8 Week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course

The 8 Week ( MBSR ) Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course aims to assist you in taking better care of yourself and in getting the most out of living. The majority of people completing the programme report lasting physical and psychological benefits including:

  • an increased ability to relax
  • greater energy and enthusiasm for life
  • heightened self-confidence
  • an increased ability to cope more effectively with both short and long-term stressful situations.

The aim of the programme is to learn new ways to handle challenging physical sensations, feelings, moods or social interactions.

What does the course involve?

The MBSR course is run over 8 weeks in 2.5 hour sessions.  A retreat day of mindfulness practice is included in week 6 when participants have the opportunity to experience an extended day of practice to notice the effects of this.  The program involves mindfulness meditation training and practice, movement and body awareness training, exploration of patterns of thinking, feeling and action, brief lectures and group discussions.  To get the most out of coming to the class requires some work on your part and each participant is required to undertake 30 - 45 minutes of home practice a day between classes. It requires a strong commitment to work on yourself through a gentle but rigorous daily discipline of the mindfulness meditation practices. Making the time commitment and the personal exploration involved can make the course seem stressful at times but it is also likely to be pleasurable and empowering as well.

Who is the course for?

The MBSR programme is known to benefit people with a range of problems of both a physical and a psychological nature, but it is not necessary to have a specific health problem to find it helpful. We all have times in our lives when we experience difficulty, stress and struggle and for some of us this is our daily experience. The problem or illness itself may not change but the way we relate to and cope with the difficulty may shift, making it all feel easier. Developing greater awareness can open us to be able to change how we approach our experiences – taking more pleasure in the good things and dealing more effectively with the difficulties. We can see how often we are missing the moments of our lives! We can see how our habitual and reflex reactions to events often add layers of difficulty for us on top of the original problem!

The course is therefore potentially open to any of us who are at a point in our lives where we wish to, and are ready, to look deeply at ourselves.

People do also come to mindfulness courses to gain skills in dealing with particular conditions. With a range of problems including:

  • Heart disease
  • Chronic pain
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety and panic
  • Depression
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Fatigue
  • Cancer and other long term illnesses
  • Skin disorders.
mindfulness based stress reduction course

 Summary of the course

  • The aim of the course is to learn new ways to handle our moods and emotions.
  • It teaches us to take better care of ourselves so that we are able to live our lives in a fuller and healthier way.
  • It promotes a way of being that helps us tackle life problems – physical, mental, social and emotional.
  • The focus of the mindfulness practice is to learn to be aware of the small changes in the physical sensations in your body; what is happening in the world around you (using your physical senses) and your thoughts, emotions and moods.
  • The course programme encourages us to develop the skill of being aware of our experiences (good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant) from moment to moment -so that we can learn to respond more skillfully to situations rather than simply reacting automatically.
  • Overall, the course is often helpful in dealing with an ongoing difficulty – the problem may not change but the way we can  learn to relate to it differently.

Whilst taking part in the course it is important to remember that it can be stressful to take the course. Finding the time to practice involves a shift in routine. Things may appear to be feeling more intense and challenging. The programme encourages us to bring a high degree of attention to everything, even the unpleasant or difficult things we are experiencing in our lives. This forms an important part of the learning to stay and be with problems and difficulties, rather than turn away from them and avoid them. There is little opportunity or time during the course to discuss any current or past personal problems not related to the practices. If necessary, these should be pursued through individual work with a counsellor or other appropriate support.

Once you have completed the course you will be able to attend regular events for mindfulness course graduates that will help you to keep the process going.

How much does it cost?

The standard course fee is £200 which includes pre-course assessment, eight course sessions, access to a retreat day of practice, between session contact (if you need support), home work, course manual and digital recordings of guided practices and completion certificate.

I want to make this course as accessible as possible so please contact me if you feel you cannot afford the course fee, concessions are available to meet your situation.

Course dates

Courses are run from Continuum Yoga Studio, Windermere.

Wednesday Evenings
Session OneWhat is Mindfulness?13th September
19.15 - 21.45
Session Two Gathering the Scattered Mind20th September
19.15 - 21.45
Session ThreeWhat is Stress?27th September
19.15 - 21.45
Session FourRespond Instead of React4th October
19.15 - 21.45
Session FiveMindfulness of Thoughts11th October
19.15 - 21.45
Session SixMindfulness of Emotions18th October
19.15 - 21.45
Retreat DaySaturday, 21st Oct
10.00 - 16.00
Session SevenCultivating Compassion25th October
19.15 - 21.45
Session EightA Mindful Life1st November
19.15 - 21.45

Courses are limited to 12 spaces.

What to do if interested?

CONTACT JOHN if you'd like to book a place or if you have any questions.

Each potential participant will have a pre-course interview to address any questions you may have about the course, to consider the commitment involved and to discuss whether the course is the right one for you at this time.