Announcing an 8-week yoga and meditation term. A simple way to deepen your practice.
Most yoga and meditation classes in Sydney seem to fall at opposite ends of the spectrum: They are either a hugely expensive commitment for advanced students (which is welcome when the time is right); or they are a quick class to practice contortion and get your sweat on.
And while the teachers of these classes are often experienced and the practice itself makes you feel great, this drop in format doesn’t allow the space for understanding what yoga is really about (self awareness, movement for healing and meditation for peace of mind).
I have developed an 8-week course to fulfil this thirst for greater learning, without the major commitment that comes with more advanced courses.
And because I know it can be difficult to commit to 8-weeks in a row, I have structured the course to charge for 6-weeks only, allowing you to take off any two weeks you please (but feel free to come to all eight, no extra charge).
All info is provided below, but send me an email if you have further questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I hope to have you along, Johanna.
Course dates: Every Wednesday from 6th April – 25th May.
Times: 6:30pm – 8:15pm
Payment: Email email@example.com to reserve your place.
Venue: EJ Ward Community Centre (189 Underwood St, Paddington).
Course format: An 8-week term. Commitment is six classes – take any two off, or come to all eight, no extra charge.
If you wish to practice meditation only or yoga only please ask for options.
Yoga style: I teach the Hatha yoga style, which is actually the foundation of all other yoga styles. Classes are meditative, with a focus on healing. The course is open to all levels of experience, with more advanced postures available to those who welcome the challenge, and more restorative options for those who need it.
Meditation style: I teach Shamatha, or calm abiding meditation, also known as mindfulness. You may have heard of people becoming “awake” through their meditation practice. Shamatha wakes you up to what is going on in this very moment, through the practice of gentle focus. The effects are astonishing: Lower stress levels, greater clarity, better quality of relationships and a sense of presence for all of life.
Every class will follow a format of physical postures (asana), pranayama (breath work), meditation and deep relaxation.
Note: The course is subject to change with the needs of students, but below is a guide of what we will cover week by week.
Week 1: Find your foundation and take a deep breath.
You will learn the art of essential breath and explore the effect of stifled breathing on the body. You will receive an introduction to Ayurveda and the doshas, with self-study guiding your practice for the term, asking the question: What do I need to be more balanced? You will set a conscious intention for meditation, which is an effective way to create a habit of this powerful practice.
Week 2: Deep relaxation leads to creation.
Week two kicks off in a deliberately slow fashion to demonstrate the power of deep relaxation. Supported and passive yoga postures allow the body to naturally release and to let go of deeply held tension and stress, which in turn helps to restore the nervous system, regulate the body’s natural functions, get rid of toxins, and renew a sense of calm and balance to your entire being. Consistent practice of restorative yoga will make your body less vulnerable to stress-related illnesses – but what many people find surprising is how life moves in better ways when they learn to let go.
Week 3: Drishti, tapas and transformation
You have probably felt the power of focus and discipline in your life before. Yoga teaches that transformation happens through the intentional focus of energy. We have many cultural references for it: Firing up, fire in the belly, single-minded pursuit, for example. This week we study the practices of drishti (focussed gaze) and tapas (discipline) to transform your yoga, meditation and life.
Week 4: Holding patterns in the body, working with emotions
Every thought and feeling you experience has a physical ripple, which over a life time can lead to patterns of tension (and subsequent illness and injury). This week we use movement to release long held tension, shine the light on negative thought patterns; and use loving-kindness meditation to bring gentleness to our perception of others and ourselves.
Week 5: Speaking your truth
Many people find it hard to say what they really mean (without being mean). They choke down frustrations and unhappiness to avoid confrontation – culturally we refer to this as “being stuck for words.” You will learn pranayama and other breathing practices to support your convictions, you will learn to chant (if you love to sing, great … If this scares you, no pressure okay?), and finally we will consider the art of listening.
Week 6: Tuning into your intuition
There was a stage for a while there, where intuition became something to be embarrassed about, a fluffy new-age term without credibility. Thankfully we’re past that now, with sportspeople, CEOs, world leaders and parents trusting their guts again. I believe there is still a hangover of shame around intuition, with many people unwilling or unable to tune into their inner wisdom. This week you will suspend your disbelief with your mind chatter, and tune into your signals of self-guidance, allowing the breath and body to determine when and how you move.
Week 7: Yoga off the mat
While yoga is very much a self-directed practice, it was never intended to remain there. We explore the greater connection that yoga offers us – not through thinking and talking, but through movement, meditation and contemplation.
Week 8: TBD
Week 8 is left open to allow for flexibility in the program. As we draw closer we can base this final class on the needs of the group. Feel free to put in requests!
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place.
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