Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program - Lakeshore Foundation

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program

Woman sitting in wheelchair at table and working on her computer


Join our upcoming 8-week session of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction beginning October 20.

“MBSR creates a mindset of calm and peace which allows my mind and body to slow down in order to appreciate the world around us. I am grateful for this class and all the positives it has given me through the practices and time I took just for me.” – Aimee Bruder, MBSR Participant

Register for MBSR

Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an eight-week evidence-based virtual (online) program that offers mindfulness training to assist you in managing stress, anxiety, depression and pain. MBSR utilizes meditation and mindful movement to cultivate skills that can lead to better health and well-being.

Program Structure

The upcoming 8-week session of MBSR begins October 27 with an orientation on October 20. Classes take place each Wednesday with two time options available: 9-11:30 a.m. CT or 5:30-8 p.m. CT. Each class has a theme and focuses on formal and informal practices including yoga, meditation, body scans, mindful eating, speaking and listening, and mindfulness of daily activities. All sessions, including the orientation are taught virtually through Zoom. Participants are also given assignments to work on outside of the sessions.

Participant Qualification

MBSR, in partnership with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, is a free program open to individuals living with paralysis caused by spinal cord or other injuries and diseases or birth conditions, including but not limited to stroke, spina bifida, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Lakeshore membership is not required for participation and participants may live anywhere in the U.S. Family members and/or caregivers are also eligible, but priority is given to people with paralysis. If you are unsure if you qualify, contact Isia Jenkins at or 205-313-7446.

Leila Neighbors, a white woman with short graying hear wearing a green shirtMeet the Instructor

Leila Nabors, M.Ed. is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Huntsville, Alabama. Leila has over 20 years of counseling experience in a variety of settings including schools, community mental health centers and private practice. Prior to becoming a licensed professional counselor, Leila enjoyed an 20-year career as a teacher and coach. Leila studied with Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, the creator of MBSR, and after six years of training, became the only certified MBSR teacher in the state of Alabama. Leila is also a co-founder of the Alabama Institute for Mindfulness (AIM).


What is Mindfulness?

Simply put, mindfulness is the awareness that arises when we pay attention, on purpose to the present moment and non-judgementally. When we practice mindfulness we are intentionally paying attention to our lives. Mindfulness helps clear the haze that causes us to move though life “asleep at the wheel.” It is about waking up to the moments of wonder and living life fully, regardless of your condition or circumstance.

What impact does mindfulness practice have on my brain?

Scientist have conducted studies with the aid of fMRI brain scans to show the impact of meditation on the brain. Several studies have shown that in as little as 8 weeks structural changes may occur in the brain. The area of the brain known as the amygdala plays a role in stress. This area can become smaller after practicing mindfulness. The pre-frontal cortex area of the brain which is involved in planning, problem solving and regulating emotions may become thicker as a result of mindfulness practice. And, the area of the brain involved with memory and learning may also become thicker due to mindfulness practice.

How can I benefit from the MBSR program?

Mindfulness is about getting off “automatic pilot” and being present for all the moments of our lives, whether they are pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Present moment awareness opens us up to the richness of our lives. Participants often report a sense of greater well-being and joy for the simple moments of life as well as reductions in physical symptoms. Recent studies have shown that mindfulness helps reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. This evidence based program also has been shown to improve physical symptoms like blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

Do I need to have experience with meditation or yoga prior to the course?

No experience is necessary. This program is appropriate for people who have no experience with meditation or for those who have an ongoing meditation practice. Mindful movement/yoga sequences are adaptable for all abilities. The movements may be done sitting, standing or lying down.

Are there reasons someone should not take the MBSR course?

If someone has a history of substance or alcohol abuse with less that a year of being clean or sober, if there are thoughts or attempts of suicide, if there is an unresolved trauma or major life changes taking place, now may not be the time to participate in an MBSR course. Also, participants with certain conditions are encouraged to be under the care of a medical or mental health professional. Taking the MBSR program at another time my be appropriate. Talk to your doctor or mental health provider about participating in this course.

Register for MBSR