Mind-ful-ness. the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
Mind-ful-ness. a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
We are living in a world of constant connection and digital accessibility.
We can use our smart phones to purchase a coffee from our favourite coffee shop without needing your wallet, make a video call to our best friend in Australia, book a workout and deposit a cheque to your bank account all while sipping your coffee- from your phone!
Now this is remarkably efficient, however this is also very stimulating for our minds (let alone all the blue light our eyes are exposed to from the screen time).
Over the past few years, we have seen a positive increase surrounding awareness for the health, wellness + fitness culture.
People are more interested in getting healthy, eating a plant rich diet, incorporating regular exercise into their routine, essential oils, yoga, supplementation, mediation and reading well-being books (how great that they changed this category from “self help” to “well-being”!).
Mindfulness practices have fallen into this awareness category as well.
There has been a lot of research about the benefits of mindfulness, including but not limited to the following:
- decreased stress
- reduced anxiety
- improve cognition
- increase body positivity
- improved overall health
Mindfulness practices can be different for everyone, so finding what works for you is important.
I had the opportunity to experience some of our fantastic Downtown Burlington businesses for various services or products that complement the practice of mindfulness.
Give some of these ideas a try next time your body and mind are craving some self-care time!
7th Wave Yoga – 468 Brant Street, 2nd Floor
What better way to connect with your mind + body than rooting into your yoga mat and flowing through a peaceful 45 or 60 minute class in Melinda’s calming studio. 7th Wave Yoga is a warm and welcoming studio that is all about community connection while being strong and aligned with our bodies.
Melinda’s thoughts on mindfulness is about “being aware of your body and aware of the effect your energy has on other people”. The mind-body connection is important for Melinda and you feel that when you step into one of her classes with a focus on breathe work and a meditative flow style of yoga.
Gym on Pearl – 430 Pearl Street
The Gym on Pearl is a boutique gym that is located right in the heart of the Village Square.
It is outfitted with state of the art, well kept equipment, modern design and is very, very clean (really appreciate this!).
There are many benefits of moving the body and exercise. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins, which trigger positive feelings in the brain and body.
Need some help with goal setting or navigating a workout that’s right for you? The Gym on Pearl has reasonable priced personal training and a team of knowledgeable and experienced trainers, James and Ian, that can help you on your fitness journey!
Go Float Studios – 390 Pearl Street
I was so intrigued to experience floating and visit the guys behind Go Float Studios. As soon as you step in to the studio, you feel calm. The peaceful colors, salt lamps and the pre-float tea get you relaxed and ready for your float.
You are escorted to a pristine room with a shower and your float cabin, where you will relax and unwind for your float experience. The water is kept at body temperature, which is skin-receptor neutral and your tank will have around 1000 pounds of epsom salt that will take care of you while you float.
Floating in not only relaxing and meditative, it has many health benefits: relieve stress, reduce chronic pain, recover from injuries, lower blood pressure, improve circulation and can increase dopamine and endorphin levels.
Why not start a Saturday or Sunday with a workout to get the body moving, a one hour float to relax and let those muscles recover and then grab an oat milk latte and chia parfait at Tamp Coffee Co to ease into the rest of your day!
Anise Modern Apothecary – 429 Elizabeth Street
Stepping into Anise is like stepping into a world of wanderlust. Monique (the owner) is a beautiful gypsy soul whose shop is full of plant based, non-toxic beauty, body care and home products. If you’re craving some self-care time, take yourself to Anise to pick up some essentials for a blissful bath ritual. Grab a beautiful high-vibe smudge wand to cleanse your bath space, fill your tub with the pursoma all-natural mineral rich bath soak, light a lavender Fenwick candle (made in Canada!) and nourish your post-bath glow with some Sage + Rose Monk Oil.
Anise also hosts some amazing beauty and wellness events that you can stay in the know of when you are subscribed to their newsletter!
A Different Drummer Books – 513 Locust Street
Similar to the benefits of practicing mindfulness, there are many benefits to reading a ‘real’ book. Call me old fashioned but buying a new book, opening the cover and starting that first page gives me all the cozy feels. One of my favourite ways to relax and unwind is to run a bath (see Anise above for bath ritual inspo!) and read- even better if a glass of wine is involved!
A Different Drummer Books is a quaint and cozy neighbourhood bookstore, similar to one that you might see in an episode of the Gilmour Girls.
Pay this dreamy bookstore a visit for a well-being inspired read. Need a recommendation? My current favourite is Beautiful Money by Leanne Jacobs, holistic wealth expert, yogi and former Downtown Burlington resident!
Spa in the Village – 416 Pearl Street
What better way to practice breathe work than in an infrared sauna! Spa in the Village is a little slice of heaven nestled in the Village Square. They offer a full line up of spa services as well as a menu of wellness and detox services such as Lymphatic Drainage Massage, Reflexology, Indian Head Massage and a Detox Footbath.
Being mindful of how our body feels day in and day out is so important, so taking time for yourself to slow down and focus on your mind-body connection should be booked in the same way a visit to the doctor or dentist is.
Meaghan Sittler Life Coach – 600 Brant Street
I had the opportunity to speak with Meaghan Sittler who has a Masters in Social Work, along with training in Life Coaching, Energy Healing and Reiki. She is passionate about empowering her clients to have true peace, well-being and fulfillment in all aspects of their lives.
This is an incredibly powerful message that resonated me, particularly when it comes to the subject of ‘mindfulness’.
When asked about her thoughts on mindfulness, Meaghan says, “I think mindfulness is the ability to tune into your intention behind your words, actions, and behaviours on a regular basis”.
Being aware of our mental and physical well-being is something that is becoming more recognized and understood. More people are talking about practicing self care and meditation. People are more aware of what they are putting in their bodies and following a healthier diet. The fitness community has seen a massive growth over the last few years and more people are speaking up about mental health.
Meaghan elaborates, “There are a lot of tools, activities and resources out there now that can help us be proactive about our mental and emotional health. As you pay attention to your feelings you should also know that you have more power over them than you may think. It is important to understand that with practice and awareness (mindfulness) we all have the ability to learn how to respond to life and our emotions rather than always just reacting. Being able to respond rather than react is ultimately determined by your emotional health. Having more respect for your emotions and allowing them space to be felt, understood, and heard by you and others (who will also respect them) is the key to emotional health and therefore feeling strong and whole”.
Being able to carve out time for yourself to connect with your body’s feelings, both mentally and physically, is important.
We are all “busy”. It’s normal for people to answer “busy” or “fine” when someone asks how you are. It’s easy to prioritize other tasks and other people over ourselves, but eventually that can take a toll on your mental and physical health.
Let’s get in touch with our body’s needs, mentally and physically, slow down our fast paced lives and schedule in some self-care time to connect with ourselves.
There’s some real magic that can happen when we focus inwards and become aware of how we feel, what we need and appreciating the moment.