Frequently asked questions
Here are some frequently asked questions. If you have a question not answered here, please contact us
Is mindfulness training suitable for all?
Anyone who wants to improve their day-to-day well-being can practice mindfulness. However, it may be better to delay taking a mindfulness course if you have current, serious mental health problems such as a major depressive episode, psychosis, untreated post-traumatic stress disorder, or you are facing significant life challenges, like recent bereavement, ongoing trauma, or active substance addiction.
Before taking a course, we will ask you to complete a health questionnaire, so that we can make sure the course is right for you, at the time. We’re always happy to discuss your situation or any aspect of the course with you before enrolling.
I cannot make all the course dates. Can I still attend?
You’ll gain the most from the course, by attending all the sessions and giving it your best. However, we do understand that sometimes circumstances may mean you have to miss a session. We suggest you don’t miss more than one. If you let us know in advance, we may be able arrange a one-to-one catch-up session, either on the phone or zoom. Your circumstances matter, so please feel free to talk to us about your situation, before or during the course.
Do I need to have any prior experience of mindfulness?
No experience or knowledge is needed. The course is suitable for complete beginners and also those who have some experience and would like to deepen their practice.
What will happen in a typical mindfulness/self-compassion session?
You’ll explore a range of different meditations to grow your awareness, learn how to manage thoughts and emotions more effectively and how to steady yourself at difficult times. You will also learn ways of bringing mindfulness and self-compassion into your everyday life and to take delight in simple pleasures. There will be teaching, guided meditations and exercises and the opportunity to share your experience of these, however there is never any pressure to speak.
What is involved in home practice?
While the weekly sessions provide essential teachings and insights, to get the most from the course, you need to commit to the home practice (approx 20 mins daily). We’ll give you instructions on how to bring mindfulness into your daily life and email you a link to a guided meditation to follow each day. Most people find home practice a challenge at times and discover it’s easier with a regular routine. If it sounds a lot, don’t worry, we will give you lots of support, encouragement and tips.
Do I need any special clothing or equipment?
Wear layers of loose, comfy clothing, so that you can move easily and adjust your temperature if you need to.
A water bottle will help you stay hydrated.
For online courses, you’ll need a place where you won’t be disturbed with a good internet connection, and a chair, with a firm back to provide proper support and help you maintain a comfy posture. If your feet don’t reach the floor, you may like to put a block or some large books underneath.
There will be some meditations, where there’s an option to lie down, so you will find it helpful to have a mat, blanket, pillow, or cushion etc.
Chairs will be provided for an in-person course/event, but you may like to bring a cushion, back support, blanket, pillow-anything to increase your comfort. Bring a mat for lying down if you have one- some mats are provided.
Are there any age restrictions?
Adults of all ages are welcome.
Can I join a course part way through?
Unfortunately not, as the experiential nature of the course requires a consistent group from the beginning.
I’m not sure I’ll be comfortable in a group. What is expected of me?
Our priority is to create a safe and confidential environment where everyone can comfortably explore and share their experiences. There’s absolutely no pressure to share if you’re not comfortable doing so – we encourage you to operate within your own comfort zone. The course is not a form of ‘therapy’ so you won’t be asked to share anything about your personal life.
We do offer one-on-one mindfulness training as an alternative option.
I’m unsure about online courses. Will it be as effective as an in-person course?
We want to assure you that Zoom has proven to be an excellent platform for running mindfulness courses. All the essential components of a mindfulness session, such as guided meditation practice, group discussions, and teaching, translate well to the online format. Many people find it more convenient to participate from the comfort of their home. We do take regular breaks in the sessions and have a tea/coffee stop halfway through. We understand that some people might feel less confident or comfortable with online connections, and we are more than willing to give some technological support before the course starts to check your zoom connection works properly. Additionally, we offer some face-to-face courses.
Do you offer subsidised places?
We do provide subsidised places on our 8-week courses to support carers and those facing financial hardship. These opportunities are limited but available, so do reach out to us, if you would like to be considered. We want our courses to be accessible to all.
What does the scientific research on mindfulness show?
Over the past few decades, there are thousands of reputable scientific studies demonstrating the effectiveness of mindfulness-based approaches for managing stress, anxiety, and depression. They show mindfulness can help people to develop awareness, resilience, emotional well-being, and better relationships. In essence, mindfulness-based practices empower individuals to lead more fulfilling lives. In those with physical health problems, long-term illnesses and chronic pain, mindfulness-based approaches can reduce symptom perception, and improve immune system functioning, helping people to live well with their conditions.
Are the courses religious?
No, our mindfulness and self-compassion training programs are secular in nature and are firmly grounded in scientific research. Although the practice of mindfulness is rooted in ancient Buddhist teachings, our approach is entirely non-religious. As a result, our courses are designed to be inclusive and suitable for individuals from all walks of life and diverse backgrounds, respecting their personal beliefs and perspectives.
What is involved in Mindful Movement?
The movements are not exercises to improve fitness, so you don’t need to be fit or flexible. We are learning to become aware of the sensations of our body and the patterns of our mind, while gently moving and stretching. The movements can be adapted and done at any level, suitable for you. You’re encouraged to work within your physical limitations, whatever these may be.
What are all the different courses that you run?
We run courses general mindfulness courses, mindfulness courses for those suffering from longterm illness and self-compassion courses. We also run bespoke courses and retreats. Please see our what’s on page for details of all our current courses.