Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment—it is the art of experiencing life as it is happening. While this sounds quite simple, it can be a challenge, particularly when we are surrounded by distractions. Most of us spend lots of time overthinking the past or worrying about the future which can lead to feelings of stress and overwhelm. Living (or visiting) a busy city like London can be particularly stressful which is why having practices to maintain a sense of inner calm and balance are so important. Fortunately, the city is full of beautiful spaces and experiences to become more mindful. Here are 5 mindful ways to relax and recharge in London!
Mediation is one of the best ways to calm a busy mind. However, the practice of becoming still and observing one’s thoughts is not always the easy when attempted alone. ReMind Studio offers Londoners a space to escape the chaos of the city and practice mediation in a beautiful modern space. The studio offers a range of different guided meditation sessions that include breathing exercises, restorative poses and sound healing. Located in the stylish Eccleston Yards, Re: Mind Studio encourages the practice of personal rituals that create time and space for reconnecting with people, nature and self. Visit www.remindstudio.com
Yoga is the ultimate mindfulness practice for cultivating a greater awareness of the body mind connection. A restorative yoga session, when practiced in the right way, can be as soothing as a massage when it comes to reducing tension and relaxing the physical body. Certain postures have a deeply calming effect on the whole system, particularly forward bends and inversions. TriYoga is London’s best yoga studio for a wide range of restorative yoga classes. Take some time to stretch out the stress with yoga teacher Natasha Kerry, whose yin yoga classes are the perfect way to let go of any built up tension in the body. Visit www.triyoga.co.uk
A mindful eating experience is all about eating in a calm and relaxed state so you can fully enjoy all the flavours, textures and tastes of your food. For a truly beautiful meal and dining experience, Farmacy kitchen in Notting Hill is the perfect destination. Offering an array of delicious plant-based dishes inspired from around the globe, Farmacy supports both a vegan and vegetarian diet, free from dairy, refined sugars, additives and chemicals. The plant filled decor of the restaurant creates a calming atmosphere and compliments the beautifully presented meals. Visit www.farmacylondon.com
Dancing is one of the more creative and fun ways to experience mindful movement. Fortunately, you don’t need to be out past midnight at a nightclub to enjoy the mood boosting benefits of a good dance in London. 5Rhythms offers dance classes that offer participants a way to connect with their body as a type of moving meditation. The music progresses through five rhythms which encourages different types of moving: flowing, staccato, chaos, lyrical and stillness. It is a great place to shake off any tension and have fun in a new way. Visit www.5rhythms.com
Reconnect with nature at Holland Park
Spending time in nature is one of the simplest ways to de-stress and bring your awareness back to the present moment. London is has numerous beautiful parks scattered in each borough of the city, but one of the finest is Holland Park situated about 10 minutes away from Kensington Palace. Inside the park is the Japanese inspired—Kyoto Garden. Here you can walk around the centre pond and enjoy watching the koi carp fish swimming around. The garden is also filled with flowers at most times during the year.