Community Blog

September 1, 2010

Integrating Yoga & Meditation

with Sean Feit

5 Sundays: Oct 24th, 31st, Nov 14th, 21st, Dec 5th

4-5pm Meditation: $50 for all 5 session/$12 individual drop-in

followed by 5-6pm Kirtan: Donation

Many yoga practitioners consider their practice to be part of a spiritual path. Asana (postures) and pranayama (breathwork) are wonderful tools that can cultivate peace-of-mind and an open heart as they  focus on strength, flexibility and physical well being. As yoga practice deepens, a powerful ease, presence, and awareness develop, and we  find ourselves drawn toward stillness and meditation. Learn different meditation techniques and how to incorporate this next step of yoga into your practice.

For most of its 2,500-year history, “yoga” was meditation: techniques for bringing the mind to rest, and from that radiant state seeing into the true nature of reality and the Self.  Only in recent years in the West has yoga come to refer to systems of physical cultivation, with “meditation” referring only to the contemplative practices.  Traditionally, the practices of asana and meditation were a natural complement to each other, with physical practice preparing the body and mind for prolonged stillness, and meditation bringing the practice of yoga to its fruition in deep states of ease and understanding.

In this 5-week series, we’ll explore and practice meditations from the major Indian yoga traditions, including the Classical/Raja Yoga of Patañjali, Buddhist, Tantric, Hatha, and Bhakti Yogas, and Advaita Vedanta.  Each class will introduce a meditation method in historical context, and explore it in practice and discussion.   The series is part of the Yoga Garden’s Advanced Studies & Teacher Training program, but is open to the public.  Beginners are welcome, though some exposure to yoga or meditation will be helpful.

Following the meditation class will be a community kirtan from 5-6pm.  Kirtan is the practice of devotional chanting, part of the path of Bhakti Yoga.  We’ll sing together beautiful chants and prayers that connect us to our longing and love for the Divine, inclining the heart toward openness and joy.  Like the meditation class, kirtan is open to the public, beginners are welcome, and all chants will be taught.  Kirtan is offered completely on donation, in the ancient radical practice of generosity (dana).  Your donations support teacher and temple, and allow us to continue offering these transformative practices.  Register online.

By David Nelson

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