What is the stress reduction program?
The world-renowned Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program (MBSR) was developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn in 1979 at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. The program is designed for adults and consists of eight weekly two-and-a-half hour classes, as well as an extended mindfulness practice session between the sixth and seventh classes. The program is highly experiential and includes:
  • Guided instruction in mindfulness meditation practices and concepts
  • Gentle mindful stretching
  • Group discussions
  • Daily home assignments; and
  • Home practice materials, including four guided mindfulness practice recordings
Why do people take the program?
Thousands of people all over the world have taken the MBSR program to learn how to cope more effectively with a variety of challenges, including:
  • General life stress
  • Cardiovascular disease/high blood pressure
  • Chronic illness/pain
  • Cancer
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Gastrointestinal distress
  • Sleep disturbance, among other conditions


Is this the same program offered at UMass and Brown University?
Yes. This is the same program offered at the Center for Mindfulness at UMass in Worcester, taught by one of their former MBSR teachers, as well as the MBSR program offered at the Mindfulness Center at Brown University.
How large are the classes?

Maximum class size is 12 participants to ensure individualized attention.


What should I wear to class?

It is best to wear informal clothing that is loose and comfortable around the waist. To accommodate changes in temperature, you may wish to dress in layers. You are welcome to bring an extra pair of socks or indoor slippers if you would like to cover your feet during class.

What should I bring to class?

Please bring your own yoga mat to class each week, as well as any other items that would enhance your comfort (e.g., a pillow, cushion, etc.). There are some blankets available at the studio.

May I bring food or drinks to class?

Bottled water and other clear liquids are permitted in the studio. Please leave all other food and drink items in the waiting area, unless medically necessary.

What will I need at home?

Access to a device that can play mp3 files or CDs is required in order to engage in the home practice assignments that are part of the program.

Is it possible to take the program privately?

Although the original group format of the program as designed by Jon Kabat-Zinn is extremely beneficial and recommended, we understand that under certain circumstances this format may not meet the needs of individual clients. When these situations arise, we are able to offer mindfulness classes on a private basis.

Are there any challenges I may face?

Physical: Although the mindful stretching exercises are gentle and can be adapted to accommodate physical limitations, participants with medical and/or orthopedic conditions are advised to consult with their physician prior to engaging in any of the practices. Self-care and listening to one’s body (e.g., refraining from doing anything that does not feel appropriate) take priority over engaging in specific stretches.

Emotional: As participants begin to pay attention and allow themselves to experience what is occurring in their emotional lives, feelings of sadness, fear, or anger could feel stronger initially. A history of trauma, physical/emotional abuse, or substance abuse could heighten these reactions.

Time: Home practice is a core component of the MBSR program, and helps develop and strengthen mindfulness in daily life. In order to fully benefit from the program, class participants make a strong commitment to attend all the classes and set aside approximately 45-60 minutes every day in between classes to engage in mindfulness practices/activities. Negotiating time and a space to practice uninterrupted, as well as adopting new scheduling habits may feel overwhelming at times.

Please note that this program is challenging and is NOT recommended for individuals who are currently coping with legal or illegal substance dependency (or have been in recovery for less than one year), suicidal thoughts, major depression, psychosis, active symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, or social anxiety that limits one’s ability to be in a classroom situation. An orientation conversation with the instructor is required before the first class.


gentle and inspiring

Cindy’s peaceful and inviting demeanor immediately put the class at ease. Her tone is gentle and inspiring, and her dedication to guiding her class is always present. The destressing and meditation skills I learned have been a gift.

Cecilia M, Author

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Please note: The programs offered by Sunrise Mindfulness are intended to be educational and should not be used as a substitute for medical or psychological treatment by a health care professional. 
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Serving the Greater Boston area with locations in Woburn and Natick.

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