HOUSTON – Certified meditation expert, mindfulness coach, and author of “Hot Mess to Mindful Mom,” Ali Katz welcomes 2016 in her own way. She is in the second day of a 10-day silent retreat in January in order to refresh and reflect for the new year.
Each year, health goals and wellness challenges trend as top New Year’s resolutions, but it is no secret that keeping resolutions is tough. Katz is not a stranger to challenges, as she has gone through many in not only her meditation journey but also life. To continue challenging herself, the Houston resident is cut off from technology, reading, journaling and, most importantly, conversation during her retreat in Kaufman, a press release stated.
The donation-based silence retreat is designed to help participants engage in the process of self-purification by self-observation. One begins by observing his or her breath to concentrate the mind, then he or she proceeds to observe the changing nature of the body and mind. The techniques date back to over 2,500 years ago and originate from India with the purpose of serving as a remedy for universal problems.
Participants of silence retreats experience benefits such as fully coping with pain or suffering, making peace with what is so, experiencing a feeling of joy that comes from deep within and much more, according to the press statement. Some even view it as a vital spiritual practice, as there are no distractions or outside forces that get in the way of assessing oneself. The core benefit of this practice is to gain a deeper understanding of each participant’s physical and mental states.
Katz, a native Houstonian, began meditating and practicing mindfulness to heal emotional scars she experienced early on in her life. Her meditation has led to less anxiety, and it helped her with character changes, such as patience and critical thinking. Using meditation, Katz has moved forward and learned from painful experiences, like her parent’s emotional divorce. Katz now leads a life full of presence, joy, and gratitude with her two sons.
The lessons Katz collected from meditation inspired her to write “Hot Mess to Mindful Mom,” a self-help book that teaches readers to commit to creating their best self, which carries over to better parenting. Katz strives to continue to learn and share her knowledge, as she embarks on her latest meditation journey, the press release stated.
“I feel this journey is the key to taking my own personal practice to the next level because we never stop learning and growing,” she stated prior to the retreat.
To serve as her 40th birthday gift from herself and as her 2016 challenge, Katz wants to use this silent retreat as a fresh start to the New Year. Ali has spent the last few years learning from well-known gurus, such as Gabby Bernstein and Sarah McLean, and is inspired to teach practices that lead to a better quality of life.
Katz compiled a list of tips and reminders to fully prepare for the retreat:
- The most important thing to bring is a positive and open attitude
- Do not go into the journey with any preconceived ideas – develop attitudes and beliefs on your own
- Loose-fitting clothes are the most comfortable, but pack fairly lightly
- Sitting materials are encouraged as the whole day is devoted to meditation
- During the retreat, meditation sessions will last as long as 10 hours per day- to prepare, stretch personal meditation sessions a bit longer
“This is a time to truly go within for an extended period of time to connect with myself, my highest truth, and what I want to bring into the world in the future,” Katz stated.