A belated Happy Easter! It's April already and although I'm not sorry to see the end of Winter, I've been enjoying a slow start to the year. This picture was taken on New Years day in Camber Sands with family and friends when the sky was an amazing blue. No filter needed! We watched the sun set, strolled along the beach and even did a bit of sand dune jumping too.
Spring feels as if its been a long time coming but it's finally here and although the weather may not suit many, it's a time to embrace the seasonal change and perhaps offer some kindness to ourselves too.
Traditionally, the first few months of the year are the hardest and toughest mentally, when we all fall into the trap of wishing things in our lives were different, or setting new year goals that often we cannot keep.
I have set myself no goals this year, only an intention to spend more time with family and friends and to offer the same kindness to myself as I would others.
This is the practice of self-compassion which literally means 'to suffer with'. To explain, it's like offering kindness to a friend in trouble and offering the same depth of feelings and response to your own suffering. So let's turn towards our imperfections and frustrations (or mistakes!) that will inevitably happen this year, and accept them with a kind and open heart. It's not an easy road to take by any means, but we all have these experiences in our lives, so rather than fight or judge ourselves all the time we simply just need to accept our humanness with compassion.
'Unlike self-criticism, which asks if you're good enough, self-compassion asks: what's good for you? Dr Kristen Neff
To find out more about how to practice self compassion take a look at the work of Dr Kristen Neff, a pioneering self-compassion researcher, teacher and author (see video link below).
So here's what's coming up this Spring.
My next 8 week mindfulness course starts in May with taster classes on the 1st and 8th of May at the lovely Pilates Pavilion in Esher on Tuesday evenings. The popular mindful parenting course will also be returning to the Medicine Gardens in Cobham from the 17th May on Thursday mornings.
And for those of you that wish to renew your practice there's my refresher classes every 6 weeks at the Pilates Pavillon on Sunday mornings. I hope to see some of you at the next one on the 20th of May for some shared practice - all welcome.
I will also be returning to the wonderful Mindful Living Show in London this summer to give a practical workshop on Saturday 2nd June. So don't forget to book your tickets online at http://mindfullivingshow.com and come along!
May you be happy, may you be healthy and may you be at peace. Kind wishes, Sam
Tuesdays Evenings Finding Peace in a Frantic World is the best-selling book and programme by Prof Mark Williams. Through weekly guided meditations, group reflections, breath work and movement classes you can learn how to develop your own personal mindfulness practice on this introductory course.
Ideal for those wishing to immerse themselves in a weekly mindfulness programme. Discover how to self-regulate your moods and thoughts to help release the stress of modern day living.
Join me for a Taster Session to find out more
Tues 1st May or Tues 8th May
7.30-9.00pm Cost: £15
Course Starts: Tue 17th May - Tue 10th July - 7.30-9pm
Costs: £215 - inc resources & course materials
(Reduced offers available for advance bookings and attendance of taster classes)
Or register & book online via the Zoe Hodgson app
m: 07970 203767 SamMantra for information
The Pilates Pavilion is a community wellbeing studio, running regular pilates and fitness classes throughout the week. Set in forty acres of open greenland, this beautiful open space is located within Imber Court Sports Ground. Access via own drive way, Ember Lane, Esher, KT10 8EG
Photos Camber Sands & some recent students (8 week course Esher, March 2018)
Refresher Class & Silent Retreat Day Refresher Class Sunday 20th May 10.15-12.30pm Come to the next refreshers class to welcome in the Spring. It will be a mini retreat morning spent well - a chance to nourish yourself and refresh your practice. Open to all with some meditation or yoga experience and to those that have attended SamMantra's classes before. Bring your own yoga mats and blankets if you wish. Spaces limited and refreshments will be provided. Costs: £25 with discounts available to previous course attendees. Silent Retreat Day Sunday 24th June 10-3pm Book yourself on a silent retreat day at the Pilates Pavillon this summer, and give yourself some time to slow down and step out of autopilot mode. Open to all levels of meditators and those who have completed an 8 week mindfulness course or are currently completing one. The day will be spent mainly in silence, with a range of guided meditations that will help you to deepen your practice. So no phones or distractions but just your presence. The day includes mindful walking, mindful eating, gentle yoga movement and opportunities for quiet reflection at the end of the day. Light refreshments and snacks are provided but please bring your own packed lunch, blankets and cushions if you wish. Costs: £40 with discounts available to previous course attendees To book these special events please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or register & book online via the Zoe Hodgson app http://zoehodgsonpilates.co.uk m: 07970 203767 SamMantra for more information
2018 Diary Dates: Sunday 20th May - Refresher Class, Esher 1-2 June 2018 - Mindful Living Show, London Sunday 24th June - Silent Retreat Day, Esher Look out for my Creative Compassion Workshop in the Experience Zone on Sat 2nd June!