On April 14th, 2016, presenters Rik Fire, LCSW, and Anna Sara Fire led the staff of New Vitae Wellness and Recovery in a discussion on mindfulness. Both work for New Vitae Wellness and Recovery, promoting holistic care options through individual and group therapies as well as yoga practice, respectively. Described as a state of active, open attention on the present, mindfulness assists us with being focused on the present to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. The Fires reviewed four basic steps to ensure that staff is in the moment (Breathe – Step Back – Think – Respond), and characteristics of mindfulness, including acceptance and engagement to avoid “auto-pilot moments.” Mindfulness may actually keep the brain young, as researchers have shown that mindfulness practices may prevent cortical thinning of the brain that occurs with age.
The Fires also reviewed a variety of mindfulness practices, including the mindful eating cycle, Nidra Yoga, and the mindful breathing process. Participants had the opportunity to practice each of these methods to assist with teaching these practices to family, friends, and service participants. The training was very well received, with many people planning to attend Anna Sara’s next Nidra Yoga session at Quakertown House. Thank you to both Rik and Anna Sara for the thought-provoking conversation!