What we're about

At Mindful Montreal, we practice the life affirming practices of mindfulness meditation and alignment based yoga. Mindfulness (vipassana/insight) is the art and science of understanding and skillfully working with the nature of our hearts and minds. This 2500 year old practice, from the historical Buddha, cultivates a mind that is balanced, joyful and compassionate. Through concentration, gratitude and Metta practices, our capacity grows to respond to our mind/heart with skill and compassion. In 21st century, mindfulness and neurological research has shown that these practices create more neural connections which results in emotional resilience. Because of this, we become more patient, inquisitive, compassionate, appreciative and realistic with our life's challenges.

We meet weekly in courses and retreats to practice, discuss and support each other's growth. In each session, we practice sitting meditation, sensing exercises, somatic movement and mindful communication. The sessions are facilitated by Allison Ulan, Yoga and mindfulness (vipassana) meditation teacher.

Come learn the art of mindfulness and embodied self compassion.

About Insight Meditation and Mindfulness Based Yoga:

WHAT IS IT?

Insight meditation is a particular form of meditation that aims to cultivate wisdom and compassion, so that we can live our lives with less stress and distress, and more happiness, ease, and freedom. This type of meditation comes from the Buddhist tradition, though it’s not necessary to be Buddhist to benefit from the practice. Mindfulness Based Yoga using the tools of meditation in somatic exercises to heighten sensory awareness. The basic forms of insight meditation are very compatible with Western psychology, so these days, variations of insight practice are taught in many different settings, including schools, hospitals, prisons, businesses and government departments.

METHODS OF PRACTISING IT

Insight meditation uses a combination of different techniques to develop mindfulness in every aspect of daily life, and also to cultivate specific positive mind-states as a support for freeing ourselves from challenging emotional states and beliefs. Mindfulness can be defined as “… the cultivation of clear, stable and non-judgmental awareness”.

In insight practice, the techniques that we use to develop this kind of awareness start with mindfulness of the breath and the body, then progress to include mindfulness of the mind through relating to thoughts, emotions, moods, and mind-states with interest.

As the practice develops, we grow in our capacity to bring mindfulness to more aspects of our daily lives, so that nothing is left out. However, this takes training and time. We learn how to develop this continuity of mindfulness through regular periods of sitting and walking meditation, in formal and informal techniques, in daily life, in workshops, and on residential retreats. Also included within insight practice are meditation techniques that directly cultivate the positive mind states of kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. In these practices, we silently recite phrases of well-being towards ourselves and others, so that over time, these positive states become the default setting of our hearts and minds.

SOME OF ITS BENEFITS
There are many benefits to practising insight meditation, which are becoming increasingly well-documented by neuroscientists and other researchers.

These include:
1. reduced levels of physical and psychological stress,

2. better understanding of the mind-body relationship,

3. an enhanced ability to navigate through life’s inevitable challenges,

4. increased kindness and compassion towards ourselves and others,

5. emotional intelligence and resilience,

6. greater mental clarity and increased concentration abilities,

7. and the capacity to access intuitive wisdom.

About Allison Ulan:

Allison has been exploring yoga and meditation as a path of learning and healing since 1987. She has been teaching since 1996. Her approach offers students practices of embodiment to live life with more ease, freedom and joy. Her methodology is a systematic approach that awareness is both a physical health practice and a meditation system. She specializes in Yoga for Back Care and Posture, Yoga to support recovery from injury, Mindfulness based practices for optimal performance for artists & athletes and Vipassana Meditation. Time spent on the meditation cushion with Allison, as a guide, is time for individual growth and discovery. Her classes offer pathways to know the language of the body, work with the complexities of the mind and honour the heart.

Upcoming events (5+)

Complete Yoga Class with Allison - Tuesday evenings

BMC Studio

CA$10.00

Experience the rejuvenating results of a complete yoga practice for experienced beginners and intermediate students. In this 8 week session, you will receive instruction in alignment based yoga practices to promote optimal posture and body dynamics. The yoga exercises will build awareness and strength through forward bends, twists, backbends and inversions. Each session will end in breath work and iRest Yoga Nidra meditation (a deep relaxation and awareness technique which works with our neurology to untangle negative habit patterns and cultivate positive psychology). Come participate in a complete practice to centre, alignment and release. 8 session Complete Hatha Yoga Practice and Yoga Nidra Course – March 12th to April 30, 2019 – 6:00 to 7:45 pm Fee: First time drop in rate is $10 plus taxes. Then the rate for Drop ins is $15 plus taxes per session or $110 plus taxes included for all 8 sessions. Drop-ins are welcome and pre-registration is recommended to participate because this class is limited to 8 participants. Contact Allison through this Meet up or email her at [masked] to reserve your place. What is iRest Yoga Nidra practice? Yoga Nidra, a Sanskrit term meaning “yogic sleep” is a deep relaxation technique and a form of meditation. Also called “psychic sleep,” yoga nidra is a state between sleeping and waking. The body is completely relaxed and the practitioner turns the awareness inward by listening to a set of instructions; much like a guided meditation. Performing yoga nidra involves practicing pratyahara (“withdrawal of the senses”), which is the fifth limb of Ashtanga yoga. Yoga nidra practice results in deep relaxation and expands the individual’s self-awareness. History of Yoga Nidra: Yoga nidra was practiced by ancient sages so they could consciously watch their samskaras, the “impressions of the mind”. They could also purify their samskaras in order to come closer to liberation, or moksha. The practice of yoga nidra not only involves pratyhara, but also requires pranayama (breathing techniques) and dharana (“concentration”), which are the fourth and sixth limbs of Ashtanga yoga. In yoga nidra, the practitioner enters their alpha brain state and their focus shifts to deeper intentional functioning. It is believed this stimulates the hormones in the pineal gland and releases melatonin, a hormone that reduces stress, boosts the immune system and helps prevent illness. Regular practice helps harmonize the brain hemispheres which promotes better mental performance. iRest Yoga Nidra offers several health benefits such as: ~ Calms the mind ~ Relaxes and rejuvenates the body ~ Soothes the nervous system ~ Reduces fatigue ~ Lowers high cholesterol and blood pressure levels ~ Strengthens immunity ~ Improves quality of sleep ~ Cultivates positive mental states to overcome negative habit patterns ~ Aids pain regulation ~ Boosts concentration level ~ Supports brain function and boosts creativity

Joy and Appreciation - Daylong Yoga & Mindfulness Meditation Retreat w Allison

This daylong retreat will focus on the practices of Mudita (empathetic joy) and Shamatha (appreciation and calm abiding). These practices are two of the foundational practices for emotional and spiritual development because they give us the space to work with our lives with patience, interest and understanding. As we lean into our lived experiences, we realize we are complete. That our mind and heart are designed to meet our life challenges. We will employ the mindfulness techniques to see through self-doubt, imposed negativity and the idea that we are not enough. Instead, through attention, tenderness and compassion, we will see the innate clarity, confidence and wholeness each one of us possesses. We will take the time to feel, breath and lean into somatic wisdom through yoga, mindfulness based practices and active listening exercises. Participate in this retreat if you want to experience the tangible benefits of mindfulness, self compassion and awareness. The daylong practice schedule: 9 – 9:30 am arrival and set up 9:30 am to 11 am Yoga to re-enliven and balance the body 11 am to 11:30 am – iRest Yoga Nidra – somatic meditation 11:30 am to 12 noon – Mindfulness exercises and Meditations on Mudita 12 noon to 1 pm Lunch break 1 pm to 2 pm Meditation and exercises on Shamatha (gratitude, appreciation and calm abiding), 2 pm to 2:45 Understanding dharma (our uniqueness) and cultivating presence though exercises and discussion 2:45 pm Walking Meditation 3 pm to 3:30 pm End circle and harvesting insights. 3:30 to 3:45 pm Tea Fees are sliding scale so all can attend. $46 to $80 per person

CPR - Self-Compassion, Presence & Resilience - 8 week course with Allison Ulan

Hi All, New compassion and mindfulness course starting in March. Mindfulness is intentionally choosing to be aware of our experiences, moment by moment, so we can cultivate an awareness that accepts and works with what is arising. Self compassion is the sensitivity to see when we are struggling and acknowledge these difficult states with kindness, grace and interest. CPR: self compassion, presence and resilience course is an 8 week journey which develops these aspects of self care to nurture self compassion, emotional intelligence and mental balance. When practiced with patience and care, we embrace our uniqueness and live from authenticity. ~ CPR est un programme de 8 semaines soutenu de façon empirique visant à développer la capacité d’auto compassion. La pleine conscience et la compassion sont souvent comparées aux deux ailes d’un oiseau, les deux étant nécessaires pour voler. La pleine conscience nous enseigne à nous reposer sur notre expérience et à la reconnaître avec un esprit ouvert et curieux et l’auto compassion nous permet de faire face à toutes les difficultés qui surgissent avec bienveillance, chaleur et compréhension. La pleine conscience alliée à l’auto compassion nous procure un bien-être et rend nos vies quotidiennes plus faciles à gérer. L’auto compassion nous donne la force émotionnelle et la résilience nécessaires pour faire preuve d’autant de bienveillance et de compréhension envers nous-mêmes que s’il s’agissait d’un bon ami. Grâce à l’auto compassion, nous pouvons nous motiver à l’aide d’encouragements, nous pardonner, être indulgents envers nos défauts, prendre soin des autres tout en prenant soin de nous et vivre de manière plus authentique. La recherche qui croît rapidement montre que l’auto compassion est fortement liée au bien-être émotionnel, à des habitudes saines, par exemple en ce qui a trait à l’alimentation et à l’exercice, et aux relations personnelles plus satisfaisantes. Coût : 110 $ - 150 $ plus les taxes pour 8 sessions ou 20 $ plus les taxes par classe Horaire: les dimanches, de 13 h à 15 h Les dates: 24 mars, 31 mars, 7 avril, 14 avril, 28 avril, 12 mai, 19 mai et 2 juin Langue: Le cours est donné en anglais avec traduire en français et les séances de discussion sont bilingues. Pour participation, écrivez Allison à [masked]. L’auto compassion est une compétence pouvant être développée par tous, même par ceux qui n’ont pas eu de modèle de compassion dans leur enfance ou qui ont une petite voix intérieure négative fortement développée. Une expérience préalable en méditation n’est pas nécessaire, mais peut s’avérer utile. Le programme comporte une pratique de la méditation, un travail sur le corps, de courtes séances de discussion et des discussions de groupe. Ce programme complet à multiples facettes permet de développer la capacité d’auto compassion et la pleine conscience dans la vie quotidienne. Dans ce cours, vous apprendrez: ~ Des exercices de pleine conscience et d’auto compassion ~ Des exercices physiques inspirés par l’auto compassion. ~ La science et la recherche sur l’auto compassion. ~ Comment gérer plus facilement les émotions difficiles. ~ Comment se motiver avec bienveillance plutôt qu’avec un esprit critique. ~ Comment identifier votre petite voix intérieure négative et mieux gérer votre tendance au perfectionnisme et à vous rabaisser ainsi que votre faible estime de vous. ~ Comment arrêter d’être si dur envers vous-même et devenir votre meilleur mentor personnel. ~ Comment la compassion peut transformer les relations difficiles, autant les anciennes que les nouvelles. ~ L’art de gratitude et embrace les expériences positives et l’auto appréciation. Allison a étudié au IMS, Spirit Rock Meditation Centre et iRest Yoga Nidra Institute et a reçu les formation sous la direction des Joseph Goldstein, Daryl Lynn Ross, Pascale Auclaire, Anne Cushman, et Will Kabat-Zinn. Elle offre des ateliers de mindfulness, yoga et réduction du stress basée sur la pleine conscience depuis 20 ans. Elle est enthousiaste de pouvoir partager sa passion pour la recherche et la pratique en matière d’auto-compassion consciente, domaine en plein essor. ~~~~ CPR - compassion, presence and resilience is an 8-week journey in self-discovery, embodied compassion and self-kindness. It is designed to cultivate the skill of self-compassion and enhance our capacity for emotional wellbeing. Allison Ulan is the facilitator for this course. She has extensive experience with leading groups and individuals in these practices as a yoga teacher and mindful meditation teacher in Yoga studio settings, treatment centres and educational programs. Mindfulness is the first step—turning with loving awareness toward difficult experience (thoughts, emotions, and sensations). Self-compassion comes next—bringing loving awareness to ourselves. Together, mindfulness and self-compassion comprise a state of warmth, connectedness and presence during difficult moments in our lives. In this course, you will learn to: - Practice mindfulness and self-compassion in daily life - Understand the science of self-compassion - Use self-compassion to live in accord with your core values - Handle difficult emotions with awareness and greater ease - Motivate yourself with kindness and understanding rather than criticism - Work with challenging relationships - Manage caregiver fatigue - Practice the art of gratitude and self-appreciation - Learn to recognize and handle stress through stress reduction techniques This program is for anyone who wants to live with ease and awareness. Previous meditation experience is not necessary to participate. Self-compassion can be learned by anyone. Fee: $20 drop in per session or $110 - $150 for 8 weeks Dates: March 24th, 31st, April 7th, April 14th, April 28th, May 12th, May 19th and June 2

Mindfulness Meditation Series at Modo Yoga NDG with Allison Ulan

Have you wondered what is mindfulness, where did it originate and how can I practice it? This 8 week course will teach you what is it, who it is right for, how to practice, answer your questions and more. You will learn the history of mindfulness, its contemporary forms and practice the 8 fold mindfulness path. For over 20 years, Allison Ulan has been creating courses where people learn and practice the art of vipassana meditation and mindful living. Come benefit from her experience and knowledge this spring. Fees: by donation, suggested fee $10

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