Alex Tatarinov-Levin met recently with the founders of NYU’s Mindfulness program, Jackie Levin, RN, MS, and Tara Piergrossi, a Masters candidate in Public Health at Hunter College. Jackie and Tara talk about the concept of mindfulness and how to begin your own practice in this in-depth interview.
Two holistic health practitioners at New York University Medical Center recently launched an innovative program to help staff and patients begin the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice ofmoment-to-moment awareness. Mindfulness exercises can improve your attention span, mental clarity, memory, mood, and self-esteem. With regular practice, you can experience a reduction in anxiety, muscle tension, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rates.
It’s All in Your Mind: an Introduction to Mindfulness
Alex Tatarinov-Levin: How did you get involved in the concept of mindfulness?
Jackie Levin: I have a master’s degree in holistic nursing, and as part of that I became interested in the practice of meditation. I studied mindfulness first with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Alex: What kind of stress are you referring to?
Jackie: All types of stress are interconnected, so while we might see emotional stress manifested physically, for example, tense shoulders, aches, pains, and the beginnings of disease – we can also experience it emotionally through anxiety, lack of focus, forgetfulness, mood swings or spiritual distress, in which you don’t feel a connection to others or to a spiritual being.
Alex: Is mindfulness intended to relieve stress?
Jackie: No, but it can be a byproduct. Mindfulness is the moment-to-moment awareness of what is going on around you. It’s a practice of becoming more aware and awake. So many of us are spending most of our time distracted, consciously or unconsciously, thinking about memories of the past or worrying about the future, but the only moment that really exists is this one. The practice of mindfulness helps you become a better observer and non-judgmentally aware of what’s going on in your environment.
Alex: What’s the importance of non-judgment to mindfulness? Read More