Mindfulness by Ash

Hello guys - Ashley here!

We hope you are having an amazing week :)

Each Wednesday we will be sending out our weekly email and today is the first one! The Wednesday emails will touch on various health (body and mind) subjects but will be fairly short and will only take about five minutes of your time so please read on and we hope you take something away from each and every email we send.

Since the launch of SMASH last Friday we have focused on gratitude and this is something we will do until the end of the 4th week. Both of us will always try to inform you of our own personal reasons when touching on these subjects so that you may begin to get to know us more but also understand why we are so passionate about the 'body and mind' twist we have on the SMASH format. We are very happy to be honest and open about our own health and fitness journey and we hope that in time, some of you will be comfortable enough to share your own stories with us. 

Maintaining a healthy body and mind is not always easy so we will certainly touch on the difficult times as well as the easier, more positive experiences :)

How did I discover the benefits of practising daily gratitude?

I discovered mindfulness 3 years ago following a difficult period in my personal life (more on that in a later email...) but always struggled practising daily gratitude - it just felt 'weird' and I will admit that there were some not so subtle eye rolls when I was told to practise it more. I tried the journal, listening to videos on YouTube but nothing seemed to make me want to continue doing it. I tried this for 2 years until about a year ago, when Sam and I first started training together consistently and she would tell me about her mood boards (another email….) and her gratitude practise. The more we talked about it the more I realised that the reason I wasn't 'getting it' was because I wasn't being truly grateful for all the great things I had in my life. Like a lot of people I was too focused on what I didn't have!

So with that in mind, once it 'clicked' I started practising more gratitude based mindfulness meditations and forced myself every morning, as soon as I got out of bed and was brushing my teeth, to name at least one thing I was grateful for that day - and I had to make sure it was different each day, no cheating! Just like mindfulness practise, the more you do this the more your mind adapts to the change of being more positive and cheerful about the good things you have. That is not to say I don't have moments when I forget to be grateful - trust me, I do - but just as mindfulness teaches us to be aware of our thoughts and feelings, practising daily gratitude will also get you to be aware of when you are being less thoughtful and considerate so that you can catch yourself and ask - do I really need to complain about this? Do I really need to be ungrateful? Sometimes we absolutely do need to grumble and complain, after all we are all human, but practising daily gratitude each day will have you focusing your energy in the right direction so that you will learn to manage the less positive times in a better, more mindful manner. Training the mind is just like training the body, you have to work at it to get stronger.

Your task should you choose to accept (and we highly encourage that you do!) -

Being mindful of the content of this email and with everything we have spoken about over the past week, please finish reading this email and take 2 minutes to name as many things as you can to be grateful for. This is best done by writing it down or saying it out loud so grab some paper, or write it down in your phone or find a quiet room and give it a try. Trust us on this... and don't roll your eyes now ;) 

See you on Friday at 1pm in the main studio!

Sam and Ashley


For Body * For Mind * For Life


P.S. Each week we will end the email with some nutritional advice or recipe or a focus tip…

This past month we have discovered healthy coleslaw for salads and barbecues, here is what you need to do -

1. Shred all of the yummy ingredients you like in your coleslaw or…

2. Like me, purchase a bag of ready made shredded coleslaw ingredients where the mayo or sauce is separate - throw the mayo or sauce away!

3. Mix it with some hummus or greek yoghurt and a pinch of salt. Add some spice or any herbs you like to make it a truly personalised coleslaw!

HEALTHY, DELICIOUS COLESLAW! Also perfect for lining the lunch box for work instead of the same old salad you probably always have! ;)

Have a great Thursday and thanks for taking the time to read this, we are very grateful. Now, get started on that 2 minute gratitude exercise