A Personal Journey into Mindfulness

Klangschale, BellI recently participated in the ‘Change your mind, Change your Life’ retreat with psychotherapist, yoga instructor, and meditation teacher Kim Roberts at New Life Foundation in Northern Thailand.

(For more information on Kim Roberts, view the “our team” link from the Foundation’s home page.)

On the first evening, sitting in a circle with the group in the serene, beautiful, meditation hall, I feel a sense of anticipation and gratitude for this very special opportunity.

We listen to an overview of the ‘Four Immeasurables’ of Buddhist philosophy and the stage is set for “harmonising body, speech and mind”.

Each day we bring these concepts into practical application , exploring them through focused Asana  and breathing practices from the Ashtanga yoga tradition, listening to inspiring readings from some of the wise muses that have crossed Kim’s path and through discussion and writing  practice.

I find each of the Four Immeasurables becoming a more integrated and tangible part of myself and am blessed by a steady stream of  “ah-ha” moments.

The most life-changing was the profound experience of feeling the ‘bandas’ within my body. (Banda refers to the rotation downward of the cocyx or tailbone, with simultaneous rotation downwards of the pubic bone, which can be translated into the English word lock.)

I learn that “engaging the bandas” is a fundamental part of Ashtanga yoga practice, meditation posture, walking, breathing and grounding into the body. While consciously engaging the bandas, I have an acute sense of strength and clarity run throughout my spine there’s also a sense of openness of the crown chakra.

It has been a few weeks since the retreat and I continue to find that my new awareness of the bandas is bringing me transformational moments and significant progress in my life.

**thanks to Keanu for this personal experience**

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