"Meditation is initiated by assuming a specific gesture with our bodies."
Will Johnson

seated figure: front view

An Introduction to the Art of Sitting

A 4 week course for beginning meditators.

There are many traditions of meditation but one thing is common to them all – the sitting posture. Will Johnson suggests that ultimately it may be that it is the act of sitting itself that is important and that the various techniques are simply "ways to occupy ourselves as our bodies and minds slowly learn to assume the posture of meditation."

When we begin to sit for meditation we are are instructed to:

  • sit straight
  • relax the body
  • sit still
  • breathe naturally

Introduction to the Art of Sitting will flesh out these instructions so that we can sit with the most balanced and relaxed posture that is available to us at the current time.

This short course will develop your understanding of the principles of alignment and relaxation and show how you can use them to establish a posture that will support you in the process of meditation.

The course is aimed at those wanting to start a sitting practice, either alone or in a group, and those who already sit but find that they are distracted by their posture. You don't have to be able to sit on the floor to develop a practice! You can practise successfully sitting on a chair.

Upon completion of this course participants may attend the quiet sitting sessions at Poole Yogashala.

Course Outline

seated figure: front view

Session 1, Alignment

  • What is upright?
  • Preparing our 'seat' to help us sit straight
  • The feeling of sitting straight
  • A short sitting practice

seated figure: front side view

Session 2, Relaxation

  • What is relaxation?
  • The feeling of relaxation
  • Sitting... upright and relaxed

seated figure: rear view

Session 3, Sitting Still and Breathing Naturally

  • Experiencing the breath in the body
  • Awareness of continuous movement as we breathe
  • The apparent contradiction of sitting still and breathing naturally
  • Sitting upright, relaxed, still and breathing naturally

seated figure: side rear view

Session 4, Acceptance

  • Awareness, attention, absorption
  • Remaining open to what may arise
  • Allowing sensations and thoughts
  • Acceptance of what is
  • Alignment and relaxation as ongoing processes
  • Sitting upright, relaxed, still and breathing naturally

Green tea will be available at the start of each session. Green tea is traditionally drunk before sitting for meditation because it gives excellent mental awareness. As a bonus it also soothes the throat and relieves a dry cough! (Some medications interact with green tea so if you are taking medication please check with your pharmacist before imbibing.)

You will be encouraged to start a sitting practice of your own from the start of the course.

There will be regular opportunities to ask questions that arising both during the sessions and in your home practice.

Next Course

Day Time Dates Venue Cost
Sunday 19:00 - 20:00 8th January - 29th January 2012
Longfleet, Poole £24.00 waged, £20.00 unwaged/yoga term-based students

Please contact Anne to book this course or if you require any further information.

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