Mindfulness Based Vitality and Ageing (MBVA), online, January 2023

Do you want to create a good life for yourself beyond 55? Do you want to improve your resilience and learn coping strategies for the challenges that comes with growing older?

New course starting in January 2023

If you are interested, please email berit@thrivinglife.eu to receive an email when the date is announced.


After a successful pilot course and study in 2021 conduced at Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) and in cooporation with Leyden Academy, Berit Lewis at Thriving Life is continuing to offer the online Mindfulness Based Vitality and Ageing (MBVA) course. The MBVA course is based on the evidence based Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), however the content is adapted and targeted specifically to people from 50+. Like the MBSR, the MBVA stretches over 8 weeks, however the sessions are 120 min long except for session 7, which is 4-hour special virtual self-compassion retreat. The sessions takes place online via Zoom in a group of 8-12 participants and is a mix of interactive teaching, guided mindfulness practices and reflections. As mindfulness is an experiential practice, home practice between the sessions plays an important role. Just reading or learning about it will not offer the full understanding and benefits. Participants are therefore expected to commit about 20 minutes of practice per day during the 8 weeks. To support the home practice, the participants are given meditations as audio or video files and there is also a scheduled a (non-obligatory) weekly live and recorded guided practice online between the sessions. The guided practices consists of a mixture of lying, sitting, walking and gentle movements, in which we use our bodies as an anchor to the present moment and explore how to approach our physical sensations, emotions and thoughts with curiosity, friendliness and acceptance. It is suitable for most people and we can adapt the practice to the challenges you might face. We will all learn together in a safe, kind, supportive and non-judgemental environment. Read more about mindfulness here

The teacher is Berit Lewis who is an experienced MBSR teacher and who created and researched the MBVA as her Master of Vitality and Ageing Masters degree.


Session plan: 

Week 1 Introduction to mindfulness, vitality and ageing
Week 2 Befriending my body
Week 3 From reacting to responding
Week 4 Dealing with thoughts
Week 5 Dealing with chronic illness, pain and difficult emotions
Week 6 What is Vitality and what is important for me?
Week 7 Special 4 hour home-retreat: Taking care of myself
Week 8 Mindful ageing – looking ahead


This was a very well delivered course, with a good pace and content. The resources were excellent and access easy – it was like having an online personal library. There was a good balance of teaching, discussion, reflection and mindfulness and the tasks in between sessions enhanced our learning. It focused on the issues of vitality and aging and would be of interest to anyone wishing to explore how to develop coping strategies. Participant of pilot course/study

The MBVA course gave me information and exercises to be aware of daily life stress moments and how to handle them. The course is led professionally, with attention and compassion. It changed my life and opened my mind in a loving and kind way. It is what I want, but could not find. Now I have keys to go on further and enjoy life even more. Marty Gieskes

Thanks for giving me the present of mindfulness. I will profit from it the rest of my life and I will be able to share it with others. A multiplying effect to make this a better world. Maria Estrada

The research behind the course

This course was developed in cooperation with Leyden Academy and as a part of a Master of Vitality and Ageing at Leiden University, by the co-founder of Thriving Life, Berit Lewis. If you are interested in reading about the study please download the research rapport here