Mindfulness offerings

What is it?

Mindfulness simply means awareness. The origins of mindfulness come from Buddhist traditions, but there is no religious component to mindfulness courses and they are suitable for people of all ages, from all walks of life.

The most frequently used definition of mindfulness is this one by Jon Kabat Zinn, who was instrumental in bringing mindfulness to the West, and in particular into healthcare settings:

Mindfulness is…..paying attention in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non-judgementally.

How do we do it?

Mindfulness practice uses our sensory experiences – our body sensations, sounds, tastes, sights and the breath to ‘anchor’ us in the present moment.

Mindfulness practice includes both formal meditation practice and informal practice of mindfulness of daily living, things like drinking a cup of tea mindfully – feeling the warmth of the cup, the smell, the taste, really noticing all of our experience.

An example of a short formal guided meditation, a three minute breathing space, is given here http://www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk/3-min-breathing-space

Other free meditations can be downloaded from here: http://franticworld.com/resources

Changed my thinking

I have thoroughly enjoyed the 8 week course and I can honestly say it has changed my thinking. I am far more “aware” of my day to day life and am learning to enjoy “being in the moment”. In a stressful time constrained life we can still make time for small pleasures if we do them mindfully. Karen has been the most wonderful teacher, clear and precise in her teaching with just the right amount of warmth and kindness in her manner. Meditating to her voice was an absolute pleasure!

Nina

Spiritual development

It was a very inspirational course, involving both personal and spiritual development. I have learned to slow down and be more aware of my surroundings, to be generally kinder to myself as well as to others and not to react so quickly to events. As a result of meditating most days for 20 minutes or so, combined with Chi Gung practice, I am now sleeping much better instead of being wakeful for 2 hours during the night. I feel so much better. It was so useful to have the CDs and notes to remind me now the course has finished. Karen combined the theory and practice of mindfulness so well, but without being too serious. She has a friendly manner and good sense of humour and a beautiful warm, soft voice for the meditations. I enjoyed the course very much.

June

Slowing down

I learnt that it’s OK to slow down! Slowing down and stopping to reflect is a wise use of my time in the long run. Karen is a wonderful role model of how mindfulness can enable you “to be”. She is very warm, friendly and understanding.

Liz

PTSD

The course has provided me with tools to control and support other interventions I receive for my PTSD. Karen is very patient, supportive and understanding. I am glad I found her as she has made mindfulness a part of my life, it’s now up to me.

Roger

Manage stress

The course has helped me focus on my own wellbeing and how to better manage stress, emotions and negative thoughts in a more considered way. Much of the course resonated with me and how I normally go about life and difficult situations/experiences.
Karen has a relaxed style and approach, the teaching was not rushed but considered and flexible. Karen is enthusiastic and passionate about the benefits of mindfulness but without being forced.

AS

Inspiring

The course enabled me to identify my own resources for living better, identifying things that prevent my wellbeing. Karen has been a great teacher. She is kind and understands my own position and difficulties. She has been such an inspiring and engaging teacher, and I am so pleased to have found her.

Anonymous

Brilliant

The course has changed in an excellent and meaningful way how I manage my life. Karen’s teaching was absolutely brilliant!!

Debra

Empowered

I have become more aware of everything I do or not do, my environment and others. It has empowered me through meditation, body scan and breathing in particular. Karen has got the perfect voice for the meditation exercises. She is very kind, sincere and just a beautiful person. Perfect for this course.

Irma

Listening

It was a great pleasure and help to have worked with Karen as a coach. She was very good at listening to what I had to say and throwing questions back that made me think. This really helped me sort out and understand difficult periods in my life. Thank you so much Karen for your support.

VM

Thoughts

The course has changed how I think and the importance of making time for myself. Thoughts are just thoughts and NOT facts. The teaching was excellent, Karen was really friendly and easy to talk to.

Anonymous

Incredible journey

Thank you Karen for an incredible 8 week journey into Mindfulness for Stress. Working as a professional with you I now have more wonderful tools in my kit thanks to you and Breathworks. Your meditation manner is wonderful and soothing and you made us all feel so welcome and encouraged. I have a very hectic life and this course has helped me to reevaluate what really matters and focus on the wonder of the present. Thank you.

Rebecca

Passion and belief

The course has given me the permission to give time to myself to relax and pursue the things that sustain me. I’m kinder to myself, notice my thoughts more and interrupt negative self-talk. I feel much calmer, thank you. Karen is a wonderful teacher. Her passion and belief for mindfulness engages you completely. She has the perfect voice for guiding relaxation and meditation. I am already recommending her to friends and colleagues.

Sarah

Welcoming

I now have a better understanding of myself – realisation of my present hectic stressful life – I now have tools to deal with it and the confidence to take time for myself. Karen was absolutely lovely. She put us at ease early on and has a warm and welcoming personality and delivers instruction in a casual but instructive way.

Graham

Supportive

Coaching has helped me to step back and analyse my actions and thought processes from an outside perspective. Karen has provided me with various tools and exercises to help me manage stress, identify when my thought processes or behaviour were being detrimental, and to plan my time more effectively. This has ultimately helped me to improve my productivity and wellbeing. Karen provides a supportive and confidential space for me to talk about my life. She is incredibly perceptive, easy to talk to and has made me feel completely relaxed throughout our sessions. I have always left the sessions feeling more motivated and positive which is a reflection of the enthusiasm she brings to each session.

Jennifer

Meditation

I have participated in Mindfulness Meditation practice for some years, however I felt that I wanted to invest time to further develop this. Having read around various options, I decided that a Breathworks course would best meet my needs, especially as I wanted a course that had a strong focus on ‘Compassion and Kindness’. The course has assisted me to really reflect on authentic practice and also to refresh my existing practice, whilst offering an opportunity to try out new and varied meditations.

Karen was very knowledgeable, informative and organised and really effective in working out how I could get the full potential from the course. Karen gave additional information and touched base with me via email on the weeks between attending each session, providing encouragement and helpful tips. Ultimately Karen was very approachable and authentic. Many thanks for a very positive experience.

Steve

Calming influence

Meeting with Karen has enabled me to take time out to reorganise my life – prioritising, helping me to think through decisions and get things in order. It has certainly helped me to stress less and focus more. Karen is a natural listener and is a calming influence. She has some great methods and ideas for helping to de-stress and make decisions.

Marie

Confidence

The course has given me confidence, an ability to step back and assess before diving in – ability to recognise and balance pain against good things/sensations. Pacing skills (although still needs a lot of work), calmness and general slowing down and collecting myself. Thank you. Recognition of learned bad thoughts and reactions – thoughts are not always true. New phrases to help me cope and assess wisely – What is true/good for me at the moment? What do I need to make things better/easier at this time? – bringing myself back to my centre. Permission to be kind to myself and to practice my meditations.
Karen was excellent. Patient, kind, enthusiastic, methodical, with a wonderful presence. She encouraged us, was very knowledgeable and very happy to share resources and her time. She made us feel very comfortable and welcome and was very supportive when things were a bit tough. She couldn’t have done better.

AC

Appreciate

My eyes have been opened to how quickly I have been carried along with life’s events never giving me time to step back and assess. Now I take time to enjoy and appreciate my family and surroundings, dealing with things in a much calmer way. Karen oozes calmness and understanding, you can hear the joy in her voice when she talks of mindfulness and her joy and belief in it is very infectious. A perfect teacher ☺

Karrie

Daily life

The eight week course helped me to realise, understand and put into practice the different ways of being mindful in daily life. From body scans, mindful breathing to mindful movement – these and many more methods will be very very useful to me in developing my own mindfulness practice.
Karen was a brilliant teacher – she explained the course clearly and was approachable if I didn’t understand certain points. She delivered the course in a very friendly, jovial way – she was very informative and helpful.

Simret Bassra-Brar

Life saver

The course has been a life saver and has given me a life without ruminating, controlling. There has been a profound change. Karen was the best teacher.

Anonymous

Understanding

I now have an understanding that mindfulness is not about meditation as relaxation and drifting and wafting, instead a state of presence and being. I now have a selection of tools to help develop and practice mindfulness and choice to use what works best for me. The course has been an opportunity to consider my current life demands, understand the processes behind them and how mindfulness can help manage them.
Karen is inspirational and passionate in the delivery of the course and very knowledgeable in mindfulness practice. She is great at facilitating useful discussion and debate during sessions.

Liz

Encouraging

Letting thoughts come and go and accepting difficulties and breathing through them rather than pushing them away is what I learnt from the course. The course was brilliantly communicated by Karen, no judgment and totally accepting and encouraging.

Gill

Engaging

Knowing that I’m not alone and now having a toolkit for my own and my families happiness is what I got from the course. Karen was a really great teacher, very engaging and knowledgeable in mindfulness.

Mark

Positive impact

Attending this mindfulness course has had a massive positive impact on my life. I feel much more balanced which in turn has made me more capable of dealing with different aspects of my life. I no longer feel overwhelmed as I am able to put what I used to think as insurmountable situations into context and deal with them in a calm way. Karen is a very effective communicator. Karen has a gentle and kind approach and this in itself is calming and radiates peacefulness which is conducive to learning and practicing mindfulness.

Cathy

Valuable theories

Before we heard about this course we had read a book about mindfulness, but couldn’t seem to find the time to try out any of the techniques. This course was just what we needed to begin. We feel it has introduced us to valuable theories and tools to cope better with stressful situations and get more out of life. Karen was very adept at delivering the course in an engaging way. Her relaxed teaching style suited us very well. This was a very personal experience and Karen definitely got the best out of us!

Rachel and Rich

How is it helpful?

With regular practice, mindfulness:

  • Increases awareness which allows us to make better choices
  • Gets us off autopilot and in touch with our direct experience right now
  • Allows us to be truly present and spend less time worrying about the past or anticipating the future
  • Actually frees up time! When we are with our direct experience we are not on automatic pilot, or daydreaming, or worrying, or anticipating, each of which can take up a lot of time ….
  • Enhances our wellbeing
  • Reduces stress, anxiety and depression
  • Reduces the impact of long term health conditions
  • Helps us to manage life’s pressures
  • Improves memory, attention and decision making
  • Allows us to be more productive and creative
  • Helps us to make the most of each moment
  • Helps us to develop self-compassion and compassion for others
  • Changes our brain in positive ways

Mindfulness also helps by allowing us to tap into our own inner resources when working with difficulties and helps us to change our relationship with them.

When you practice mindful breathing, you become truly present. If you are here, life is here also.

Thich Nhat Hanh

What do I offer?

My training has been with an organisation called Breathworks (www.breathworks-mindfulness.org.uk), a participating member of the British Association for Mindfulness Based Approaches (BAMBA) whose courses include a core component on developing compassion. I offer their 2 courses:

Mindfulness for Stress

This course is for anyone dealing with stress of any kind, whether associated with work, relationships, finances, loss or other factors outside your control. On this course you will learn mindfulness strategies and approaches within a supportive environment.

This 8 week course is offered either weekly or as double sessions fortnightly. Each session comprises a different theme to help participants to understand how mindfulness can reduce stress so they can incorporate this into their own lives. There is a combination of teaching, meditation, enquiry and discussions. Each week there is home practice of formal guided meditations and one small thing to do mindfully to support mindfulness of daily living.

In the Mindfulness for Stress course you will learn:

  • Ways to reduce stress and become more resilient, calmer, happier and inspired
  • How to apply mindfulness to all aspects of your life, giving you more choice in how you respond to life’s challenges

For an overview of the Mindfulness for Stress course please follow this link: Breathworks Mindfulness for Stress overview

Mindfulness for Health

This is also an 8 week course offered either weekly or as double sessions fortnightly. This course is suitable for those in pain or dealing with other health complaints. Similar principles are covered as in the mindfulness for stress course, but there is more emphasis on overcoming resistance and acceptance of health complaints and the course also introduces the use of pacing to prevent the boom and bust cycles of doing too much or too little.

In the Mindfulness for Health course you will learn:

  • To live in the present moment and breathe into your experience, rather than tensing against it.
  • To respond rather than react to our life's circumstances

For an overview of the Mindfulness for Health course please follow this link: Breathworks Mindfulness for Health overview

I teach courses to groups and individuals in Leamington Spa. I also provide sessions for individuals online to those further afield - as well as taster sessions and follow-up sessions and bespoke courses/workshops for groups and organisations.

Our capacity to make peace with another person and the world depends very much on our capacity to make peace with ourselves.

Thich Nhat Hanh

When and where is the next course, and how much does it cost?

For Groups:

Please contact me if you are interested in participating in Breathworks Mindfulness for Stress or Mindfulness for Health courses in a group setting. Ready established groups are particularly welcome.

When the mind goes back to the present moment, it also goes back to the body; body and mind are united. Breathing is the bridge between body and mind.

Thich Nhat Hanh

For individuals and couples (come with a partner or friend):

Mindfulness for Stress and Mindfulness for Health courses are offered for individuals and couples (come with a partner or friend) throughout the year. Please contact me if this is of interest and we can time sessions to suit you.

Fees for group courses, and courses for individuals and couples are outlined below and include workbooks, practice books and CDs of guided meditations or MP3 downloads.

Fees:

For groups

8 week Breathworks mindfulness courses from £240-280 dependent on numbers and venue (2.5 hours/session or longer for fortnightly sessions)

For individuals

For an 8 week course the rate for individuals is £400 (1.25 hours/session). One to one sessions are held in Leamington Spa. Sessions can also be delivered online for those who live further afield.

Each moment of our lives, each moment that is given to us to live, we have to live very deeply.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Two together rate

Come with your partner or a friend for £500 for the two of you for an 8 week course (1.5 hours/session). You can support and encourage each other throughout the course and with home practice.

Introductory sessions

Do you want a flavour of what mindfulness is all about before committing to an 8 week course? I offer one to one introductory sessions at £50 for a one hour session (or two together rate of £60 for the two of you for a 1.25 hour session). Introductory sessions make fantastic gifts (please see below). I also offer introductory workshops for groups, tailored to meet your needs - for details please contact me.

Follow-up sessions

After an 8 week course some people really appreciate coming together again as a group to support their continued mindfulness practice. I offer regular follow-up sessions to groups and also half day/full day retreats which allows us to take our practice deeper by introducing periods of silence. Follow-up sessions are also available for individuals and couples. For details of follow-up sessions and retreats please contact me.

Gift ideas

Why not consider giving mindfulness sessions as a gift? Please contact me to discuss further.

Costs for organisations and bespoke courses

I can tailor the content and timing of courses to suit your group or organisation. To discuss further please contact me - karen@yourlifebalance.co.uk

Mindfulness courses

Breathworks Mindfulness for Stress and Mindfulness for Health courses are run throughout the year for individuals and couples (come with a partner or friend). Please contact me if this is of interest and we can arrange the timing of sessions to suit you.

If you would prefer to learn in a group setting please contact me for information about the next group course. Ready established groups are particularly welcome.

Slowing down

I learnt that it’s OK to slow down! Slowing down and stopping to reflect is a wise use of my time in the long run. Karen is a wonderful role model of how mindfulness can enable you “to be”. She is very warm, friendly and understanding.

Liz

Listening

It was a great pleasure and help to have worked with Karen as a coach. She was very good at listening to what I had to say and throwing questions back that made me think. This really helped me sort out and understand difficult periods in my life. Thank you so much Karen for your support.

VM

Confidence

The course has given me confidence, an ability to step back and assess before diving in – ability to recognise and balance pain against good things/sensations. Pacing skills (although still needs a lot of work), calmness and general slowing down and collecting myself. Thank you. Recognition of learned bad thoughts and reactions – thoughts are not always true. New phrases to help me cope and assess wisely – What is true/good for me at the moment? What do I need to make things better/easier at this time? – bringing myself back to my centre. Permission to be kind to myself and to practice my meditations.
Karen was excellent. Patient, kind, enthusiastic, methodical, with a wonderful presence. She encouraged us, was very knowledgeable and very happy to share resources and her time. She made us feel very comfortable and welcome and was very supportive when things were a bit tough. She couldn’t have done better.

AC

Thoughts

The course has changed how I think and the importance of making time for myself. Thoughts are just thoughts and NOT facts. The teaching was excellent, Karen was really friendly and easy to talk to.

Anonymous

Empowered

I have become more aware of everything I do or not do, my environment and others. It has empowered me through meditation, body scan and breathing in particular. Karen has got the perfect voice for the meditation exercises. She is very kind, sincere and just a beautiful person. Perfect for this course.

Irma

Encouraging

Letting thoughts come and go and accepting difficulties and breathing through them rather than pushing them away is what I learnt from the course. The course was brilliantly communicated by Karen, no judgment and totally accepting and encouraging.

Gill

Engaging

Knowing that I’m not alone and now having a toolkit for my own and my families happiness is what I got from the course. Karen was a really great teacher, very engaging and knowledgeable in mindfulness.

Mark

Daily life

The eight week course helped me to realise, understand and put into practice the different ways of being mindful in daily life. From body scans, mindful breathing to mindful movement – these and many more methods will be very very useful to me in developing my own mindfulness practice.
Karen was a brilliant teacher – she explained the course clearly and was approachable if I didn’t understand certain points. She delivered the course in a very friendly, jovial way – she was very informative and helpful.

Simret Bassra-Brar

Manage stress

The course has helped me focus on my own wellbeing and how to better manage stress, emotions and negative thoughts in a more considered way. Much of the course resonated with me and how I normally go about life and difficult situations/experiences.
Karen has a relaxed style and approach, the teaching was not rushed but considered and flexible. Karen is enthusiastic and passionate about the benefits of mindfulness but without being forced.

AS

Passion and belief

The course has given me the permission to give time to myself to relax and pursue the things that sustain me. I’m kinder to myself, notice my thoughts more and interrupt negative self-talk. I feel much calmer, thank you. Karen is a wonderful teacher. Her passion and belief for mindfulness engages you completely. She has the perfect voice for guiding relaxation and meditation. I am already recommending her to friends and colleagues.

Sarah

Spiritual development

It was a very inspirational course, involving both personal and spiritual development. I have learned to slow down and be more aware of my surroundings, to be generally kinder to myself as well as to others and not to react so quickly to events. As a result of meditating most days for 20 minutes or so, combined with Chi Gung practice, I am now sleeping much better instead of being wakeful for 2 hours during the night. I feel so much better. It was so useful to have the CDs and notes to remind me now the course has finished. Karen combined the theory and practice of mindfulness so well, but without being too serious. She has a friendly manner and good sense of humour and a beautiful warm, soft voice for the meditations. I enjoyed the course very much.

June

Positive impact

Attending this mindfulness course has had a massive positive impact on my life. I feel much more balanced which in turn has made me more capable of dealing with different aspects of my life. I no longer feel overwhelmed as I am able to put what I used to think as insurmountable situations into context and deal with them in a calm way. Karen is a very effective communicator. Karen has a gentle and kind approach and this in itself is calming and radiates peacefulness which is conducive to learning and practicing mindfulness.

Cathy

Understanding

I now have an understanding that mindfulness is not about meditation as relaxation and drifting and wafting, instead a state of presence and being. I now have a selection of tools to help develop and practice mindfulness and choice to use what works best for me. The course has been an opportunity to consider my current life demands, understand the processes behind them and how mindfulness can help manage them.
Karen is inspirational and passionate in the delivery of the course and very knowledgeable in mindfulness practice. She is great at facilitating useful discussion and debate during sessions.

Liz

Calming influence

Meeting with Karen has enabled me to take time out to reorganise my life – prioritising, helping me to think through decisions and get things in order. It has certainly helped me to stress less and focus more. Karen is a natural listener and is a calming influence. She has some great methods and ideas for helping to de-stress and make decisions.

Marie

Appreciate

My eyes have been opened to how quickly I have been carried along with life’s events never giving me time to step back and assess. Now I take time to enjoy and appreciate my family and surroundings, dealing with things in a much calmer way. Karen oozes calmness and understanding, you can hear the joy in her voice when she talks of mindfulness and her joy and belief in it is very infectious. A perfect teacher ☺

Karrie

Valuable theories

Before we heard about this course we had read a book about mindfulness, but couldn’t seem to find the time to try out any of the techniques. This course was just what we needed to begin. We feel it has introduced us to valuable theories and tools to cope better with stressful situations and get more out of life. Karen was very adept at delivering the course in an engaging way. Her relaxed teaching style suited us very well. This was a very personal experience and Karen definitely got the best out of us!

Rachel and Rich

Incredible journey

Thank you Karen for an incredible 8 week journey into Mindfulness for Stress. Working as a professional with you I now have more wonderful tools in my kit thanks to you and Breathworks. Your meditation manner is wonderful and soothing and you made us all feel so welcome and encouraged. I have a very hectic life and this course has helped me to reevaluate what really matters and focus on the wonder of the present. Thank you.

Rebecca

Brilliant

The course has changed in an excellent and meaningful way how I manage my life. Karen’s teaching was absolutely brilliant!!

Debra

Inspiring

The course enabled me to identify my own resources for living better, identifying things that prevent my wellbeing. Karen has been a great teacher. She is kind and understands my own position and difficulties. She has been such an inspiring and engaging teacher, and I am so pleased to have found her.

Anonymous

Welcoming

I now have a better understanding of myself – realisation of my present hectic stressful life – I now have tools to deal with it and the confidence to take time for myself. Karen was absolutely lovely. She put us at ease early on and has a warm and welcoming personality and delivers instruction in a casual but instructive way.

Graham

PTSD

The course has provided me with tools to control and support other interventions I receive for my PTSD. Karen is very patient, supportive and understanding. I am glad I found her as she has made mindfulness a part of my life, it’s now up to me.

Roger

Supportive

Coaching has helped me to step back and analyse my actions and thought processes from an outside perspective. Karen has provided me with various tools and exercises to help me manage stress, identify when my thought processes or behaviour were being detrimental, and to plan my time more effectively. This has ultimately helped me to improve my productivity and wellbeing. Karen provides a supportive and confidential space for me to talk about my life. She is incredibly perceptive, easy to talk to and has made me feel completely relaxed throughout our sessions. I have always left the sessions feeling more motivated and positive which is a reflection of the enthusiasm she brings to each session.

Jennifer

Changed my thinking

I have thoroughly enjoyed the 8 week course and I can honestly say it has changed my thinking. I am far more “aware” of my day to day life and am learning to enjoy “being in the moment”. In a stressful time constrained life we can still make time for small pleasures if we do them mindfully. Karen has been the most wonderful teacher, clear and precise in her teaching with just the right amount of warmth and kindness in her manner. Meditating to her voice was an absolute pleasure!

Nina

Life saver

The course has been a life saver and has given me a life without ruminating, controlling. There has been a profound change. Karen was the best teacher.

Anonymous

Meditation

I have participated in Mindfulness Meditation practice for some years, however I felt that I wanted to invest time to further develop this. Having read around various options, I decided that a Breathworks course would best meet my needs, especially as I wanted a course that had a strong focus on ‘Compassion and Kindness’. The course has assisted me to really reflect on authentic practice and also to refresh my existing practice, whilst offering an opportunity to try out new and varied meditations.

Karen was very knowledgeable, informative and organised and really effective in working out how I could get the full potential from the course. Karen gave additional information and touched base with me via email on the weeks between attending each session, providing encouragement and helpful tips. Ultimately Karen was very approachable and authentic. Many thanks for a very positive experience.

Steve

Get in touch!

If you require more information please email me and I will contact you as soon as possible.