Here are some things you need to know about the MBSR Program:
#1 - It is backed by many strong research studies showing positive benefits to our well-being, including reducing chronic pain, anxiety, and depressive symptoms; research has also shown that the program helps us increase our positive moods and regulate our stress levels more effectively.
#2 - The classic MBSR program on which many of the research benefits are based, should follow a structure of 8 weekly classes, two and a half hours per class, plus one all day retreat. It should be taught by an approved facilitator who has been trained to teach MBSR, and it should also be taught in a group setting.
#3 - This program is highly experiential, and it focuses less on theoretical or conceptual knowledge, and more on actually practicing and experiencing mindfulness.
#4 - The practices we do in an MBSR program does not only include sitting down, there are also lying down and movement practices. There will be discussions among participants during class, but you are not required to share anything personal - because this is not therapy, you are only encouraged to inquire into your own experience of mindfulness practice.
#5 - What's really unique and beneficial about the MBSR program is that you learn to incorporate mindfulness into your daily life, which is very important, since mindfulness is a way of life, and it should be a lifelong practice.
#6 - This is what I highlight to many people who are considering an MBSR program - a certain level of commitment is needed to maximize the effectiveness of your learning. If you take part in an MBSR program, you are required to commit to a home practice of about 45 minutes a day in between the weekly classes.