Members of Long Term Conditions Hebrides are meeting up again the real world for Mindfulness & Meditation…after a long period of depending on 'virtual events.'
A low early afternoon sun lay in a cold sky as members of Long Term Conditions Hebrides began to gather face to face once again at The Cabarfeidh Hotel on Wednesday 8th December.
This was the second of our seasonal meet-ups to meditate and practise gentle yoga together, and on this occasion we chose to meet in the Willow Room, a comfortable and cosy space with natural light seeping in.
It was hard to fathom how quickly the year had passed, as we found ourselves now approaching the end of Autumn.
Connecting with one another throughout 2021 had contributed towards a year of personal inward growth, through honing skills of self-management, tuning in further to creative gifts and listening to whilst learning from one another.
This personal inward growth was also reflected during 2021 when Long Term Conditions Hebrides were successful in winning the Self-Management in the Community Award, funded by Health & Social Care Alliance Scotland.
A settling practice delivered by Dr Gail Cunningham lulled those present into the moment, as together we welcomed peace and calm into our day. Sunlight from the outside shone gently onto tranquil faces, eyes closed softly with hands relaxed and resting on our laps.
Om Namaha Shiva, a mantra thought to bring peace and positivity both to ourselves and others was then chanted by Mairi Thomson. Using chairs to support the yoga postures, the group began with half-sun salutations, moving slowly and mindfully together throughout.
Breathing in fresh and chilled Autumn air during a mindful walking practice in the grounds of the Cabarfeidh, reminded participants how through walking gently and quietly through Nature we can take ourselves out of our busy minds and into our senses.
Noticing the changes we see around us, maybe aware of smells we associate with Autumn, and feeling the leaves brown and crispy underfoot.
Back inside, and feeling grateful for the cosiness of the Willow Room, a guided visualisation took us to a beach in our minds’ eyes. Here, we could breathe in time with the tide as it ebbed and flowed, and further let go of any tension with each breath out.
To close LTCH’s final face to face meet-up of 2021, lemon drizzle cake, tea and coffee were laid out for all to enjoy in the foyer lit up with Christmas fairy lights.
Sue Loveridge, one of the group’s members, told of how she felt the benefit of being able to get together again, “This face to face session was a wonderful added extra on top of our regular Zoom meetings. This friendly group is so supportive of each other’s self-management. It was wonderful to have a chance to meet and meditate again in person, all socially distanced but together in spirit. I loved our relaxing mindful walk in the trees and I felt the benefit of our gentle yoga stretches with Mairi’s beautiful mantra for a long time. Looking forward to the next one already!”
BBC Alba will be screening a short piece on Long Term Conditions Hebrides around Christmas and New Year, which will also be aired on Reidio nan Gaidheal, for anyone who feels they might benefit from what the organisation has to offer.
Long Term Conditions Hebrides would like to thank Health and Social Care Alliance for the current funding, and their volunteers for their continued support. As a result of this support, the organisation is able to offer online sessions to people within the Western Isles five days a week which provide opportunities to learn about self-management, and to practise meditation and light yoga.