Lisa Kallhoff leads Galen Wray, pastor at First United Methodist Church, left, and Linda Green in meditation at the church.

From scheduling work meetings and study sessions to planning family dinners and making time for friends, it can be difficult to live in the moment.

That’s why Lisa Kallhoff, a certified yoga and tai chi instructor, started Mindfulness Mondays.

Mindfulness is the intentional practice of noticing what is going on in the present moment without judgment. The goal of Mindfulness Mondays, Kallhoff said, is to quiet the mind and body and reconnect with oneself through meditation and gentle movements.

“It makes life just lighter and more pleasant,” Kallhoff said.

Mindfulness Mondays, which are free and open to the public, take place each Monday from 7 to 7:45 a.m. and 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, 480 Main St.

Kallhoff, who began her yoga journey 20 years ago followed by tai chi and the study of mindfulness, said the sessions are a wonderful way to utilize her training while connecting with the Springfield community and beyond.

To begin each session, Kallhoff and her students sit quietly for 10 minutes, do a full body scan so students can become aware of their bodies rather than minds, practice self-massage followed by mindful movements and end with 10 more minutes of quiet time.

At the end of the 45 minutes, Kallhoff said, she hopes her students leave with a clear mind, an overall sense of well being, self awareness and a better understanding of their surroundings.

“It generates more kindness, compassion and joy and everybody benefits from that,” she said.

Classes range from a few students to upward of a dozen. But no matter the size, Kallhoff said she treats every session just as important as the one before.

Linda Green, a church member and avid attendee of Mindfulness Mondays, started attending the program to help aid her fibromyalgia, a disorder that causes widespread muscle pain and tenderness.

At first, Green said, she did not expect 45 minutes of practicing mindfulness to help, but to her surprise, it did.

“I walked out the first time and thought, You got to be kidding me,” Green said. “I felt so much better.”

Galen Wray, pastor at First United Methodist Church, said Mindfulness Mondays have been helpful to him with the stress of being a leader of an active church.

“It’s helped me develop a practice for myself, of more mindfulness of the present moment,” he said. “That’s just such an important thing in the ministry, to be with people in the present moment.”

Kallhoff’s sessions are open to anyone 17 and older regardless of faith and church affiliation.

“We simply open our doors to this beautiful space and invite people to come in just as they are,” she said.

“It’s one big, wide world. We are all connected and it’s something that can bring us all together regardless of differences.”

While it is not easy to quiet the mind, Kallhoff encourages people to just take a few moments to reconnect with the breath, the present moment and oneself.

“To intentionally take time for yourself is a gift,” she said. “Once you do it, you begin to crave the sense of peace it brings.”

For more information, call Kallhoff at 402-238-7994.

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