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Mindful March Interview with KAAIAA founder Leah Simmons

In honour of Mindful March we caught up with wellness expert Leah Simmons for a conversation about mindfulness.

Leah is the founder and creator of KAAIAA a transformational practice that focuses on training the 4 Pillars of Health (Mental, Physical, Emotional & Spiritual) to achieve overall wellness.

Here’s what Leah had to say…

 

KAAIAA focuses on the 4 pillars of health, can you tell us what they are and why it’s important to work on all 4?

Throughout all of the work that I have been doing over the years I learned that we are actually made up of 4 Pillars of Health – Mental, Physical, Emotional & Spiritual – and that the health of one directly affects the health of another. It became very apparent to me through my own journey that they are all connected and it was this connection that led me to ask myself the same questions over and over… “What does it actually mean to be “fit?” “Where does happiness come from?” and “Can you train the other aspects of your life?”

Society focuses so much on our physical health – which is great – however it is just ONE part of what it means to be healthy. We are so much MORE than just a body. We are emotions, connections, decisions, relationships, thoughts… and as a working PT and Pilates instructor, I realised fairly quickly that just training your body wasn’t enough to make you happy. Sure it will give you the physical results you may desire, but it has little to no consistent effects on the other areas of your life. How do you enhance your relationships, your mindset, your overall feelings of fulfilment? Finding ways to “train” your mental, emotional and spiritual health can drastically improve the quality of your life. With consistency, you start to feel better, have better conversations and make better decisions. It was about transforming your life.. not just your body. And for me, THAT is why it is so important. 

 

As the world returns to a steadier pace it’s easy for us to get caught up in the motion of it all, do you have any advice for us on how to be more mindful in our everyday lives? 

Mindfulness for me is all about being present. It’s about slowing down and taking the time to appreciate things in the here and now. That may be acknowledging your meal and where it came from. It could be looking at and improving how we communicate with each other. It might be standing barefoot on the earth and feeling grounded. The more we are taken out of the present (through our phones, email, social media and other distractions) the less we are connected to the magic of what is in front of us. We all talk about how busy we are… but time slows right down if you can exist in the moment.

 

Leah_Simmons_Mindful_March

 

What would you say to someone who says they ‘can’t meditate’ or that find it difficult to sit in stillness? / What is the best way to start meditating? 

As meditation has grown in popularity, I’ve noticed a stigma begin to form around exactly what it is and how to do it. Many people I’ve had conversations with are too afraid to even try it for fear of doing it “wrong”. They have preconceived ideas that in order to meditate they need to sit still and clear their mind of every and all thoughts (which is nigh on impossible). Know this. There is no “bad” meditation. There is only you and your experience. And like anything, practice makes perfect and consistency is key. But for me, meditation is any practice that requires focused observation for an amount of time. It could be sitting quietly for a moment and feeling into your body. It could be tuning into your breath and observing your thoughts as they come. It could be walking along the sand being mindful and present with each step. For some people it’s running… for others, surfing. Whatever it is should be enjoyable! 

This month we have partnered with Lyre’s Non- Alcohol Spirit Company for Mindful March at The Botanist, what are some benefits of being more mindful of our alcohol consumption that people might not expect? 

Becoming more mindful of anything is really asking us to explore all aspects of that particular behaviour. And what most people discover when they take the time to really observe their daily habits is “WHY” they do them. Drinking alcohol has been so ingrained in our culture as Australians that most of us don’t give it a second thought. But if we really stop to ask ourselves how that constant consumption is making us feel .. what impact it is having on our health, our relationships, our energy levels, our outlook on life… then we might think twice before going for that second glass. The decisions we make in every moment shape our reality – so being more mindful around the things that do (or don’t) make us feel good can have a huge impact on our lives. There is so much power in choosing something that is true for you despite what is happening around you.. the benefits of which will be felt across your entire life.