Mindfulness Classes

The Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness offers and facilitates a number recurring classes each year to help people develop and maintain a mindfulness practice. Having trouble sustaining a personal practice? Many of our classes can contribute to participation in our Annual Meditation Challenge.

Mindful Attitude Adjustment

Time for an attitude adjustment! A rotating group of mindfulness teachers will offer a guided mindfulness practice themed on one of Jon Kabat-Zinn’s attitudes of mindfulness. Then we will discuss practical applications and relevance to everyday living.

  • Through 2019: First and 3rd Tuesdays at 5:45 pm in Leawood – use our calendar to register (Final class December 17, 2019)

Cultivating the interconnected attitudes of mindfulness helps to strengthen our mindfulness practice, which, in turn, enhances wellbeing. We can create fertile ground in which mindfulness can best grow by setting an intention to think, feel and behave in particular ways. Purchase your pass(es), then use our calendar to register for the dates you’d like to attend.

Fees (click to purchase passes – save by becoming a member for as low as $15 mo)

*No refunds are given on the day of the class for which you are registered. You must cancel before the day of the class if you would like to use your pass on another date. There is no way for us to refund partially used multi-class passes.

Mindful Together: A Parent-Child Mindfulness Class

Mindfulness can help children and adults alike develop self-awareness and self-regulation skills for greater wellbeing and resilience. We are inviting parents and their children ages 6-12 to learn about mindfulness and its benefits and to practice some fun and calming mindful games and activities with Sarah Glavin, LSCSW, Julia Grimm, LMLP-T, RYT-200 & Cathan Kabrelian.

When (use our calendar to register):

  • Tuesday Nov 26th 7-8 pm
  • Monday Dec 30th 7-8 pm
  • In 2020: 4th Tuesdays at 5:45 pm

Fees (click to purchase passes – become a member):

Once you’ve purchased your pass(es), use our calendar to register for the class(es) you wish to attend and email us us with the name and age of your child.

**No refunds are given on or after the day the class for which you are registered starts. Passes expire within one year of purchase.

Intro to Mindfulness

We’re awake on one level, but on another we are merely sleep walking. Pulled by countless distractions, ruminating on the past, or worrying about the future – we’re often not really present in our lives. Mindfulness is a state of moment-by-moment non-conceptual awareness. As Jon Kabat-Zinn would say, the process of cultivating mindfulness is “advanced training in mobilizing deep inner resources for coping & healing”. The practices reconnect us with the innate ability to focus and shift attention, inhabit and feel at home in the body, and relate to difficulty with compassion and wisdom.

This four part experiential workshop for adults teaches the fundamentals of mindfulness and offers an introduction to many of the formal and informal practices. No previous experience with yoga or meditation is required. Instruction and guidance are provided in a number of practices, the attitudes of mindfulness are explored, and time for discussion is included. Participants are asked to bring a yoga mat for movement and reclining practices. If you have a favorite cushion for meditation you are welcome to bring it as well. Yoga mats, chairs and props are available for those who need them.

Upcoming Courses:

  • Four Mondays 7-9 pm April 6-27, 2020 with Certified MBCT Teacher Tracy Ochester, PsyD, RYT-200 and Tatiana Padron. Spanish language instruction is available as needed during this offering
  • Four Mondays 7-9 pm November 2-23, 2020 with Sarah Glavin, LMSW and Marla Herron, EdD

Fees: (once you’ve purchased your pass, use the calendar to register for the desired dates – become a member)

No refunds are given after the deadline for enrollment, which is one week prior to the start of the course. No makeup meetings are offered for missed classes. In the case of under-enrollment, the course will be cancelled and you will receive a full refund of the registration fee. No reimbursements will be provided for pre-arranged transportation, accommodations, or any other miscellaneous expenses.

iRest Yoga Nidra – 4-Week Intensive

This four week intensive version of the full iRest Yoga Nidra 8-week course teaches a form of meditation, based on ancient yogic wisdom, made accessible for modern day life. The practice strengthens parts of the brain that allow for greater insight and quiets parts that are responsible for distressing thoughts, feelings, urges, and sensations. Through regular practice, participants make space for wise responding to challenging situations, rather than emotionally reacting.

Upcoming Offerings:

  • Tuesdays July 7 – 28, 2020 from 7-9 pm with Sydney Spears, PhD at the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness 11100 Ash Street Suite 103 Leawood, KS 66211 (deadline to enroll is one week before the start of the course – pre-registration is required because space is limited)

Yoga nidra is often called “the yoga of sleep”. There is only one posture – lying down. Participants are guided through the deepest forms of effortless yogic relaxation, inducing a meditative state somewhere between wakefulness and sleep. Studies have shown that yoga nidra may be a helpful complimentary approach for conditions such as post-traumatic stress, insomnia, anxiety, depression, addiction, and chronic pain. It can calm the nervous system, decrease emotional reactivity, and improve self-regulation.

Fees: (click the appropriate link below to purchase your pass)

Make-up classes and refunds are not available for missed classes in the series. Payment in full is due by the course deadline and there are no refunds after this date. 

Mindfulness & Stress Reduction for Men (MSRM): Wisdom in Action

Have you struggled with your role or identity as a man at work and/or within your close family or partner relationships? Do you criticize yourself in an overly harsh way? Do you find yourself demanding more and more of yourself? Are you running yourself down trying to ‘get it right’? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this 8-week program  designed especially for men may be helpful to you.

Men face a myriad of challenges that can negatively impact their health and well being, but tend to refrain from seeking help as a result of personal and societal barriers. The effects of male gender socialization, societal shifts in the areas of masculine roles, identities and expectations often conspire to prevent men from pursuing the very practices that can offer the greatest relief from suffering.

At the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness, we believe there is a way to navigate life’s challenges in a more constructive and supportive manner than to react instinctively and often negatively to them. Perhaps we can actually thrive in the midst of pressures and challenges. As Jon Kabat-Zinn, creator of MBSR said, “…as long as you are breathing, there is more right with you than wrong with you, no matter what challenges you are facing”. Here are some ways some well known men in the US are are utilizing the powerful practices of mindfulness in their personal and professional lives:

  • Basketball coach Phil Jackson incorporated mindfulness meditation practice into his championship winning Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers training regimens.
  • Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan has practiced mindfulness for many years and wrote the book A Mindful Nation: How a Simple Practice Can Help Us Reduce Stress, Improve Performance, and Recapture the American Spirit
  • Broadcast journalist Dan Harris is a long time mindfulness and meditation practitioner who wrote 10% Happier and Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. He says of mindfulness. “It has boosted my focus and productivity while also making me less emotionally reactive. I think it has also made me calmer, more patient and generally easier to be around.”

Mindfulness and self compassion aren’t qualities that most men are explicitly taught in childhood, however they are essential skills for all people to live happy and productive lives. In this class you will learn to cultivate greater emotional self-regulation, empathy and relational skills. During this 8-week course, we’ll draw from the latest research and best practices of Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Mindful Self Compassion (MSC) and Emotional Intelligence to explore the causes of human distress, and offer pathways to relieving suffering through formal and informal mindfulness practices within the context of the contemporary male experience. The curriculum is informed by theories and practices from contemplative traditions, science, medicine, psychology and education. Each participant in the course will receive:

  • 20 total hours of instruction, which includes carefully sequenced mindfulness, self-compassion, and emotional intelligence exercises, guided meditations, and group discussions
  • Weekly handouts to reinforce the learning and provide support and reminders for home practice
  • Weekly home practice suggestions
  • Between session support from the teachers
  • Access to guided practice audio recordings

Upcoming Offerings:
Join us at the Midwest Alliance for Mindfulness for the following 2019 course offerings:

  • 8 Tuesday evenings from 7-9 pm starting October 6, 2020 + half day retreat Nov. 14th from 9 am – 1 pm with Erik Hulse & Sydney Spears, PhD. Deadline to enroll is one week before the program starts. A free initial screening with the teacher is required to make sure the program is right for you – call Erik Hulse at 913-609-2660 or Sydney Spears at 913-406-5176 to schedule.

Fees: (become a member)
$495 for non-members – purchase your pass here
$450 for members – purchase your pass here

Payment in full is required to reserve your spot and there are no refunds after the course deadline. In the unlikely event that the course is cancelled, you will receive a full refund of the registration fee, but refunds will not be provided for any pre-arranged transportation, accommodations or other miscellaneous expenses. The teachers maintain responsibility for the implementation and content of this course.

Mindful Communication Waterfront

Relationships are some of the most important and highly valued aspects of our lives, yet they are also some of the most difficult and complicated. Communication is key to navigating these most precious of resources. In support of this, we are offering three interconnected series on mindful communication just in time for the holiday season! Join Cathan Kabrelian, trained in Nonviolent Communication, Mindful Educator Essentials, and Mindful Communication, for this important set of teachings based on Oren Jay Sofer’s Say What You Mean: A Mindful Approach to Nonviolent Communication and Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships. People who practice mindful communication report greater authenticity in their communication, increased understanding, deepened connections, and improved conflict resolution.

When our communication supports compassionate giving and receiving, happiness replaces violence and grieving! – Marshall B. Rosenberg, PhD

Dates & Times (take one or all three – each course offers different skills that build upon one another):

  • Series 1: Introduction to Mindful Communication – Slowing down to connect with intention, lead with presence, and embody curiosity and caring – REGISTRATION CLOSED
  • Series 2: Mindful Communication for the Holidays – Enhancing and repairing relationships by focusing on what truly matters: Shifting toward compassion for self and others – Wednesdays 7 -9 pm December 4, 11 & 18, 2019
  • Series 3: Navigating Conflict Mindfully – Learning to find peace in difficult conversations by making observations instead of judgments and requests instead of demands Mondays 7 -9 pm January 6, 13 & 20, 2020

Fees (click to purchase passes, then use the calendar to register for the desired series):

No refunds are given after the deadline for enrollment, which is one week prior to the start of the course. No makeup meetings are offered for missed classes. In the case of under-enrollment, the course will be cancelled and you will receive a full refund of the registration fee. No reimbursements will be provided for pre-arranged transportation, accommodations, or any other miscellaneous expenses. Passes expire within one year of purchase.

Mindfully Exploring the Meaning of Whiteness in American Society

Many of us who would check off the “White American” box in the racial categories section of the census have never had to intentionally explore what it means to be white in America. So in our racialized culture, white people are racial beings moving through life with very limited racial literacy. Mindfulness can help empower us all by expanding our racial perspective, helping us make more informed decisions that are in closer alignment with our deepest values, and changing our relationship to whiteness in service to the greater good. Through experiential exercises, guided meditations, and group discussion, we will mindfully explore:

  • the social construction of race and associated concepts
  • the history of racism in America
  • implicit bias and colorblind racism
  • the ongoing cultural, social and interpersonal effects of racism on human relationships, institutions/organizations, systems and the environment
  • strategies for breaking free from toxic socialization and connecting with the true nature of our histories, stories, and hearts
  • ways we can personally help build a more just and sustainable society

If by reading this class description you notice some strong feelings arising, know you are not alone – we invite you to adopt “curiosity mind” and take this opportunity to explore the reactivity that arises in a protected space with compassion, courage and presence. All experience levels in racial justice work and mindfulness meditation are welcome to attend. A vegetarian lunch will be provided. Although this program is suitable for the general public, up to 6 CEs are available for KS & MO licensed mental health professionals. Register Here

Teachers: Tracy Ochester, PsyD & Sydney Spears, PhD with Guest Speaker Sami Aaron of The Resilient Activist
Date & Time: Friday Nov 13, 2020 from 9 am – 4 pm
Fees (click to purchase passes, then use the calendar to register for the desired workshop):

No refunds are given after the deadline for enrollment, which is one week prior to the start of the course. No makeup meetings are offered for missed classes. In the case of under-enrollment, the course will be cancelled and you will receive a full refund of the registration fee. No reimbursements will be provided for pre-arranged transportation, accommodations, or any other miscellaneous expenses. Passes expire within one year of purchase.