education, criminal justice, the workplace and health. This APPG described mindfulness as:

“Mindfulness is best considered an inherent human capacity akin to language acquisition; a capacity that enables people to focus on what they experience in the moment, inside themselves as well as in their environment, with an attitude of openness, curiosity and care”.

Vidyamala’s definition is particularly applicable to those experiencing the suffering associated with chronic pain:

“live in the moment, notice what is happening and make choices in how you respond to your experience rather than being driven by habitual reactions”

The Mindful Nation report made the following comments about mindfulness in physical healthcare:

“Mindfulness training is a valuable complement to conventional medical care. It is a form of ‘participatory medicine’ by which the patient is enabled to develop their own understanding of their condition and draw upon their own resources for healing and care, often within peer-to-peer groups. This is a new model of healthcare which it is widely believed will be increasingly significant in the future, as healthcare needs continue to grow. There is good evidence that MBIs [Mindfulness Based Intervention] can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety for people living with long-term conditions such as vascular disorders, chronic pain and cancer, and promising evidence is emerging for the helpfulness of MBIs for other long-term physical health conditions.”

The Breathworks core approach is Mindfulness-based Pain Management (MBPM) which has its own scientific evidence-base.

We have also adapted this to other circumstances such as: 

Compassion

Compassion and kindness are also central to all our mindfulness programmes. Becoming more aware in each moment, we step away from habitual, unconscious reactions. Mindful and kind awareness leads to new, more creative responses.

Mindfulness and compassion give us more choice in life. 

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The Breathworks approach is grounded in compassionate awareness, with a gentle, gradual transformation of our relationship to all our life experiences, including our pain or difficulty. We invite everyone engaging with Breathworks practices and courses to take care of their own well-being as fundamental to our approach. If you suffer from physical, emotional or mental health conditions, please take care not to push yourself past your own safe boundaries when following guidance in Breathworks practices. Please remember that you are always the best person to know what is right for you:

  • don’t persist with any practice that is triggering difficult experiences that feel too much or harmful for you
  • adapt practice guidance in a way that you feel most comfortable with
  • speak to your mindfulness teacher or health practitioner if in any doubt