Mind

Radio host Ash London reveals how the practice of meditation and mindfulness helped her marriage

Not only would it help people around them, but the art of mindfulness had a profound impact on their relationship.

By Anita Lyons

Radio personality, Ash London's star is on the rise, and not just because she's joined 2DAY hosts Ed Kavalee and Grant Denyer for brekkie radio.

The Melbournite, who stepped in to the Sydney radio show after Em Rusciano's departure earlier this year, is also continuing her national night show on the HIT network; Ash London Live, and has a season of game show Game of Games as co-host in the bank.

Now, the 32-year-old has opened a drop -in meditation studio in Melbourne, with husband FOX FM's Adrian Brine called KNDRD.

So how does she manage it all?

While Ash is rocking her career (and personal highs) now, it hasn't all been smooth sailing. As the radio host's star continued to rise, her confidence began to fall - and it was all thanks to a crippling bout of anxiety.

Ash London and hubby, Adrian Brine *(Image: Supplied)*
Ash London and hubby, Adrian Brine (Image: Supplied)

"It all started with the craziness of this life that I signed up for when I decided to put myself on the line for a radio job and a TV job," she told Now to Love in an exclusive chat.

"Jobs where you put yourself out there for people to judge you... and it's busy.

"Especially when I was doing my night show, I was doing big hours and late nights and I was getting to the point where I was a bit frazzled and bit exhausted and for the first time in my life, I started to get quite anxious."

"I was finally understanding what people meant when they said, 'I had an anxiety attack' or 'I feel quite anxious'."

Through all of this, Ash, like so many other people she had heard about, decided to get a mediation app. But it wasn't until after she had read Brene Brown's The Gift of Imperfection that really changed her perspective on life and moved her onto a path of "compassion and authenticity".

At the time, Ash had just fallen in love and married her best friend, Adrian, and the pair both knew they had an opportunity and the means to create something special. A meditation studio.

Not only would it help people around them, but the art of mindfulness had a profound impact on their relationship.

"Naturally, Adrian was not a meditater," Ash said of her husband. "He is a real do-er and he doesn't sit still. I can sit on the couch and do nothing for an hour and stare at the wall and think, but he's always on the go, 'what can we do?' 'what needs cleaning' and I'm certainly not like that."

"It's been amazing for him," she said. "It's helped him go easy on himself and that has been profoundly impacting on our relationship because we're both more relaxed. We meditate together and there's something about that experience of sitting together in silence and having that experience together. It's like getting to know ourselves together that has been amazing."

The couple, who both have incredibly high stress jobs, also use meditation as a tool to help them sleep.

"It feels like we're both always 'on', talking and with lots of noise. There's always so much going on. Sometimes our brains are racing and we can't sleep, we can't switch off," she said.

"Every person in a relationship knows that when you're tired you get cranky, and when you're cranky, you say things you don't mean. So we use mediation because a good couple is a well-slept couple!"

Ash and Adrian's passion project KNDRD is a smartphone-free, no-activewear-required, secular space, designed to provide busy Melbournians an opportunity to escape the pressures of work and life and to free up space in the mind.

While now only in Melbourne, VIC, Ash and Adrian hope to conquer more cities in Australia.

So if you can't make it to the pop-in studio, here are Ash's top 5 tips to practice mindfulness of breath on your own.

How to practice mindfulness of breath meditation

Ash London's mindfulness studio, "KNDRD" in Melbourne. *(Image: Supplied)*
Ash London's mindfulness studio, "KNDRD" in Melbourne. (Image: Supplied)

1. Choose the right place

Choose a quiet and uplifting place where you can practice comfortably and without being disturbed.

2. Keep the right posture

Sit on the floor or chair, stand up straight, or lie down flat. Place your hands whenever they feel most comfortable. Make sure your back is straight but not rigid. Gaze down, close or half-close your eyes, whatever feels right to you.

3. Notice the breath

Intentionally focus your full attention on your breath where you feel it most vividly - in your chest, belly, or nostrils. With openness and curiosity feel each breath. Try and keep your attention three. Observe sensations and changes.

4. Gently return

Your attention will drift away from the breath. That's OK. You don't need to feel like a failure or berate yourself for missing a breath (or many!). Just notice your attention has drifted and gently bring it back. Repeat.

5. Don’t overdo it

Pick a doable amount of time. Don't strive for an hour right from the beginning. Work up from a few minutes, to ten, to twenty or thirty over time. Even three breaths is worth the effort! Do what you can, that's enough.

You can check out KNDRD here!

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