Slow down and feel: a mindful journey

This year, we had a beautiful opportunity to participate in an Erasmus+ programme ,,Mindful Journeys’’, organised by Mladiinfo ČR. The project took place from 29th of march to 4th of April, 2024 in a beautiful nature location – Slunečnice guesthouse in Kurimska Nova Ves village near Brno.

The unique experience

It was truly a unique, surprising and beautiful experience that surpassed most of the participants’ expectations. During the 5 days of the training, we had the opportunity to immerse ourselves in various mindfulness techniques, learning them for our own personal development and future use in youth work projects.

So what is this „mindfulness“ thing’’? – was the question in our heads the first day of our arrival. We mapped our knowledge around it, creating our personal characters on a „mindfulness map“. Some participants felt they are really away from it or have zero understanding of it, whether some felt like they already know the subject very well and could teach others as well. So that was what happened – during our mindful journey, we learned from our instructors as well as from each other, sharing our practices and understanding, and helping each other every step of the way.

Source: Archive of participants


We had a group of around 30 participants from 5 countries: Czech republic, Bulgaria, Poland, Lithuania, and Estonia, from very different paths of life and age groups. Yet everyone worked in harmony, friendship, understanding and respect for each other, which is not so common to witness in everyday life. 

Slow down!

„Slow down and feel“ – that was, as I took it, the core teaching of the program. We explored this feeling, awareness and certain slowness through various techniques. On the first day, we had teamwork practices, and also we put ourselves in the shoes of stressed-out graduate students, as we immersed ourselves in a set-up, final exam’’ experience. During the project, we went through various mindfulness techniques, taught by experienced instructors: Ester, Marketa and Veronika from Mladiinfo and a few guest-teachers.

These were the main parts of the programme:

In JOURNALING, we explored our feelings, thoughts, senses and behaviours.

In MEDITATION, we experienced stillness, a space for our feelings and thoughts.

During FOREST – BATHING techniques in nature, we had a chance to feel the forest in an eye-opening way, really listening to the sounds, feeling the trees and the paths we took, and breathing the air. 

Through MUSICAL mindfulness techniques, we put great awareness on the harmony of sounds and also had a chance to improvise in the community, taking the importance of each instrument and their collaboration.

Also, in ART THERAPY, we explored our spirit animals and then crafted them together in one „community totem“ in the forest. 

In THEATER THERAPY, we explored our characters, our voice and our humour in improvisational theatre. 

Also, in a BODY AND SENSES activity, we had a beautiful bonding session by exploring touch, boundaries and human connection mindfully.

Sauna, swimming and yoga

We also learned to put our learnings to use by drafting our own mindfulness exploration programmes for future use with our target audiences. Last but not least, we had fun in our improvised „evening programme“ – bonding with the group through sauna, swimming, and conversations by the campfire, and also a lot of musical jams and just plain laughter echoing through the venue.

We had a relaxing and really honest yoga session twice every day, led by a talented teacher Lesi from Slovakia. For many participants, it was their first time experiencing yoga, yet it was beautiful to see them waking up early and rolling in the yoga class every time with greater enthusiasm, even though the activity was voluntary. 

Mindful journeys
Source: Archive of participants

Exploring our feelings

As the days went by, we felt an increasing sense of inner peace, awareness, and softness in our conversations and outlook on life, achieved by genuine immersion in each moment. Exploring our feelings, thoughts, senses, contact and boundaries with others and our creative abilities. Even for some participants, it was the first time improvising artistically or musically, the first time meditating, the first time not „doing“ something or looking away from life… Yet it was beautiful and connecting, and everyone felt involved.

Mindful journeys
Source: Archive of participants

Beautiful memories

I want to give a big thanks and the warmest hug to the organizers and everyone involved. This project left a very beautiful imprint on my life, changing the way I feel and look at life, and also empowered me to share it with others. Recently, I had the chance to put these newly learned techniques at use with kindergarten students, guiding them through a soft and empathic journey of exploring their senses, objects and sounds of nature. Working with clay, emphasizing the feel of textures, encouraging them to slow down, relax and have an immersive experience.

We ended the project with a beautiful ceremony led by our mentors – we shared cacao, songs and our experience, everyone felt touched at their heart and a bit sad to leave. But the mindful journey continues in our everyday lives – we just have to slow down and feel.