“I thoroughly enjoyed the MBSR class. It taught me that I am not my thoughts, my physical sensations or my emotions, and that there is a lot we can do to manage our stress and experience more joy in the present moment using mindfulness.”
“The group setting was one of my favourite parts of the MBSR course. You learn so much from each other and share in your common humanity in ways we rarely get a chance to in our regular lives.”
“Sonja was an extraordinary instructor. She led the group with wisdom, warmth and grace. Sonja created a safe, open-minded, open-hearted space where we felt comfortable asking questions and sharing our experiences with mindfulness. She struck a perfect balance of teaching while also gently guiding us to make our own discoveries throughout the course. Everything from the home exercises to the poems shared in class was thoughtfully selected and made for a wonderful experience. On the last day of class, many participants asked when Sonja would be offering the next course so they could take it again! I would highly recommend Sonja and this course for anyone interested in mindfulness meditation.”
“The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Course was a great experience for me. Through this course I was able to increase my self-awareness around emotions (ex: calm, tension, pain, stress, frustration, contentment), associated physical sensations and my thoughts. Our first homework exercise (body scan) was an important tool in achieving this awareness and in being able to sit with and leaning into my experience without judgement or the need to push it away. This was challenging at first, but eventually became easier with practice and with the support of our instructor. Students were also introduced to other activities that promoted mindfulness and movement, such as stretching / yoga and mindful walking, and other fun activities like mindful eating, which were also helpful in building my self awareness in my everyday life. This course helped offered me time and space for myself, just “to be” rather than to do anything in particular, which was a humbling and much appreciated experience.”
“The group itself was great, with people of varying prior experience in mindfulness. Everyone was supportive of each other. At no time did I feel judged for my sharing in the group of my successes and challenges completing activities. There really was a focus on getting to experience life in the moment through the activities during the group with an open opportunity to share your experience with others, as well as to keep your experience for yourself if you chose to. Always a welcoming environment.”
“Our instructor was very helpful in facilitating activities and creating an environment where students could fully immerse themselves in the present moment. The instructor would encourage students to take activities at their own pace and to complete them in a manner that feels comfortable to them (ex: meditation: sitting on chairs, on the floor, sitting against a wall, etc.). Our instructor also did a great job of encouraging students to fully explore their experience in the present moment and offered time to reflect on these experiences after each activity, which would allow for further discussion and additional support when needed. I also appreciated that the instructor completed all the activities with the students, which helped to guide me through and support my progress throughout the course.”
“I enjoyed the 8-week mindfulness course with Sonja. I was familiar with mindfulness and had been applying mindfulness to daily living when I began the course.
New for me was the actual sitting meditation which was introduced in the first week and gradually increased in length as the weeks went on. It inspired me to make more time for stillness in my daily life. I liked Sonja’s calm presence and her ability respond to people’s questions or experiences from her own personal experience of doing mindfulness regularly. You can tell that Sonja practices what she preaches. I think it’s a great course for people who feel like life is running away from them and who want to learn to pause and check in what’s happening inside.”
“I would definitely encourage this course for anyone who is looking to connect with themselves and to experience life more fully.”
“I have suffered from anxiety for several years and took the MBSR course in Fall 2018 to help me deal with it. The course was an enjoyable experience. The weekly sessions featured a combination of yoga and meditation, which provided a nice change of pace. More importantly, from the wide variety of mindfulness techniques taught during the course I was able to choose the one which best suited me. I continue to practice this everyday and it certainly has given me an effective tool to control anxiety.”
“Sonja’s mindfulness classes provide a wonderful sense centering to my week; her insightful guidance is so appreciated. I’m very happy for the more peaceful and grateful dimension it has added to my life.”
“Sonja’s mindfulness course provided a great introduction to understanding how to be in “the present”, recognizing and letting go if negativity and a wide variety of techniques to incorporate mindful movement and meditation into your life. Sonja made the sessions supportive and comfortable, and I left feeling lighter, taller and more peaceful. Highly recommended.”
“I really enjoy the sessions with Sonja. She has an excellent understanding of the various mindfulness techniques and is a great facilitator. Attending weekly classes has had a positive impact on my overall health and well-being.”
Sonja’s “Hour of Mindfulness”, held at NECTAR or in the garden of St. Bartholomew’s Church in New Edinburgh, offers an oasis of peace and tranquility in the midst of our busy weeks. Sonja’s style is soothing and gentle, yet powerful. A real gift!
Over the past year Sonja has most generously led the Nectar Mindful Meditation Circle on Wednesday afternoons. This is a small group of people from varying backgrounds who recognize the importance of regular meditation practice in a group setting. Sonja has provided a gentle practice in the spirit of the John Kabat-Zinn MBSR program which includes yoga, walking and sitting meditation. It has been a rich community experience open to anyone and everyone in a relaxed community setting.