Scottish spa treatments: Mindful Meditation Session, Sunrise Holistic, Bo’ness

Sunrise Holistic offers a 60-minute mindfulness session
Sunrise Holistic offers a 60-minute mindfulness session

Will a mindfulness session at Sunrise Holistic help Rolf Rae-Hansen shake off his worries and cares?

The treatment

A Mindfulness Meditation Session at Sunrise Holistic, Bo’ness. This 60-minute session can work as an introduction to mindfulness for newbies or as further support to the already enlightened. The meditation session itself is unguided but there’s a group discussion and encouragement from Sunrise Holistic’s owner/practitioner, Teresa Johnston, to keep you on the right track. £5 per single session/£30 for six (can be taken over seven weeks).

Why go?

Mindfulness is very of the moment (no pun intended). Celebrity converts are said to include Emma Watson and Oprah Winfrey (neither was in attendance at Bo’ness), and recent university studies have found mindfulness procedures – focusing on breathing, suspending judgment and criticism – are effective at treating depression and can provide relief to sufferers of chronic pain. Teresa says: “Depression is about looking back, anxiety is looking forward, and mindfulness is about being present in the now.”

Our spy says

The bulk of the session was 30 minutes of unguided meditation. Teresa prefers this method as it doesn’t build in a reliance on meditational props – all that’s required is a relatively comfortable place in which to sit, and your breath. The Sunrise room is in a peaceful spot which, combined with Teresa’s kind and calming presence, positively encourages relaxation.

We began with advice and assistance from Teresa. She ascertained everyone in the group’s level of mindfulness/meditation experience and then offered the necessary guidance and explanation. Initially, I found meditating in a roomful of strangers (there were six others) an odd experience but I soon settled in. My mind was its usual sea of thoughts but I heeded the advice and kept dragging focus back to my breath, the feeling of my chest expanding and contracting, the air rushing in and out. The half hour passed surprisingly quickly and it seemed a shame to break the peace at the end.

The group was a mix of meditational ability and experience. Some, like me, had dabbled, one had spent time at a Buddhist retreat, and for a couple of others it was their very first experience. This broad mix made for an informative group discussion. Everyone shared their (seemingly common) concerns, and the more experienced offered great hints and tips for future practice. 
Teresa provided plenty of suggestions and encouraged members to return to the group until they felt comfortable and capable of continuing on their own.

The results

The session left me convinced of the benefits of mindfulness, encouraged to continue and understanding that everyone (even Buddhist monks) finds meditation difficult at some point along the way. As Teresa suggested, it’s repeated practice that matters. I picked up some great hints and tips on how to build mindfulness into my everyday routine – no incense, ohm or crossed legs required.

• Office 5, 12-16 Corbie Hall Road, Bo’ness, 0784 140 8120,