Mindfulness Essentials for Stress Reduction

Online and In-Person Options

This 6-week course provides an introduction to mindfulness meditation and mindful awareness practices.  In the first three weeks, you will learn to ground in your body through your breath, sound, and body sensations while still and while moving.

The last three weeks offer specific practices for being with physical pain, emotional distress, and difficult thinking.  Concepts from Cognitive Behavioral Therapy are included in the class on thinking.

For the Zoom option: this livestreaming program can be taken from home or anywhere with an internet connection. If you register, you will be emailed viewing instructions either the evening before or the morning of the event. Please be sure to check “spam” and “junk” folders!

This class will not be recorded.

All times are CDT/CST. Please contact onlinelearning@junghouston.org with any questions.

Please register early. Programs with four or fewer participants are subject to cancellation, 48 hours prior to their start.

Key Takeaways

  • How to be present with whatever is happening– with awareness.
  • How to ground attention in the present moment.
  • How to be aware of and be with difficult emotions. 
  • How to notice and let go of distorted, biased thinking.
  • Knowledge of science associated with the practice of mindfulness.
  • Strategies and tools to use for calming the mind/body with daily routines.

Course Description

You will learn specific ways of paying attention to your body, breath, thoughts, feelings, and the world around you. These ways of paying attention can be powerful because when you can observe your thoughts and feelings, you have more choice in how you respond. You can also bring relaxation to your body when you are feeling stress.

The practice of mindfulness has been shown to increase attention and focus, reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and increase an overall sense of well-being in both adults and children. 

Mindfulness is a practice used by professional athletes, healthcare workers, educators, lawyers, military personnel, and business executives to be at their best.

These classes draw on the material provided in the UCLA Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPS I) course. Classes include guided instruction, meditation practice, group discussion, walking and movement practices, scientific research on the mental and physical health benefits, and practices for challenging emotions, difficult thinking, and physical pain.  You will also learn how to bring mindfulness into daily activities like eating, driving, and showering or bathing.

This class also incorporates discussions and practices of some positive emotions, such as equanimity, loving kindness, compassion, and gratitude.  Downloadable guided mindfulness practices, as well as handouts, are included for each class. 

Typical Class Structure:

  • Teaching and Information sharing – In each class, information is provided on the  science of the brain, specific practices, and stories which illustrate the teachings.  Class discussion is vital, but you do not have to participate.
  • Experiential meditation practices – Mindfulness is experiential.  It cannot be learned through reading books or hearing talks.  Each class includes an experiential practice– most of them seated, but also a class focusing on walking and movement and another class where students are invited to lie down on yoga mats.  Seated practices are in chairs.  Lying down is optional; some students choose to remain seated.


Michele Pola, Ed.D.  

Additional Information


This class will be delivered online via Zoom.

Other Items to Note:

(Applies to both our Zoom online classes and the in-person classes at our studio)

Come as you are, and be comfortable. Some of our students may be in business attire, and others in workout clothes. 

Class is experiential and includes some teaching, as well as practices with discussion. No one is pressured to speak. 

We recommend that you arrive 5 minutes before class starts. If you are going to arrive late, that it is fine, but it is best to be on time to be respectful of the group. We all understand that sometimes things happen beyond our control, however, and we would rather have you come late than not at all. 

If you miss a class or two, you can make it up for free the next time the class is offered.  You can also take the full course again for free.  If you prefer, you can arrange an individual session to make up the class(es) missed at a cost of $125/class.  If you are going to miss more than two sessions, we recommend that you do not take the class.

You are allowed to bring food and beverages. We offer water, tea, and coffee at our studio at no charge. 

There is no need to take notes. Our instructors will provide summaries of each class as handouts (or sent via email).

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