Mindful Self Compassion Course
Earlier this year we completed a Mindful Self Compassion Course in Hoylake Parade Community Centre with Rita Bennet and Pauline Johnson. The course was a fantastic experience. Here we run through some details about the course and discuss its benefits.
Each course runs across 8 weekly sessions and also includes a silent retreat morning. The course teaches you practical methods and techniques to help you foster Self-compassion.
Mindfulness teachers Kristen Neff and Christopher Germer developed and put together the MSC course. You can find links to their websites and work in the Further resources section at the end of this post.
The course was split over 8 morning sessions and also an additional silent retreat session. Each session has its own theme;
- Discovering Mindful Self-Compassion
- Practicing Mindfulness
- Practicing Loving-Kindness
- Discovering Your Compassionate Voice
- Living Deeply
- Meeting Difficult Emotions
- Exploring Challenging Relationships
- Embracing Your Life
The MSC Course provides you with 3 core meditations, 4 other meditations and 20 informal practices. This ensures that you can pick the practices that you like and that work for you. Likewise, it gives you scope to not have to do the practices that you do not find useful or do not like. This practical side of the course provides you with a toolkit of techniques. You can use these whenever you need to, dipping into your tool kit for the right tool!
Mindful Self Compassion and Yoga
The Yama are the first limb of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga. Yama means restraint. Patanjali sets out behaviours that we need to restrain and puts this at the start of the Eight Limbs. Ahimsa is the first Yama in the Eight Limbs of Yoga. The sanskrit work ahimsa is often translated as non-violence, non-harm or compassion.
We tend to think of compassion as a giving concept. That we are compassionate towards others. However, compassion goes both ways and we need to consider self-compassion. In a yoga class for example this would be practicing to your own level and ability. Therefore, not being violent towards your own body.
Taking this concept wider, self-compassion is about being in tune with what we need at any given moment. Being kind to ourselves. Talking to ourselves in a kind compassionate voice. This is often the hardest part! We tend to talk to ourselves with the voice of a harsh critic. Talking to ourselves in a tone / manner that we would never dare to use with others. The MSC course helps you to begin to find a kinder voice towards yourself.
The Importance of Self Compassion
At this current time, the tool kit we developed as part of the Mindful Self Compassion course has been particularly helpful. It is quite a natural response during this lockdown period to have fluctuating moods and emotions. Consequently we can begin to feel stressed or anxious. Stopping and asking yourself what you need right now, is a powerful technique. Always remembering that you are looking at things that are within your sphere of influence. Do you need to sit and watch the breath? Or perhaps you need to offer your self a compassionate touch? Maybe you need to go for a mindful walk? There will be something within the Mindful Self Compassion tool kit to help.
Rita & Pauline
A quick word about Rita Bennet and Pauline Johnson. They are great teachers and facilitators. Rita is a fully trained teacher of Mindful Self-Compassion and also teachers MBSR courses. Pauline is a Clinical Psychologist and Mindfulness Teacher. Consequently as a teaching team they have lots to give their students from different perspectives.
Paul previously attended a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction course with both Rita and Pauline. Because Paul loved the MBSR course we both jumped at the chance to attend the MSC course in Hoylake.
As a result of reading this blog, if you are interested in the Mindful Self Compassion course, you can email Rita to register you interest. You can contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find our review of Kristen Neff’s book here: https://yogasmiths.org/2020/02/17/self-compassion-by-kristen-neff-book-review/
Purchase Kristen Neff’s book here:
Find out more about Kristen Neff on her website; https://self-compassion.org/
Find out more about Christopher Germer on his website; https://chrisgermer.com/
Check out our Lockdown Resources blog here: Lockdown Resources
Here is a previous blog relating to tips for dealing with stress; https://yogasmiths.org/2018/05/19/mental-health-awareness-week-helpful-tips-to-deal-with-stress/
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