I’ve tried meditation, and I can’t do it. Why should I take a class?
Meditation offers many proven benefits and is well worth the effort involved in establishing a practice. However, trying to engage in practice without guidance can be frustrating. Getting instruction from a qualified teacher and the having the support of a group can allow you to overcome any hurdles you might be experiencing. For some, though, individual sessions can be helpful, especially if you are suffering from anxiety or have experienced trauma.
I’ve never meditated. Will the Mindfulness Meditation drop-in sessions help me learn how to practice?
The best way to start a mindfulness practice is through an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Management course. But for anyone unable to commit to this fairly rigorous course, weekly drop-in sessions provide an opportunity to learn the basics of mindfulness and to connect with other people on the path. People who have already taken the 8-week program participate in these sessions, creating a mix of beginner and more experienced practitioners.
I haven’t taken a class since school and I feel nervous and shy. What if I don’t know what to do?
It’s not unusual for some of us to feel self-conscious when joining a group in which we don’t know other participants. It may be helpful to remember that you will not be alone with these feelings. I believe you’ll find the classes warm, welcoming and supportive, and that you will quickly feel comfortable. If you are struggling, you are welcome to confer with me privately, and together we can find ways to help you feel more at ease.
My mind is too busy to meditate. Will this work for me?
Yes. This is about paying attention to what is with acceptance and curiosity. This tends to calm the mind and produces many benefits. This is not about making the mind or thoughts “do” anything or change.
Do I have to practice every day?
Daily practice is encouraged and will produce the most benefit from the course. Even a few minutes a day will help maintain consistency. Committing to class attendance and home practice will enable you to gain the most from class series.
Although mindfulness meditation has proven helpful for anxiety, some people may feel some anxiety when turning attention inward. If this happens to you, you can see what it’s like to take an attitude of curiosity towards the experience – noticing the characteristics of anxiety and your thoughts about the sensations. Turning towards an unpleasant experience can help it dissipate.
Do I have to sit cross-legged on a cushion to meditate?
No. Classes offer ways to incorporate the techniques into daily life; several kinds of meditation are offered. Group participation will be done from a chair.
Do I need to register in advance of attending class?
You don’t need to pre-register for mindfulness drop-in classes. Just show up a bit early for your first class to get settled. It is necessary to pre-register for the 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Management course and for other multiple week classes.
Do I need to bring anything to meditation class?
You don’t need to bring anything unless you were asked to do so in a post-registration or other follow-up emails. I recommend dressing comfortably. You may want to wear socks, since we take off our shoes before entering the practice space.
How are Trauma Sensitive Yoga classes different from other yoga classes?
In Trauma Sensitive Yoga classes, choice is emphasized. The pace is slow, and you will have opportunities to connect with the felt sense of the body … a chance to fully experience the effects of the movement on the body – the muscles and bones, emotions, energy level and thoughts. You’ll be comparing sensations before and after movement, and comparing the sides of the body to become familiar with subtle physical sensations on a level not generally noticed. Periods of meditation, deep relaxation and emotional regulation techniques are incorporated into each class. Many people who have experienced trauma lose connection with the body. These classes provide a gradual way to befriend your body in a safe and supportive environment.
I’ve never done yoga before and I’m not flexible. Will I be able to fully participate?
You should be able to participate in this class even if you are out of shape and new to yoga. Movements are done slowly and with awareness, and you are encouraged to find and honor your own limits. Modifications are generally offered for poses that may be a bit more challenging to some, but there are no hands on adjustments. If you have a particular health issue or concern, feel free to contact me.
Do I need to bring anything to yoga class?
Props are available for your use. However, if you prefer to bring your own yoga mat or other props, please feel free to do so.