This month Eastern Mangroves by Anantara will be hosting a world authority on mindfulness and meditation. Time Out meets Stuart Bold to find out who can benefit from taking his one-day course.
Sometimes you just need to get away from it all – physically and mentally. On Saturday September 20, Palm Jumeirah’s Anantara The Palm is hosting meditation master Stuart Bold for a one-day workshop titled Mindfulness and Meditation. Stuart, who has travelled the world offering his courses, is the founder of the Meditation Foundation, and has established a reputation with high-end retreats across the globe.
The workshop is designed to maximise participants’ use of meditation and mindfulness techniques, and on the day, a buffet lunch, course notes and a take-home audio-guided meditation will all be provided.
Practising mindfulness is a generally accepted psychological practice that has a focus on maintaining awareness, similar to the idea of living in the moment. Meditation and mindfulness are often linked in psychological studies – meditation enhances mindfulness. Meditation is also most effective when the subject is able to keep a detached awareness.
‘The workshop is designed to teach participants how to take advantage of opportunities through mindful-based practice,’ Stuart explains. ‘Once learnt, meditation and mindfulness skills are something you can access easily for the rest of your life, at any time you choose. They are empowering – you don’t need to pay out money each week; you don’t need to travel anywhere; there’s no equipment needed or ongoing fees or costs – in fact, all you need is a little time each day.’
Stuart will be teaching participants how to take advantage of techniques to improve health and wellbeing as well as relaxation techniques. ‘The workshops are informal, relaxed and fun, whilst providing a really valuable mix of practical skills and knowledge, enabling all participants to properly understand mindfulness and meditation,’ he says. ‘You will learn effective ways to bring skills and techniques into everyday life (in a modern and practical way) and to reap the huge array of proven benefits.
‘In a really simple and practical way, participants will learn different mindfulness and meditation techniques that can be used at home and at work to support them in establishing their personal practice. They will learn about the range of benefits and how to access them, and gain a good a no-nonsense understanding of what meditation and mindfulness are and how they can be beneficial to almost every area of life.’
According to Stuart, the benefits include enhanced physical and emotional health as a result of reduced stress, worry and anxiety, lower blood pressure, better cardiac health, greater energy, improved sleep, anti-ageing, pain and weight management.
‘The benefits extend to greatly enhanced brain power such as better memory, concentration, focus, decision making and creativity,’ he continues, adding that you can also hope to have better relationships thanks to improved communication skills, along with better self-esteem and a happier outlook.
During the Abu Dhabi course itself, activities will include teaching participants to maximise their breathing, habitual mediation and lifestyle practices. ‘The majority of the practical activities are done sitting on chairs – there is no sitting on the floor – and include things like learning and experiencing breath focused meditation, body focused mindfulness, eating meditations and things like moving mindfulness, standing and walking meditation,’ he explains.
‘Other practical learning includes various stress management techniques, using mindfulness to improve communication and relationships, techniques to improve happiness, improve sleep and reduce weight.’
If it all seems a bit daunting, Stuart is quick to reassure newcomers to the practice that there is nothing to fear, and that ‘meditation is very easy to learn’. ‘Anything enabling calm, balance and peace is extremely valuable in modern life, but the benefits go far beyond this. Most people are aware of the clear benefits in terms of stress and anxiety, but many are unaware of the range of evidence-backed benefits in terms of health and wellbeing, cognitive function, personal and business performance and success, happiness, relationships, success and overall better quality of life.’
Time Out reader discount Dhs600. Dhs1,250 including discount. 9am-5.30pm (with an additional, optional social event running 5.30pm-6.30pm). To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Anantara, Dubai, The Palm Resort & Spa (04 567 8888). Also Eastern Mangroves Hotel & Spa by Anantara, Abu Dhabi (02 656 1000).
The Art of Living
With more people enjoying the courses, enabling a healthier lifestyle, with help from meditation and mindfulness, Dubai has several ongoing activities. One such programme is the Art of Living, which teaches participants how to achieve mindfulness and meditation through five-day courses.