Contributor: Nailah Bakari
Photographer: Nailah Bakari
On Wednesday, December 7th Saffron & Sage held its first Discovering Mindfulness class. Hosted at Gold Leaf, a boutique gift shop in South Park, the class held space to explore the essence of mindfulness and some basic techniques that manage stress and aid in the release of negative emotional experiences. Led by Saffron & Sage’s newest Practitioner, Sheava Rahimi, MFT. The class was an insightful and transformational journey into mindfulness and how it can support our mind, body and spirit.
Rahimi began the class by welcoming everyone, and inviting the participating Saffrons to fill out a short questionnaire simply asking about how stressed they were, what the most stressful thing in their life was, and what their expectations for the class were. Once everyone was done, Rahimi went into her lesson about mindfulness and how it can provide relief from stress.
In its simplest definition, stress is purely your mind and body’s response to change. However, even though it is simple on paper, stress can have incredibly adverse effects on your mind and body. For example, weight gain, heart problems, anxiety, depression, and difficulty sleeping. Stress is such an issue, that 90% of doctor visits are due to stress related symptoms. It is because stress is so prevalent and harmful, that it is important to have a positive mechanism for coping with it. This is where mindfulness comes in.
Rahimi went on to explain that mindfulness is a kind of non-elaborative, non-judgmental, present centered awareness in which each thought and sensation is acknowledged and accepted as it is. In other words, when you are mindful, you observe your thoughts and feeling without passing judgment on them. Rahimi taught us that mindfulness can be seen as an antidote for stress because you become more aware of the needs of your body, mentally and physically, and, most importantly, it gives you a new and neutral way to look at the stress in your life and an opportunity to respond to it in a healthier way.
Rahimi took every opportunity to allow the participants to share their experience with stress and the mindfulness exercises that she walked us through. All Saffron & Sage events create safe spaces for participants to talk openly about whatever is happening in their lives, however, the openness and safety that Rahimi generated was even more than what anyone expected. Every participant shared at some point. Some sharing very personal anecdotes that connected the participants even more.
To end class, Rahimi led everyone through a mountain meditation. When this concluded, she invited everyone to fill out a new questionnaire. This time asking about how relaxed we were, and what destressing technique we would take home with us. This gathering was perfectly timed as stressful situations are increasing with family gatherings and holiday travel. If you weren’t able to join us this month, we hope that you will be able to participate in our next offering. For upcoming dates check out our events calendar here.