FAQ

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the skill of non-judgmental present-moment awareness. It is something that gets stronger with training and practice. Meditation and yoga are two contemplative practices that strengthen your inborn capacity for mindfulness. Mindfulness incorporates the ideas of embodiment, and the sensory experience of life, as well as present-moment experience. It is perhaps these factors, as well as the non-judgmental character of mindfulness, that are responsible for its therapeutic value and growing popularity. Research shows that regular mindfulness practice leads to improvements in the quality of human life that are measurable, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a contemplative practice in which you gently train your attention to be in the present moment by selecting an “object of attention” (something happening in the present) to focus on, such as the feeling of your breathing, the sensations in your body, sounds, or the feeling of taking each step while walking. After settling your attention on your chosen object, you practice noticing when your attention veers away from that object. Usually it veers into thinking about something from the past or the future. Each time this happens – and this is likely to be many times during a single meditation session – the practice is to patiently, and without judgment, return your attention to your chosen object. Meditation has been described as “simple but not easy”. Over time, with regular meditation practice, you develop the capacity to notice more, including things that were previously outside of your awareness. You come to see how your mind works and what kinds of things occupy your attention most of the time (typically repetitive and unhelpful patterns of thought that keep us mindlessly and automatically repeating unhelpful behaviors). With your strengthened sense of awareness that comes from your meditation practice, you can begin to consciously choose how you respond to life in the moment, rather than reacting automatically based on over- learned habits of mind. Life begins to flow with more peace and ease.

My mind is too busy, how can I practice meditation?

Everyone first comes to meditation with a busy mind. That is what we work with in meditation practice and it is not a problem. Over time, and with training and practice, you will learn to work with your thoughts more skillfully and notice that there are actually spaces between the thoughts. Many people have the misconception that meditation means you are completely free of thoughts – not so. The mind is like the ocean: some days it is rough and choppy with lots of thoughts, other days it is as smooth as glass with just a few thoughts. Meditation helps us to “be with” whatever situation we find ourselves in with more ease and less reactivity. But, even experienced meditators have days with lots of thoughts. 

What is Yoga?

The word “yoga” comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” meaning to yoke, unite, or join together. As a contemplative practice, yoga joins body, mind, and spirit. Several thousand years ago the Indian sage Patanjali organized the system of yoga (which includes physical postures, meditation, and breathing practices, among other things) into what is known as “The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali”. The physical benefits of yoga are increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone, and improved respiration, sleep, energy and vitality. The mental benefits of yoga are many. Regular yoga practice enables mental clarity and calmness, improves body awareness, relieves chronic stress, relaxes the mind, focuses attention, and sharpens concentration.

What if I’m not flexible, can I still practice yoga?

Of course! Most people are not flexible when they begin a yoga practice. This is what we work with in our yoga classes and, like having a busy mind in meditation, it is not a problem. Gradually, with a consistent yoga practice, you will increase your flexibility and range of motion in your body and that feels great.

How do Mindfulness, Meditation, and Yoga help with Stress Reduction?

Many people who experience the physical and psychological effects of chronic stress are trapped in a repetitive “stress cycle” in which their nervous system is stuck in the “fight-flight-freeze” mode. Their life is run not by conscious choice, but by automatic reactive behaviors and ways of thinking and feeling which have become ingrained, like a seemingly unstoppable “automatic pilot”. From within this habitual cycle, it can be very difficult to see a way out or to change, even though logically we know that what is happening is unhealthy. Developing the skill of mindfulness, through training and regular practices like meditation and yoga, is a well-established means of interrupting and eventually dismantling the stress cycle. Many people who experience the physical and psychological effects of chronic stress are trapped in a repetitive “stress cycle” in which their nervous system is stuck in the “fight-flight-freeze” mode. Their life is run not by conscious choice, but by automatic reactive behaviors and ways of thinking and feeling which have become ingrained, like a seemingly unstoppable “automatic pilot”. From within this habitual cycle, it can be very difficult to see a way out or to change, even though logically we know that what is happening is unhealthy. Developing the skill of mindfulness, through training and regular practices like meditation and yoga, is a well-established means of interrupting and eventually dismantling the stress cycle.
Benefits include the ability to:     • Respond to life more skillfully by choice, and less automatically by habit    • Experience less negative judgment and anger    • Enjoy better sleep, mood, and energy levels    • Notice improvement in emotional well being    • Listen attentively, often leading to improved relationships    • Accept things as they are, which permits wise action  – including change – from a place of alignment, rather than resistance

What is Psycho-Spiritual Growth?

Psycho-spiritual growth draws on the field of Transpersonal Psychology and operates from the premise that there is more to our human development than the attainment of what traditional psychology would consider a “healthy ego”. “Transpersonal” is defined as experiences in which the sense of identity or self extends beyond the individual or personal to encompass wider aspects of humankind, life, psyche or cosmos. As human beings, we are designed to continuously change and progress toward greater harmony with life and enhancement of our well-being. This is where science and spirituality intersect. Psycho-spiritual growth utilizes the discoveries of modern scientific psychology and neuroscience, as well as ancient spiritual practices for quieting the mind, like yoga and meditation. 

Where Are You Located?

Directions: Integrative Mindfulness is located in The Fountains Professional Park, 3372 Woods Edge Circle, Suite 102, Bonita Springs, FL 34134. From US 41 in Bonita Springs (approximately 1 mile south of Bonita Beach Road and 1.6 miles North of Wiggins Pass Rd.), take Woods Edge Trail west approximately 0.3 mile. The Fountains, a complex of gold buildings with red tile roofs, is on the left. Turn left on Woods Edge Circle and circle to the back of the complex to Building 3372. 

How Do I Pay For Classes?

You may pay for classes and workshops online with a credit card at our Book Now page. For most classes you may also pay at the door when you come to class with either a credit card, cash, or personal check. We accept all major credit cards. Some classes and workshops require advance registration.

Integrative Mindfulness is located in
The Fountains Professional Park
3372 Woods Edge Circle
Suite 102
Bonita Springs, FL 34134.

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Email: [email protected]

Telephone: (239) 590-9485