Mindfulness is paying attention to ourselves, others, and the world around us in a particular way. The works of Jon Zabat-Zinn pioneered the use of mindfulness practice in various clinical disorders. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, increase self-awareness, improve emotional intelligence and increase fulfillment. The diagnosis of any illness can increase stress particularly the diagnosis of cancer. One of the many common threads that bond all human beings is our experience with illness.
Illness is a manifestation of imbalance and “dis-ease” within ourselves and can be a “speed bump” to slow us down. The experience with illness provides an opportunity to reevaluate ourselves, and reflect upon our priorities. It provides a moment in time to become more self-aware of our body, mind and spiritual requirements to move forward to hopefully live a quality life. The reality is such that we will all succumb to death in this life. As quantity of life becomes less important as we age, quality of life becomes increasingly valued.
Practicing mindfulness can provide support and help improve quality of life especially during challenging times of illness. After many years of surgical practice, I have witnessed the experience of illness improve the lives of some patients and have led to depression in others. Practicing medicine has provided me the opportunity to transform and impact a patient’s quality of life and not just buy them more time. I have been known to say, “physicians are delayers of the inevitable”, but we should also help patients move forward more mindfully. We cannot avoid illness, stress, or aging, but we can choose how we respond to these challenges.
There are many methods to cultivate mindfulness such as meditation, yoga, prayer and several others. These practices allow us to reconnect with ourselves and have self-realization. Yoga means to unite (body, mind and soul) as well as to yoke (harness). The physical practice of yoga (asanas or postures) Increases our flexibility and strengthens our body but strengthens our mind. Meditation (Dhyana), one of the eight limbs of yoga helps to gain self-awareness. These are a few tools that create a pathway to mindfulness.
The third pillar of Centre for Personal Renewal is Reconnection. Reconnection with the Self. For additional information on methods offered to cultivate mindfulness please contact Centre for Personal Renewal by clicking the button below.
Throughout the years, Emilia has practiced many forms of physical movement including classical dance, Pilates and competing in triathlons. She has practiced yoga at various times in the US, Bali and India, but it was when she was introduced to the philosophy of yoga and the mindfulness aspects that she developed her own practice. For her, the benefits of yoga are beyond the physical and include an awareness that can be applied in daily life.
In 2016, she completed her level 1 teachers training with Tammy Williams of NRG Yoga and today shares this knowledge with others. Emilia has been a surgeon for 20 years, and now incorporates mindfulness and yoga practices to facilitate patient recovery from treatments. She believes that “the power in power flow is not just about power in the body; but power of the mind.”
As a practitioner of Vipassana meditation, she helps others realize that “cultivating a mindset where caring for our bodies and our health is our personal responsibility and a lifestyle”. Her classes focus on yoga philosophy and are designed around the pillars of mindfulness; while attaining physical benefits through the asanas (postures). Emilia states, “the goal of my class is for us to reconnect to the essence of human nature, as well as, our best higher selves.”