Ranch & Coast Magazine by Elizabeth Hansen – January 2017
Last fall, I signed up for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class at Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine. This isn’t the only place in San Diego to take the eight-week course, but I chose Scripps because instructor Karen Sothers is considered a local MBSR rockstar.
Karen Sothers, MBSR teacher for Scripps
On the first evening, class members shared their reasons for enrolling: heart attack, insomnia, migraines, anxiety — a veritable laundry list of stress-related illnesses had brought us together.
Sothers introduced us to meditation in a kind and unintimidating way. She invited us to download her guided meditations. I put them on my phone, which enables me to continue my practice anywhere we travel in the world.
In addition to meditation, we discussed positive ways to deal with stress. For example, how to respond thoughtfully to a situation rather than react quickly. (The test will be how calmly I respond the next time my flight is cancelled.) Sothers taught simple yoga postures that are easy to do at home and on the road. At the end of the two-month program, we all felt we’d made significant progress toward wellness.
Even if you can’t commit to an eight-week MBSR class, it’s possible to enjoy the benefits of mindfulness and mediation. Sothers’ course is based on research done by Jon Kabat-Zinn, whose book Full Catastrophe Living is widely available.
How popular is meditation? I recently received an email from a New York hotel with the subject line “Meditation is the new room service.” The message? They’ve just added on-demand guided meditations to their guestroom phones and placed yoga mats in every closet.