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While many Western yoga practices focus on the physicality of yoga, meditation is an equally important part of practice. At Purple Blossom Yoga Studio, in addition to building strength and flexibility through yoga, we believe that meditation is an important mind-body connection that brings stillness and mindfulness to the body & mind. Your teacher may include a short period for meditation at the beginning and/ or end of your yoga classes. It is a time for you to sit quietly and absorb your yoga practice, allowing the effects of your practice to move more fully into your body/mind. You do not need to meditate in order to practice yoga at Purple Blossom, nor do you need to practice yoga in order to meditate, but the two practices frequently go hand-in-hand.
According to ancient Yogic philosophy, the practice of yoga will reveal the interconnectedness of every living thing. Meditation is the experience of this union, an elevated state of consciousness in which stillness occurs by bringing the mind, body and senses into balance. During meditation your teacher can help you achieve a state where the nervous system is fully relaxed. Scientific research shows that profound physiological effects occur during meditation, causing an actual shift in the brain’s processes.
An interesting thing about yoga/meditation is that it is not a dogmatic system, but one that emphasizes the practical and useful. The yoga/meditation tradition has for thousands of years aided people to find what we all are seeking: calm, focus, insight into ourselves and our place in our world, and connection to our true inner being. It offers a path that others have followed without saying that this is the only path. So, as you begin your journey, please try what is offered, see if it works for you, and set aside what doesn't. Keep an open mind and realize that what didn't seem relevant yesterday may prove of vital importance tomorrow.
In our meditation class, we will explore the Yoga Sutras, the seminal yoga text, and learn how the ancient yogis described the geography of the mind. Theirs is a practical system, an experiential system, that was designed to bring us closer to our goal of spiritual wholeness. It offers itself not just as something to learn as an intellectual exercise, but rather procedures to practice, to do.
There is a saying in Yoga that “as the mind goes, so goes the person. Bondage (mental ‘confusion’) or liberation (the ability to ‘see’ clearly) is in the mind.” If we’re cynical or sarcastic, we come to live in a world filled with cynicism and sarcasm. If we are positive and upbeat, that becomes our world.
We will begin the practice of learning to tame our minds by working to develop a practice of mindfulness to help center and ground us. Meditation is a mindful practice. We define mindfulness as purposeful awareness in the present moment without judgement. In our class we will begin by focusing our awareness on our breath. As we become better at this we come to understand on a new level that meditation is teaching us to see things as they are, rather than as we’ve learned to see the world through our specially tinted glasses.
In our meditation class we’ll chant, practice various yoga breaths, and perform simple asanas as preparation for meditation. We will learn walking meditation, and how to take advantage of those “stolen” moments that serendipitously present themselves. We will also learn how to deal with some of the many distractions that present themselves in our practice.
When you are first beginning a meditation practice, the simple act of sitting still can be incredibly challenging for you. Given the nature of our busy, stressful lives, quieting the mind can be very difficult. We understand that quieting your inner chatter is easier said than done. The physical exercise of practicing different yoga postures helps to link breath with movement and prepare the mind for stillness and meditation -- your yoga class will prepare you for meditation. With practice, and the help of your teacher, we can help you achieve increased focus, balance and inner calm.
You can practice meditationin the comfort of your home or as part of your yoga class. If you are new to meditating but would like to cultivate a regular meditation routine, we recommend sitting in stillness five minutes upon waking each morning and five minutes before bed each evening. Find a natural rhythm to your breath, see if you can follow in your 'minds eye' the breath. Be patience with yourself......as words, ideas or images appear in your mind, acknowledge their presence and then allow them to move on; continuing to focus on your breath. Continually return to your breath in your mind, which represents a place of peace and calm. This is a practice! not a chore or a perfect way of sitting. Just breath!
Our meditation class with Don English is on Sundays at 5:30pm - every Sunday unless otherwise noted on the class schedule. About once per month we have a Yoga Nidra practice (a yogi nap).
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali - Sri S. Satchidananda
Light on the Yoga Sutras - B.K.S. Iyengar
The Yoga-Sutra of Patanjali, A New translation with Commentary - Chip Hartranft
Yoga: Discipline of Freedom: The Yoga Sutra Attributed to Patanjali - Barbara Stoler Miller
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali : With Great Respect and Love - Mukunda Stilles
The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga's Ethical Practice - Deborah Adele
I have been a member of Purple Blossom for almost 3 years. I came to the studio not knowing a single pose or much about the philosophy and yet after each class I felt drawn more and more to yoga and the atmosphere at PB. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to learn and practice yoga in a beautiful environment with great teachers. Their experience has helped me advance my practice and achieve many goals. Thanks to Purple Blossom yoga has become a part of me. Every day I look forward to take a class at the studio.
Like home Absolutely love Purple Blossom! As a newbie in town, I felt welcomed. My relationship with the studio has concluded one year. I cannot find the words to express my immense gratitude. There is love, care, and competence in every single inch and in every single person in this studio. Go, enjoy and discover your yoga self.