Thursday, April 6, 2017
Community Mindfulness Workshop

by Jackie Balestra, South Bay by Jackie

The contentious local election cycle has come to a close, making it the perfect time for residents from all sides of the debate to come together and share a collective – and mindful – sigh of relief. Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) will be helping people do just that on April 6 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. when it hosts a FREE Community Mindfulness Workshop at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. 

The upcoming workshop, held in partnership with the City of Redondo Beach, will mark the second time in as many years that BCHD has offered a mindful outlet during a hotly contested local election.

In February 2015, at the height of the oil drilling debate in Hermosa Beach, the first mindfulness workshop was held at the request of then City Manager Tom Bakaly, now CEO of BCHD. Hundreds of locals, many planted firmly on opposite sides of the issue, attended the event. Its success prompted BCHD to offer an ongoing series of mindfulness workshops, which have drawn more than 1,500 participants to date. 

“Data shows that feelings of stress, anger and worry run high in our community, and I’ve seen firsthand how amplified these emotions can become during an election,” said Bakaly. “The goal of our upcoming workshop is to help residents meaningfully connect with one another and learn evidence-based techniques that can reduce daily stresses and improve overall well-being. I encourage everyone in the Beach Cities to take advantage of this resource.” 

The upcoming workshop will differ slightly from past programs, which focused primarily on the history and science behind mindfulness, and broaden to incorporate evidence-based meditation techniques, including: 

  • Intention setting: Making a choice to pay attention to something, deciding to be present and enjoying things while they happen.
  • Loving-kindness: Focusing and extending feelings of love, kindness and compassion toward people.
  • Visualization: Picturing what you desire and then visualizing it over and over again with all of the senses.
  • Mindful breathing: Bringing focus to each breath by experiencing or observing it rather than changing it.

There will also be four new faces facilitating the workshop. Local experts Eric McCullum of Insight LA, Tristan Coopersmith of Life Lab, and Greg Flaxman and Shiori Lange of BCHD, will each take their turn guiding the audience through evidence-based meditation practices.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the program begins at 6 p.m. There is no cost to attend the workshop, but advanced registration is required.

Childcare will be provided from 5 to 8 p.m. at AdventurePlex (located just down the street from the event) for children three and older. The cost is $25 for the first child and $15 for siblings. Dinner from Fresh Brothers will be provided. Please register at no later than March 23.

For additional information and registration, visit the website at or contact Tiana Rideout at or 310-374-3426, x139.

Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center is located at 1935 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Redondo Beach, CA 90278.

-- News release from Beach Cities Health District.

To view full South Bay by Jackie article, click here.