I am going to be running an Introduction to Meditation Class over 4 weeks in March 2018 (Wednesdays – 10.45am to 11.30am at Europa Gymnastics Centre in Crayford) where we will explore a range of guided meditation practices. As meditation involves sitting and concentrating I am keeping the classes relatively short at 45 minutes to allow for comfort and for everyone to stay focused. There are chairs in the room so there is always the option to sit in a chair for the guided meditations if sitting on a mat proves too uncomfortable – laying down is also a possibility although the temptation to fall asleep may prove too hard to resist! We will make sure to explore some comfortable postures for sitting in meditation, in any case, so that we can find the right position that suits our bodies and ensures we are comfortable in our bodies so as not to distract the mind. I will have lots of blocks to hand to help us get comfy.
Meditation is wonderful for so many reasons, it can help to decrease stress, reduce feelings of depression and anxiety, improve concentration, increase feelings of wellbeing, help improve sleep and I think most importantly it gives your mind a break from all the constant “chatter” and often negative thoughts that swirl around non-stop. Our minds are always busy thinking about everything, over-analysing, planning, reflecting, so meditation can help to give our heads some much-needed “space” and it also helps to connect us deeper to our inner “self” and to start to tap into feelings of inner peace that lay within.
I do include elements of Meditation (within our breath focus and in Savasana) within all my general yoga classes and in my new Mindful Yoga class on Fridays, however, there is also a strong emphasis on the physical yoga practice in these classes which is why I wanted to trial a class focused purely on meditation and the “how to” or “what to do” aspect of meditating, both in terms of preparing a space, sitting comfortably and which methods to use for your meditation practice. It can be quite difficult to maintain an “at-home” meditation practice, particularly if you don’t know where to start, so a group meditation session can be a nice way to learn new techniques, meet like-minded people, ask any questions you might have and kick-start a meditation practice that you can continue at home.
There is also power in numbers and practising meditation within a group, coming together with a shared intention can have a profound impact on the experience of meditation and the feeling of peace created within ourselves, within the room and shared out into the wider community.
As Gabrielle Bernstein, New York Times bestselling author and motivational speaker says, “Meditating in a group is very powerful. The shared intention of the group elevates each individual. When one or more gather with the intention to heal and grow, great shifts can occur. The group’s collective energy has a massive impact on the world.”
These sessions would be suitable for both complete beginners and for those with some experience of meditation. For more experienced “meditators” this could be a nice opportunity to be part of a group meditation and to reinforce your own practice.
In terms of what to bring, if you have a yoga mat please bring it with you, don’t worry if not as I always have mats with me and there are also plenty of chairs available if you prefer to sit in a chair. Please do bring a blanket with you – as we are seated and “still” in meditation we will not be generating heat within our bodies as we do in yoga, so feeling warm will ensure that we are not distracted by any feeling of coldness within the body. If you have meditation cushions, bolsters, etc. please feel free to bring them with you!
You are welcome to drop into these sessions at a cost of £6 per person or you can pay £20 for the block of 4 classes. If you already have one of my 10 class passes (from the yoga classes) you are welcome to use your pass and make a slight saving on the drop-in cost. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or if you want to book ahead for the block of 4 classes ૐ