Relaxing Mind & Body with Mindfulness

A free offering from the Loran Smith Center, Piedmont Athens Regional

Please join this talk and mindfulness practices focusing on cultivating relaxation through present moment awareness. Why wait for summer vacation, learn how now!

The practice of mindfulness not only enables you to change your relationship to stress, anxiety, depression, etc., but it also leads to relaxation. Being able to relax is important as it allows your mind and body to rejuvenate, “re-charge” … and it feels good too. Changing your relationship to stress and stressors allows “space” and time for you to relax and enjoy each moment more fully. We will explore several mindfulness practices and start to realize greater relaxation, peace, now. No need to wait for summer vacation.

Together we will explore, your experience of being relaxed, through several mindfulness practices: gentle stretching with awareness, Awareness of the Breath Meditation, walking meditation, as well as how to bringing mindfulness to everyday activities to help remain relaxed and aware throughout the day.

Mindfulness Meditation – Concentration, Awareness, with Compassion

Mindfulness is awareness that arises by paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally (that is, suspending judgment). Mindfulness involves training in attention, awareness, concentration, and compassion. You come to know and understand yourself in a deeper, experiential way.

Key aspects of mindfulness: Concentration – the ability to stay focused on one object, one-pointedness. Awareness – another way of knowing that is non-cognitive, experiential, in the present moment (“Be Here Now”) that is, not being caught-up in thoughts of the future or the past. Mindfulness brings a gentle, curious attention to whatever arises in mind and body, resting in awareness. Just observing, directly the sensations themselves, as the moment unfolds, with nothing added. As practice deepens you gain insights into the conditions that influence thoughts and behavior. These insights, understanding of our conditioning leads to great compassion of self and others. Keep in mind, as with developing any art or skill, mindfulness requires practice and patience.

Mindfulness practice allows you to respond rather than react to stressful situations. Reactions are often automatic, unconscious, and habitual. Responses are conscious choices arising from mindfulness – perception, appraisal, awareness of what’s actually happening in the moment. This process results in not identifying as closely with our thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, which in-turn loosens attachment to them, allowing space for creative conscious choices.

Benefits of Mindfulness Practice – formal and informal or everyday activity mindfulness allows you to:

  • Change your relationship to stress, anxiety, anger, fear, sadness, and other afflictive emotions
  • Be less reactive and more responsive–allowing space for conscious, creative choices
  • See more clearly – with fewer perceptual filers
  • Realize a deep relaxed awareness of mind and body
  • Develop peacefulness, a reservoir of peace or calm energy
  • Gain insights- identifying skillful and unskillful patterns of behavior, speech, etc.,
  • Open the door to inner wisdom
  • Know yourself more deeply, fully
  • Be more compassionate with self and others
  • Realize greater health and happiness

Mindfulness Practice Evening is a Free Offering for the Community – that meets the second Friday of each month from 5:30 – 6:30 p.m. These mindfulness instruction sessions explore different aspects of mindfulness through discussions and practices and are free. All those who are interested are welcome – whether you are just curious or have a regular practice. Free parking. The Dedicated Mindfulness Practitioners Group meets, 1st and 3rd Saturday, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. These two mindfulness practice opportunities and the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction workshop are held at the Healing Lodge, next to the Loran Smith Center, Piedmont Athens Regional, at 240 Talmadge Dr., Athens, GA 30606. The next MBSR workshop starts in early 2018.

The Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) workshop provides guidelines and practices for bringing mindfulness to stress/suffering that we all experience in life. MBSR was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the Center for Mindfulness, University of Massachusetts in 1979. It is one of the most effective and researched stress reduction workshops available today. MBSR is taught and researched at US medical centers, universities, and elsewhere throughout the world, and is available through the Loran Smith Center at Athens Regional Health System, 240 Talmadge Drive, Athens, GA 30606. Research on MBSR is the “gold standard” for mindfulness. You can register for the next MBSR workshop at

The Mindfulness Practice Evening is facilitated by Mike Healy, Ed.D., certified to teach Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction by the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and is a certified Integral Hatha Yoga instructor, RYT 200. For more information, please contact:, or call 706-543-0162

For information or to register for a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction workshop please visit or contact: 706-475-4900 or or The next workshop starts Monday, February 19th, registration closes, Tuesday, February 13th. Class meets Mondays from 6 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., for six weeks, plus a day of mindfulness on Saturday, March 24th. Price: $225. Register at