Guest blog by Zen Maitri
In 2018, the Mental Health Foundation and YouGov published research highlighting some worrying trends among people living in the UK. In the preceding year, 74% of adults were so stressed at one point that they felt overwhelmed or unable to cope. 32% of adults said they had experienced suicidal feelings as a result of stress. These numbers are even more concerning when we consider the many health issues that come with stress: mental health complications, sleeping trouble, decreased nervous system function, cardiovascular disease, increased chances of high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes – just to name a few. It’s easy to see why chronic stress and anxiety have been labelled two of the great public health challenges of our time. Fortunately, there are steps we all can take to support strong mental health.
The power of meditation
The body of research showing the positive impact of techniques like meditation, breath work and yoga on mental health is growing all the time. All have been shown to positively impact the brain, the body and behavior, to improve a person’s relationships with others; to support those suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, and to ease physical problems like hypertension, heart disease and chronic pain. And all of those benefits are within our grasp. Meditation and breath work classes are fun, relaxing, accessible and empowering.
Despite backing from a mountain of scientific evidence and legions of loyal practitioners all over the world, plenty remain sceptical of the positive impact meditation can have on their lives. Often that’s an issue of perception: Some people can’t think of a worse way to spend time than sitting quietly and seemingly not doing very much at all. But meditation and related practices like breath work are about much more than slowing down and sitting still. Essentially they hone the skills of self-discipline and self-reflection. Over the long term, you can tap into these in times of need, whether you want greater control over racing thoughts or a sense of inner-calm in stressful situations.
Meditation classes in the heart of Chiswick
As part of our commitment to supporting the health and well-being of the Chiswick community, Zen Maitri has recently launched free weekly meditation classes. They run from 6:30 pm for an hour every Thursday evening and are led by Laurent Roure, our resident meditation and breath work teacher. He ensures each class is as relaxing as it is empowering, with a range of breathing and mindfulness exercises to train your mind and leave you feeling at ease.
If you’d like to sign up and come along, you can book on our website, by phone or reserve your space in-store. We’re also launching a 6-week meditation course in October, titled ‘How to Find Calm & Manage Stress’. It’s been developed to help you deal with stress and anxiety and starts on Thursday October 10th.
The cost is £120 per person, there are a maximum of eight spaces available and there will be six classes of 60 minutes. As with our free classes, you can register your interest or reserve a spot at any time. Or keep an eye on our website and social media for more details.
The Zen Maitri Team
Zen Maitri is the natural health apothecary on Turnham Green Terrace
Zen Maitri are also members of The Chiswick Calendar Club Card scheme. Read more about their current offer to Club Card members on meditation classes here.