We’ve just completed our second 5 week course with a group of 9 enthusiastic participants, many who were new to meditation, and it was absolutely amazing. I consider it a privilege and blessing to facilitate these sessions. We use a variety of techniques to assist our meditation journey and the time spent in meditation has evolved from 10 minute to 40 minute sessions with gradual ease. It’s a very interactive experience with the opportunity for us all to share our experiences (if we wish), plus record our personal experience in our notebooks.
I base my teaching on my own meditation experience over the past four decades, the ancient yogic texts of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Bhagavad Gita and the works of great teachers such as Swami Satchidananada Saraswati, TKV Desikachar, BKS Iyengar, to name but a few, and my wonderful students.
The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word Yuj – ‘to unite’ and ultimately means ‘Union’. Our own English word, Yoke, is derived from this root. The Bhagavad Gita mentions yoga and union “In this union of Yoga there is liberty: a deliverance from the oppression of pain. This Yoga must be followed with faith, with a strong and courageous heart.” [Chapter 6 (23)]
Yoga is totally holistic and incorporates harmony of body, mind and spirit. The under lying purpose of the different aspects of the practice of yoga is to reunite the individual self (Jiva) with the Absolute or pure consciousness (Brahman). In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali tells us that the practice of yoga will train the mind to reach a state of perfect harmony “Yoga is the control of thought-waves in the mind.” Chapter 1(2).
Raja is one of the sub-divisions of yoga it means ‘Royal’, the highest path of yoga and refers to the path of meditation. It is closely linked with Hatha, ultimately aimed at mastering the mind, but realising that to reach the spiritual goal the physical body must be fit and efficient. In his foreword in the ‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika’,
BKS Iyengar suggests that “A steady and mindful inbreath and outbreath minimises the fluctuations and helps to stabilise the mind. Once this steadiness has been established through Pranayama, the senses can be withdrawn from their objects. This is Pratyahara. Pratyahara must be established before Dhyana (concentration) can take place. Dhyana flows into Dharana (meditation) and Dharana into Samadhi (enlightenment).”
Meditation is very simple, it’s like enjoying a date with yourself. If I can do it than anyone can as I’m one of the busiest bees I know with an extremely restless mind by nature. Probably that’s what attracted me to Yoga in the first place. Yoga and Yoga Meditation have and are my saving grace.
In the classes I run we sit on chairs, blocks, yoga mats, against the wall, anything goes, as long as we have an upright head, neck and spine, so no lying down (sorry), preferably with eyes open but you will soon learn what works best for you each time you sit to meditate as practice is key. I provide a menu of meditation techniques we test them and then you work with what suits you best. Home practice is so important and is the key to success along with self-discipline.
The group have kindly given me permission to share some of their comments and experiences.
“I drove home still with that beautiful peace that surrounded me throughout meditation. I ate dinner slow as that was how it felt was right. So calm all evening. Thank you.x”
“Thank you so much for our meditation sessions; it and the group has brought much needed rebalancing and resetting over the last few weeks.”
“I’ve really enjoyed our classes and regular meditation is definitely making me a calmer person. I’m so grateful for the experience I’ve gained at our classes. Thank you everyone.x”
“Thank you so much Geri for our lovely meditation sessions. I’m not naturally a calm person but totally agree that I too had one, if not the best, calm night’s sleep last night that I’ve had for a long time…. Thank you everyone as the group does make it such a lovely environment.”
“I have really enjoyed our meditation. I feel really relaxed after them. I think you should do some tapes or an app. I’m looking forward to the next session.”
“I really enjoyed the sessions. Thanks for teaching us a new skill that benefits our minds and bodies. I now realise how my “me” time is so important to me in this busy, stressful world. Thanks Geri. Keep up the excellent work.”
“You’re amazing Geri. I think you should do YouTube meditation videos….xx Then your world will open and everyone can share your ‘guruness’.x”
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the meditation classes, there’s such a lovely atmosphere and such a nice group to share the experience with. I’ve benefitted from the meditation, I always sleep better afterwards and feel calm and relaxed. I love Monday’s! Look forward to starting again in the New Year and to Geri’s meditation videos on YouTube. You can do it Geri, you’re brilliant!”
“I didn’t realise how affected I would be with regular meditation. Thank you my yoga guru.xxx”
Wow, so many wonderful experiences and comments – thank you.
A Guru is high praise indeed and something I aspire to. According to www.Wikipedia.org. “Guru is a Sanskrit term for a “teacher, guide, expert, or master” of certain knowledge or field.”
I lack the confidence to produce videos, podcasts and other on-line tutorials as the more I learn the more I realise there is to learn! Yoga teaching and practice nourishes my soul, quenches my thirst for knowledge, helps me to develop confidence, so one day soon you may just see me on a computer and or hear me on a downloadable app!
The next Yoga Meditation course is scheduled to start in January 2020. Why not join us?