Opening the Thessaloniki Yoga Festival with Mindfulness Meditation

One of our participants of the last training in Greece introduced a happening in Thessaloniki with a mindfulness meditation. Here is the article of  Yoga teacher Madalena Kounini

“On Sunday, 22nd of September, I was invited to open the Thessaloniki Yoga Festival, a yoga event that takes place, in Thessaloniki-Greece, the last 8 years.   I have taught Kundalini Yoga few years ago, but this time, the invitation was about presenting Mindfulness Meditation.

It was the first time that Mindfulness was introduced in such a big audience, here in Thessaloniki, which was a great challenge for me.  The audience was mostly young people.

Firstly, I was addressed to the people asking them if they have heard or tried mindfulness meditation before.  ONLY one has heard of this kind of meditation, but never tried it. This was a big surprise to me!

Then, I made a simple introduction based on the IAA model, which I repeated few times in between the different types of mindfulness meditation that I guided them to apply.  I mentioned a few things about how mindfulness works, why to choose mindfulness and not another kind of meditation, explained that mindfulness is not about relaxing but focusing without judgment and without trying to change whatever happens in the specific moment, how mindfulness can be applied in every action we take in our lives and finally, few things about my personal experience and some memory problems I had, before applying mindfulness meditation.

I chose to apply three different practices, so that they could try different things.

The first practice was Mindful Breathing, inviting them to use as an anchor the counting of breath cycles.

The second practice was a simple and short Body Scan and the third practice was Mindful Walking .

In between the practices, they had few minutes to share and discuss their experiences.

It really went very well, having all the audience participating with openness and curiosity.  At the end, few of them came to ask questions and express their interest and enjoyment.

For me, this was a great experience, because I realized that I didn’t have to do anything more than what I do in my personal practice, because the audience was really open and this made it easier to me and also because I found out that there is a big field to work with.”