online studio

4 Years of Mindfulife - An Interview

By 
Mindfulife
|
04/04/2022

"Our entire company is guided by the guiding principle of teaching, inspiring and supporting people to develop a healthy approach to their psyche."

Mindfulife

Mindfulife was founded exactly 4 years ago today, on 4.4.2022. To celebrate this special occasion, we would like to introduce you to the founders, Tonka Nikolova and Philipp Nowak, in an interview today. In this interview, learn more about the company Mindfulife, the founders and what goals Mindfulife has set for the future.

Kurz vorgestellt

Philipp Nowak (34 years, birthplace: Germany) is an M.Sc. psychologist with a focus on clinical psychology, has been practising meditation for about fourteen years and is a certified yoga teacher. He supports various universities and institutes across Europe in researching meditation and mindfulness. 

Mindfulife Gründer: Philipp Nowak
Philipp Nowak
Mindfulife Gründerin: Tonka Nikolova
Tonka Nikolova

Tonka Nikolova (29 years old, birthplace: Kardzhali, Bulgaria) is also a M.Sc. psychologist with a focus in industrial and organisational psychology. Tonka loves connecting people who can support each other. She strongly believes that in a community you can influence each other positively and thus generate better output. She is an innovative thinker and wants to make a difference in the field of mental health. 

The interview

What is your business like- are you alone or do you have a team around you to support you in your work?

Initially there were only two of us, but now we have a team of more than thirteen people, including not only psychologists and neuroscientists, but also graphic designers, journalists and meditation trainers who believe in Mindfulife and support us. As well as over 17 meditation teachers.  We are very pleased that people from so many different fields now believe in our project, find it meaningful and important and contact us.

What exactly did you learn or study?

We both studied psychology and share an interest in Eastern philosophy. Philipp has been accompanied by his teacher as a meditation student for about 10 years and never stops learning here. We have pored over books, attended conferences with scientists and monks and other experts and learned a lot about the human mind. This inspires us and we continue to educate ourselves in the direction of scientific and traditional knowledge.

How did you come to your profession? What did you do before?

We started organising and running meetings, courses or even conferences on topics like mindfulness when we were still in university and have stayed true to our line ever since. In the meantime, we have been able to expand our network, have a completely different reach and have been able to meditate and be mindful with tens of thousands of people worldwide.

Can you tell us a little about the background of your company?

Our entire company is guided by the guiding principle of inspiring and supporting people to develop a healthy approach to their psyche. As psychologists who are also active in research, we want to implement traditional approaches and research findings in a simple way that makes them accessible to these people who have no or little prior knowledge in the field. Prevention and positive psychology are also very important to us. We build the bridge between science, psychology, tradition and people.

Our entire company is guided by the guiding principle of inspiring and supporting people to develop a healthy approach to their psyche. As psychologists who are also active in research, we want to implement traditional approaches and research findings in a simple way that makes them accessible to these people who have no or little prior knowledge in the field. Prevention and positive psychology are also very important to us. We build the bridge between science, psychology, tradition and people.

Mindfulife Team
How do you train your mindfulness and how often? How do you meditate?

We offer several open meditation sessions daily during the week for private individuals. Everyone is welcome, regardless of whether you already have experience in the field. As we love challenges and want to learn from them for the future, we are also open to sceptics and welcome them in our sessions. 

In the workplace, too, it is highly relevant that prevention is practised and the well-being of employees is promoted. We spend a large part of our lives at work. Accordingly, it is important to organise it in a way that promotes health. Unfortunately, more and more people suffer from burnout.

However, one can learn how to deal well with one's own mental health and thus effectively protect oneself from burnout. This is exactly where we come in and offer companies to accompany them in the long term by conducting mindfulness training sessions with their employees once or twice a week during lunch breaks. Through evaluations, we then draw conclusions about the effects of our offers. For example, we determine changes in the areas of subjective well-being, productivity, the ability to concentrate and many others. 

The topic of mindfulness is very diverse. There are many different areas and also approaches around mindfulness. That's why we offer various workshops and trainings, lead the exercises, give explanations about the methods and put a lot of emphasis on the interaction with the participants. In this way, we get a lot of information about what the participants feel, what they think about mindfulness and how our respective offer is received by them. 

What courses do you offer? How are the classes structured, how do you start with mindfulness training and meditation? Do you also offer trial courses for beginners?

We offer private lessons as well as group or introductory courses. In addition, you can choose whether the courses should take place online or offline. 

You should be willing to try something new and then just drop in, try it out and talk to the teachers afterwards. Sure, it's not to everyone's taste, but as they say? The proof of the pudding is in the eating! And it is definitely worthwhile to have had the experience at least once. There is also always the possibility to write to us online and ask questions. We answer everyone, so don't be shy! Curious people are always welcome here.

We offer introductory courses and one-day workshops on meditation especially for beginners. In addition, our offer also includes topics such as mindful use of media, but also those that go deeper into psychology, such as emotions and mindfulness or lucid dreaming and meditation.

We also cooperate with people from completely different fields and thus also offer courses with artists or art therapists. This could be of interest for beginners as well as for advanced practitioners and show them completely new ways to mindfulness.

Our courses are very interactive. After all, it's also about sharing in the community. We meditate and have breaks where we can exchange with each other and ask questions.

Bei Mindfulife Meditation lernen: Ausbildung zum Meditationslehrer

In the beginning the sessions will be shorter, but over time they will be longer and less guided, because with practice one can maintain focus while meditating for longer and also does not need the guidance to the same extent as in the beginning. So participants are encouraged even more to have their own experience. Of course, we will still be in contact with them and respond to their questions and wishes. Over time, participants will learn a variety of different meditation techniques and be able to include them in their own repertoire for meditating alone without guidance, such as breathing meditation or resilience meditation.  

From your experience, can you give examples of how meditation and mindfulness training can impact lives? Is there an age limit for clients?

Für die Achtsamkeit kann man nicht zu alt oder zu jung sein, jeder mit einem Bewusstsein kann meditieren. Wichtig ist es hingegen, dass man sich darauf einlässt und regelmäßig trainiert. 

Everyone has difficult times in their lives, and so do we. 

Tonka Nikolova: For example, I always found it difficult to concentrate. When I wanted to learn something, I always quickly found a distraction that was more fun. I could never finish anything, no matter how hard I tried. My friends were not spared from this either. I always interrupted them when they were talking because I lacked the patience to listen to them to the end. I also found driving difficult.

Then I came across meditation and tried it out. While my first attempt didn't really convince me, I kept at it, knowing that it would take more time and practice to get real results. And indeed, my ability to concentrate improved. Suddenly I could sit quietly for five minutes, then even ten, soon an hour and so on. 

Mindfulness has changed my life, it has given me back control over it. But not only that, it also gave me a responsibility. I was now aware that I was capable of dealing with the situation and therefore responsible for my behaviour. My attention improved so much that I could finally read a book and let other people finish talking. 

Of course, it didn't happen all at once, but I made more and more progress and I noticed the difference. 

So what fascinates me so much about mindfulness is how much you can develop your own potential with such simple methods. You can gain new or hidden potential in so many areas of life, like in my case driving, learning or even interacting with your fellow human beings.  

What does Mindfulife have planned for the (near) future?

We are planning some innovations in our online studio. There will be an increasingly wide range of courses there. There will also be courses in other languages. Mindfulife is also taking a first step into the (virtual) future: we have developed our first meditation in virtual reality!

Furthermore, we are developing a card set with playful meditations for children. This can already be ordered in a few weeks. 

Our training and further education in the Mindfulife Academy will also soon get a new coat of paint, which we have been preparing for some time and have great anticipation for! 

Increasingly, we accompany companies and organisations with the topics of mindfulness, meditation and mental health. Here, people - whether they work in an office or a home office, whether they are employees or managers - can really do something for their health in the long term. We hold regular workshops, give lectures or accompany teams with regularly scheduled meditation sessions or the possibility to access our online meditation studio.

Mindfulife is a passionate team of experts, motivated and innovative people who aim to improve people's mental health and well-being. We want to develop methods that inspire people to train their mind and to achieve sustainable positive effects. 

The Mindfulife team is a family and a community of people who are walking or have walked the same path, learning and growing with like-minded people. Anyone who has the same vision is welcome to contact us and share with us.

Interested?

If you want to try meditation for yourself, we welcome you to our online meditation studio. From the comfort of your own home, you can take part in one of our many expert-led meditation sessions.

We are already looking forward to seeing you!

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