Pranayama, chanting, and meditation are always my favorite part of a yoga class, yet these are the practices that are usually given the least amount of time or skipped entirely. My Meditative Yoga class grew out of my desire to share these practices which have benefited me the most.
As an acupuncturist, I have noticed that many of my patients would benefit from more skillfulness in ways to do less and relax more. Depletion of the physical, mental, and emotional energy can be addressed by learning how to relax fully at each of these levels. Learning how to slow down, let go, and discover the wealth of ease and vitality that arises from simply being present is the goal of this class.
We begin each class with a body scan to get us grounded in our bodies and out of the mental busyness of the day. Simple pranayama (breath work) and mudras to open the lungs precede our practice of chanting. I bring my harmonium and lead the class in a very simple Sanskrit chant for about 10 minutes to experience the vibration of the sounds of the chant and feel the warming of the body from the deep breathing that happens when we chant, followed with time to notice the building of the subtle energy (prana) that is strengthened by both pranayama and chanting. Gentle warm-ups and poses that open the hips anchor the awareness in the body, prepare us for seated meditation and give us a chance to experience some movement before we practice a few restorative poses.
Restorative poses move us closer to a meditative practice as we practice being still for longer periods of time, and experience surrendering to the support of a few props, allowing gravity to open the body to the healing effects of prana circulating more freely through the tissues. After the restorative poses, I guide the class in a 30 minute yoga nidra, a guided meditation done while lying in savasana, relaxing at progressively deeper levels that begins with the body, and moves through levels of mental and emotional relaxation. Five to ten minutes of pranayama prepare us for a 10-15 minute seated meditation practice to end our time together. Students leave both relaxed and ready to move into the rest of the day with a softer, easier mind and body.
I offer Meditative Yoga monthly on Saturdays from 2:00-4:00 pm.