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Stressed Out? Try Practicing Mindfulness, Says Larchmont Studio Owner

Larchmont resident Cheryl Brause of 2bpresent.
Larchmont resident Cheryl Brause of 2bpresent. Photo Credit: Sandra Wong

LARCHMONT, N.Y. -- Mindfulness seems to be a buzzword of late, but for Cheryl Brause, it's a way of life.

The former investment banker turned lawyer found, after having three kids, that, like most busy moms, the need for relaxation was key to her well-being. This led her deeper into practicing yoga and meditation and, eventually, to studying meditation.

Now, others like her looking for peace and quiet, have a place to go with her Larchmont practice 2bpresent . The studio opened in January, 2016 and offers a series of programs including classes in meditation, mindfulness and mantra. Brause works with individuals, schools, corporations and, in particular, stressed out moms.

What makes her studio unique is that it's not a one size fits all practice. "At 2bpresent, I emphasize that you must find a meditation practice that works for you and I teach many different tools and techniques that people can use in their busy lives to find some quiet, some space and some inner peace," said Brause.

That means discussing the neuroscience and psychology behind these practices in her sessions. "I think it's important for my students to understand the 'why’s' of meditation," she explained. "In my classes, we explore the most recent scientific research on the benefits of meditation for the brain and the body."

As for what mindfulness really is, she defined it as the practice of being more present and awake for your life.

"When we really pay attention, most of us will find that our minds are quite active and busy thinking all the time," she said. "We're usually thinking of some past event or worrying about the future -- the 'what if’s' as I like to call them. We also find ourselves on 'automatic pilot' much of the time — going through the same routines over and over again, often getting upset about things over and over again, or simply zoning out or becoming numb as a way of coping."

Mindfulness, she said, helps us strengthen our mental muscle to focus on what we're actually experiencing. It also helps us be aware of our bodies, our thoughts and our emotions with an open and friendly willingness. And for all those naysayers out there, she encourages trying it -- already she has 1,000 followers on her website, proving, she said, it works.

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