Bird teacher: Ralitsa Ivanova
‘Mindfulness is the awareness of our moment-to-moment experience without judgement. It is a form of wisdom that needs cultivating.’
Ralitsa Ivanova

Ralitsa Ivanova

Ralitsa is a certified mindfulness teacher, qualified to deliver the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) 8-week program and Mindfulness in Schools Project curriculum. She is currently on a Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) teacher training pathway with Oxford Mindfulness Centre. She holds degrees in Economics (MSc) from Sofia University for National and World Economy and Psychology (BSc, Hons) from The Open University in the UK.

When did you start meditating?

I started meditating 4 years ago when I signed for the MBSR course as a participant. I have read and researched a lot about mindfulness but I felt something was missing. When I started meditating it all fell into place - my practice showed me there is a different way of "knowing" that comes from the body and from the heart.

Why do you meditate?

Mindfulness is the way I choose to live my life. My formal meditation practice helps me to find grounded-ness, clarity and peace of mind. It extends into my daily life, allowing me to be more present more often, appreciative, less reactive and more in touch with what really matters. It gives me a sense of freedom and the space for kindness. We easily get stuck in well-rehearsed patterns of thinking and behaving, caught up in the stories we convince ourselves to be true. These mental shortcuts, although convenient, rob us of the richness and the possibilities of the present moment experience. Mindfulness is the awareness of our moment-to-moment experience without judgement. It is a form of wisdom that needs cultivating.

What is your meditation tip?

Every time I notice things get too busy and reactive, I deliberately slow down and stop to take a breathing space. I notice what's going on for me in this moment and observe my inner experience - my thoughts, my feelings and how everything is showing up in my body. Then I anchor myself on the breath and just allow for a few mindful inhales and exhales. From here I open up back to my body and usually there is a shift in my perspective on how to take the next moment.

Book recommendations

Full Catastrophe Living (Jon Kabat-Zinn)
Mindfulness - a practical guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World (Mark Williams and Danny Penman)
Altered Traits (Daniel Goleman & Richard Davidson)
Buddha’s Brain (Rick Hanson)
Satipatthana Meditation. A Practice Guide (Analayo)