Workshop Programme 2018
Saturday workshops are back! My Weekend Workshops are great for new and existing students. They are suitable for all levels of fitness and experience of yoga. They can bee ‘stand alone’ classes, taught from the basics up or may be treated as a course in themselves – why not come along and try?
Each 3 hour workshop will consist of 2 lots of 1 1/4 hour of practice with a tea/coffee break in between. Tea/coffee and biscuits will be provided on a serve yourself basis.
A variety of teaching methods will be used. Each morning will contain posture work, breathing practices and relaxations. There will be the chance, given the longer time available for work to develop deeper, question and answer session plus, where appropriate a handout to take home.
The workshops will cost £20 per person and bookings will be taken in advance by cash or cheque on a first come first served basis.
All workshops will take place at Ryhal Village Hall beginning at 10.00 and ending at 1.00.
As space is limited, early booking is recommended. You can book your place using the Contact Us page.
Saturday 26 May – Meditation for Beginners
Many people get frustrated with meditation or simply have no idea where to start. Meditation is meant to be enjoyable, relaxing and a powerful tool for our health. I have put together a morning of movement and stillness, noise and silence, laughter and peace so that I can pass on this hugely rewarding practice. No previous experience of yoga is necessary – just a mat and blanket.
So what exactly is meditation? Emptying your mind like emptying your kitchen bin??? Well it can have that effect – but in a more gentle manner – we are trying to sooth the mind and reduce the ‘background’ noise. Meditation gives our mind something to focus on, so it has an anchor to hold onto. Anchors may include saying a mantra, looking at an object, watching the breath or simple movements. An anchor also helps us be fully present and live in the moment – trying to stop thoughts of the past and future.
Holding onto these anchors helps quiet our minds and then we can get a glimpse of how the mind is working. We can then get to see our worries, our obsessions and the busyness of the mind just like clouds floating in the sky. Potentially, we can choose to let these things go as we put some perspective onto the thoughts and see them as just that – thoughts. In a sense we develop our own method of managing our thoughts. Instead of our thoughts controlling us we get some control over them!
Some people see meditation like sitting at the shore of the ocean of your mind and just watching the waves come and go. We’re not pushing our thoughts away, or judging them but simply watching these thoughts as we’d watch the waves while sitting on the beach. And whilst on the beach watching each wave there’s also a sense of connection to something bigger, something that helps you put some perspective onto the thoughts.
But what if I can’t sit still? Or simply don’t have 5 minutes a day to practice? Don’t worry, meditation is not supposed to be something that is added to your to-do list. Fidgetty people are actually the ones who can benefit the most from meditation, as it helps you to r-e-l-a-x. You can meditate walking or gently moving the body in different ways as well as the traditional statue-like state. That said, being still in the body does help to be still in the mind, but this will come with practice and patience. There are many well respected studies that show how beneficial meditation is for stress reduction, productivity improvement and easing insomnia. You can read more about this here
On this MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS workshop you will take a light hearted tour around the important aspects of meditation and explore several different methods. It is experiential (you will do things) as well as being a little theoretical, giving you some background information which will hopefully inspire and fire you up to make time for meditation in your life.
Saturday 23 June – Mantras, Malas and Yantras
Grab your mala beads and some felt tips and saddle up for a great morning of yoga using ancient techniques to improve our focus and concentration. Following on from the MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS workshop (it’s not essential but it would be beneficial especially if you are new to yoga + meditation) in the first part we will revisit some of the basics of meditation (posture and breath work) and then in the second part move into longer periods of meditation using sound, chanting, mala beads and colouring special images (yantras).
Mantras (technically Mantram) are words or sentences that are repeated over and over to give your meditation a focus or an anchor. In this workshop we will explore several mantram including the Gayatri Mantra, said to be the oldest and a wonderfully healing mantra. You don’t need a singing voice to chant mantra, so don’t let that hold you back, the amazing benefits of group chanting are truly life affirming and uplifting to the soul.
Keeping ourselves grounded and fit (yes you need a strong back and core and flexible limbs for meditation) we’ll do plenty of easy posture work in between our sessions of focus, stillness and meditation. So fear not, we’ll not be sitting down for 3 hours.
Our final meditation practice will be to focus on an image – a Yantra which is a geometric pattern is used as an anchor to focus and still the mind. We can spend time colouring or just softly looking – both make interesting meditation practices to explore.
As is usual in our yoga we will complete our time together with a relaxation (meditation is hard work!). Thus leaving the workshop refreshed and with a handout of practices to remind you how to weave the meditations into your daily life.
Please book your place in class or contact me for more information.