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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mindful-Gym Apps

The apps are for audio guided mindfulness & relaxation practice based on the MINDFULGym program. They also contain updates related to MINDFULGym, e.g. photos, blog, newsletter.

Audio-guided mindfulness & relaxation practice

This is a playlist of audio-guided mindfulness & relaxation practice based on the Mindful-Gym program. The audio tracks are sorted according to duration (3-15 minutes) and downloadable. You can also access the playlist from HERE or NOW.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

i-MINDFULGym Course

i-MINDFULGym is an online version of the 5-week group MindfulGym program. The online course is delivered through PowerPoint slides that are arranged in 8 lessons with 2 parts for each lesson (see program outline below). You may join the course for self-improvement or as an introduction to the group Mindful-Gym program. If you're interested in participating in the online course, kindly do the following steps:

1. Register for the course - HERE.
2. Click on the link for each lesson
3. Download the zipped folder
4. Unzip the folder into your computer
5. Activate the PowerPoint file in the folder
6. Select the 'read only' option
7. Go through the PowerPoint slides with audio-visual links in the folder
8. Repeat step 2 to 7 for another lesson (take your time to complete the lessons)
9. After completing the course, fill out the feedback form - HERE.
10. If there are any challenges in accessing the lessons, you may contact me (

Lesson 1
  • Part 1: ABC of Stress
  • Part 2: Introduction to Mindfulness
Lesson 2
  • Part 1: Mindful stretching & muscle relaxation
  • Part 2: NOW-ing (present moment awareness by labeling & 'H.T.C.')
Lesson 3
  • Part 1: Deep & mindful breathing
  • Part 2: Beginner's mind & savoring
Lesson 4
  • Part 1: Mindful imagery
  • Part 2: Mindful-S.T.O.P.
Lesson 5
  • Part 1: Mind-Scan - Identifying thinking errors
  • Part 2: Mind-Scan - Transforming thinking errors
Lesson 6
  • Part 1: Gratitude workout
  • Part 2: Mindful-Gym theme song
Lesson 7
  • Part 1: Body scan & kindness
  • Part 2: 'Heartfulness' - radiating loving-kindness
Lesson 8
  • Part 1: Mindful-S.T.O.P. Add-ons & Personal Practice Package (MP3)
  • Part 2: Mindful-Gym bonus    

You'll be learning about these effective strategies for coping with stress & enhancing wellness.

Acknowledgment, copyright, disclaimer, glossary, resources - HERE.

The 8 lessons have been compiled in a DVD (see below). The DVD is available at Dr. Phang's clinic in Sunway Medical Centre.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Mindful-Spa: 1st Pilot Session for Mindful-Gym Graduates

Date: 24th May 2014 (Saturday)
Time: 2pm to 5pm
Venue: Brickfields Maha Vihara, Kuala Lumpur.
Number of participants: 14

Mindful-SPA is a group mindfulness-based program specially and locally designed for self-care and to enhance emotional resiliency based on state-of-the-art scientific research in mindfulness, cognitive-behavior therapy and positive psychology inspired by the work of Dr. Kristin Neff and Dr. Christopher Germer in self-compassion. This 1st pilot session of 3 hours group program was tailored for past participants of Mindful-Gym program with specific focus on understanding emotions and brief introduction of self-compassion. The session was conducted in an experiential approach to ensure maximum learning and benefits with 3 activities:-

Emotions Charade - identify emotions through facial expression & body posture.
Mirroring Exercise - learning to understand another person’s emotions/empathy.
Postcard Writing - introduction to self compassion.

Some of the testimonies/feedback from participants:-

 “Good start for the first session. It is challenging to cover such a vast topic in 3 hours, so I am looking forward to subsequent sessions” - Lim Sok Lin

“I like the postcard writing and topic about emotion. Maybe a full day will be good for us to learn more” - Yong Chee Yik

“The session increase my awareness of my carelessness towards self care” - Tan Sing Wuing

Moving forward, this special Mindful-SPA session will be part of the on-going Mindful-Gym Booster sessions (3pm to 6pm) organized periodically for all past participants of Mindful-Gym where at certain Mindful-Gym Booster sessions, there will be session with the emphasis on self-compassion lead by Low Mi Yen.  

Reported by
Low Mi Yen,
Clinical Psychologist/Vice President of BMHA

Monday, June 2, 2014

1-day Mindful-Gym Program for Medical Students in UPM

The stress reduction and well-being program was held on 18/5/2014 (Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm) at the Behavioral Science Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). Twenty two year two medical students participated in the program which was part of Dr. Maher's PhD research project. The one-day program was followed by booster/maintenance sessions through WhatsApp group communication. Earlier study in the same population had shown that group related activities (e.g. group presentation, discussion) were major stressors to the students. Therefore, the program was tailored for those needs (see program outline below). Surprisingly, the students were committed to attending the program even though it was held on a Sunday. As a Mindful-Gym trainer and medical lecturer in UPM, I'm glad that I was able to share with them on how to response mindfully to lecturers (e.g. their questions). This helps to form meaningful student-lecturer relationships which is essential for effective learning. We had a great time together. I hope the students will continue to practice the Mindful-Gym tools to cope with the challenges in medical school. Be Present, Be Calm & Be Grateful (Mindful-Gym slogan).     

Program Outline:

ABC of S.A.D. (Stress, Anxiety & Depression)

Introduction to Mindfulness

Mindful Stretching & Muscle Relaxation

NOW-ing (anchoring attention by 'labeling' & 'HTC' method)

'P.Q.R.S.T.' technique to focus attention in studies

Deep & Mindful Breathing

Mindful Imagery: Four Pleasant States

'M.I.A.O.W.' method to pay attention in interpersonal relationships

Song: Happiness is Here-and-Now (1 Malaysia version)

'Mindful-S.T.O.P.': Log on to mindfulness anytime & any where

Mind-Scan (Transforming Thoughts for Happiness):
‘5 Mood Stabilizing Pills’

Gratitude Workout (cultivating grateful thinking):

Mindful-S.T.O.P.: Mindfulness Made Easy

H = Hearing, T = Touching, C/S = Seeing (paying attention to present moment experience - sounds, bodily sensations, and pleasant/relaxing images).

The basic and advance Mindful-S.T.O.P. tool for cultivating mindfulness in daily life has been published in a medical education journal.

Phang CK, Keng S-L, Chiang KC. Mindful-S.T.O.P.: Mindfulness Made Easy for Stress Reduction in Medical Students. Educ Med J. 2014 Jun 1;6(2).


Medical students in Malaysia face enormous amount of stress that can compromise their medical training. A brief group Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (b-MBCT/Mindful-Gym) programme has been developed to help medical students cope more effectively with stress. The intervention was found to be effective for reducing stress and increasing subjective well-being among medical students in University Putra Malaysia (UPM). One of the training methodologies used in the programme, ‘Mindful-S.T.O.P.,’ was particularly popular among the students. The aim of this paper is to describe the concept and application of this mindfulness-based psychological tool (Mindful-S.T.O.P.) for stress reduction in medical students. 

Full paper - HERE

"To be mindful is easy. To remember to be mindful is difficult."