29. Learn to Look After Yourself with Mindfulness Teacher Roya Hekmatpanah

Roya Hekmatpanah

Mindfulness Teacher

A Way of Life

Roya Hekmatpanah is the mindfulness and yoga teacher behind All Humanity. She is passionate about helping driven professionals to achieve success without sacrificing their wellbeing. So, is mindfulness just a buzzword? Or is it something with the power to transform our workplace and our lives? This episode has a lot of laughs, and you’re in for a treat! Roya will lead you on a lovely mindfulness grounding practice.

Roya’s Links

Inspiration

  • The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama. “It’s very uplifting”.
  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy. “It’s just a must-read. So, you could read it in 20 minutes. It will change your life. You will reread it. And it should be a must-have in every household”.

Benefits of Mindfulness

  • Helps you see clearly. “When we know what’s happening as it’s happening, there’s an element of choice that comes in. And when you cultivate that awareness and you’re able to see what’s going on as it’s going on, you have the option to say, can we step away?”
  • Supports your mental health. “If you’re experiencing depression as a result of certain patterns of thinking—which is very often the cause of it—then yes, you can manage it with exercise, with lifestyle, with mindfulness. But it’s just a very individual thing. And I would hate for anyone to feel that they failed if they need to rely on medication. It’s there to help, you know. If you had a broken leg, you’d get a cast.”

These mindfulness programmes are evidence-based and the strongest evidence base you can get, which is a clinical randomised controlled trial. So, the programmes are offered in our NHS as frontline interventions for things like recurrent depression. You can treat depression but the problem is that it often happens again when the treatment stops. And so actually in trying to address that problem, they developed these evidence-based mindfulness programmes that actually work.

Roya Hekmatpanah

Grounding Practice

Listen to the full episode and, partway through, Roya will lead you in a lovely grounding practice… So, why not take this time for yourself?

Grounding simply means we know how to stabilise ourselves. So whatever life throws up, and it certainly can throw up a lot and has done over the last year for all of us. But whatever it might be—it might be a big life event, or it might be the trials and tribulations that arise day to day—that rather than being completely knocked off course by them, we have a sense of stability within us. And we can cultivate that through these grounding practices, which are really simple.

Roya Hekmatpanah

Learn to Look After Yourself

What does that mean on a practical level? In terms of Roya’s business, she says: “it means I’m going slower than I want to. Honestly, I’m not progressing at the speed I’d like to, but it’s recognising my own limitations and honouring those. That is the choice, the choice that maybe we don’t like because there’s an element of sacrifice in it, but it is just accepting that maybe one day wasn’t as productive as I’d like it to be.”

In the space I predominantly teach in I think there is a lot of suffering, but it’s not become conscious. And it’s sort of all in these unconscious, maybe not very helpful behaviours like anger, like feeling like you’re too busy all the time. And just feeling this constant sense of pressure—but there’s not that recognition that maybe there’s a need for change.

Roya Hekmatpanah

Style Notes

When she works with corporate clients, Roya tries to mirror the look of the people she’s dealing with. “And I think that’s really important because people are receptive to people who look like them.”

Top Tip: The beauty of personal style is the freedom to find what’s really right for you. So it won’t be keeping up with current fashion or wearing bold statements for everyone. In fact, that’s often the way to a lot of heartbreak and disappointment. Instead, dare to be yourself. In all ways.