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Russell Jack, Southland Based Yoga Guru, Reveals Mindfulness Activities to Try If You Struggle Meditating

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Southland-based yoga guru Russell Herbert Jack suggests how to get started if you wish to become more mindful but struggle to sit still.

INVERCARGILL, SOUTHLAND, NEW ZEALAND, June 17, 2022 / -- Recently, many people started noticing a decline in their mental health triggered by the ongoing pandemic, health concerns, job losses, and abrupt lifestyle changes. Research shows that the average number of adults reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression increased from 11% in January 2019 to a whopping 41% in January 2021.

“More and more people are embracing mindfulness as a way of coping with stress, anxiety, and depression today than ever before, and the trend is likely to continue. Lots of research has been done that proves that mindfulness helps in the prevention and resolving of the symptoms; it also helps all of us adopt a more accepting view of reality.”

As a mindfulness guru, Russell sees challenges that new practitioners face when trying to learn meditation practices. Although it may seem as though mindfulness only requires a quiet space and a pillow to sit on, it is a challenging activity for someone who’s used to being preoccupied with thoughts and external stimuli.

“The first thing I suggest for those who are just starting out is to take their time and not cling to a certain expectation of what mindfulness is. Many people believe that mindfulness and meditation are synonymous; however, you can be completely awake doing something and be mindful at the same time. Mindful walking, eating, and breathing experiences are all parts of what mindfulness is. The length of the activity doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you learn not to identify with your thoughts and develop an ability to accept your feelings instead of rejecting or judging them. The non-judgemental observance is a key idea to mindfulness.”

For those who struggle with starting out, Russell recommends trying mindful eating, journaling, walking, breathing, or even yoga. He suggests that the simple act of focusing on the activity and noticing thoughts as they come up is a good start. Getting rid of distractions and creating a sacred space for yourself are also great ways to ease into meditation practice. One of the activities that is beneficial for people who want to get into mindfulness is the practice of yoga. It not only helps to reconnect with your body but also trains you to breathe more deeply. Intentional breathing accompanying yoga poses is as essential as asanas themselves.

“For some of my students, yoga becomes a gateway to mindfulness as they start with learning how to move their body in a fluid motion, breathe more deeply and not identify with thoughts that come up during practice. Then, after they’ve done yoga for quite some time, they feel ready to challenge themselves and gradually expand their practice to meditation.”

About Russell Herbert Jack

Russell Herbert Jack is a founder of Southland Yoga Training in Invercargill, New Zealand. He is passionate about spirituality, the vegan lifestyle, animal rights, and living in sync with nature. Russell specializes in Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong, and guided meditations. Vinyasa yoga or flow yoga heightens consciousness by moving from one position to another seamlessly, using breath. Just like Vinyasa Yoga, Qigong has many healing properties to the body, mind, and spirit.

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