Amida 20 Flow as Meditation

In our meditations we now have a Vedanta teacher speaking in the background. Mooji, from one of his hundreds of recorded Satsangs. For those of you who are schooled in meditation, you know that there’s a 1000’s year old tradition of being in meditation while listening to an enlightened teacher speak in the background. It’s not at all like listening to a lecture where 100% attention is given to the speaker downloading information into us – or we get involved in opinions and internal debate on what the teacher is saying. This is very much so still a form of silent meditation. I know this can seem counter-intuitive but i encourage you to give it a chance and see for yourself what I mean. We simply allow for the voice to be in the background and occasionally some words of truth will lead us deeper into our own mediation.

In the same way that we allow for the voice of Mooji in Satsang to wash over us as we focus inwards and take responsibility for the real work of bringing our own awareness to the forefront, so we allow for both the teacher and even the poses and flows of the Amida 20 Flow to be in the background as we deepen into our awareness and energy. This, what many people would call equanimity in the beginning and eventually becomes a form of resting in the witness of our being – is something that we learn over time, but is a vital step in our progress as yoga practitioners. Yes, the Amida 20 Flow is challenging, but it was also designed with the yoga practitioner as meditator in mind. The poses and flows will always be the same and that simple fact, that we know what’s coming, allows for the mind to relax and simply be present with the sensations of the body as we deepen into our practice. The Amida Flow is not just a study in endurance but a challenge to go inward and come home to ourselves.

Discovering the NEW

Let’s please aim to discover something new in our practice every day. We don’t have to invent it or manufacture it or imagine it or visualize it. Our breath, our spine, our feet, our heart beat, it’s all there.

A recorded Satsang to take place during meditation

Four days a week. Meditate with Mooji as we listen to his Satsangs in quiet meditation.
Mediation is always free and open to the public.
Meditation is for those of us who want take our practice to the next level and explore the nature of that which is actually breathing and sensing on the mat. It’s a serious endeavor (as the accompanying video will no doubt highlight:), but once we make a commitment, the rest will unfold naturally. Give it a try and see!
When we commit to our practice we commit to ourselves. The fuzziness and uncertainty we were previously feeling will vanish and a steady resolve will steadily pull us forward. What’s more, the benefits of our practice will begin to resonate more and more strongly through out the various corners of our lives.
RBY is becoming a place where we can dive into a committed and devoted practice.

Changes to Meditation

RBY will be slowly shifting how we conduct the meditations. There will be a recorded Satsang from the teacher, Mooji, during the meditation. Often we will listen to the same teaching, as the message is timeless and incredibly important (and the repetition will encourage sitters to focus more on themselves than the teache) but we will also sometimes listen to further Satsangs, especially on the weekdays.
On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays sometimes we will sometimes just listen to 30 minutes of Satsang and then sit quietly for 20 and sometimes we will listen for the full 50. On Sundays we will listen to just 25 minutes or so and then discuss over tea. People are of course invited to sit in mediation posture and quietly go inwards during the talk, it’s not a lecture, but an invitation to go ever deeper into ones self. Actually, experienced sitters won’t notice much of a change, just a soothing voice in the back ground.
as always, meditation is free and open to the public.
below is the satsang we will probably listen to most often…

Entering the Studio

Walking in the door:

Please arrive 5 to 10 minutes early in order to be prepared for class right. The sign in kiosk and office are to the back of the studio as you walk in. Please leave your shoes in the shoe rack to the right of the door. Remember, we are not a gym or spa but a yoga studio dedicated to the craft and art of yoga. When you leave your shoes at the door, please consider leaving your worries and preconceptions and plans with them. Walk into the studio fresh and ready to explore your body and mind for just that one hour. We can pick up all our worries and problems along with our shoes on our way out:) The more we can be both focused on breath/body and open to this clear and present moment/mind the more we will experience the effects of this amazing practice.

Mooji on Meditation

I can’t think of a better and more direct pointing to the matter at hand than this.

Please enjoy

one from Calvin

I think my desert island book would be the collected works of Calvin and Hobbes.

Desert Island CD? – oof. I don’t know. Miles Davis’ Silent Way? Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas? The Fixx – Reach the Beach? Probably one of those three.

We resist the unknown. The greatest unknown is our own inner being. I think that’s why yoga student’s can get so obsessed about teacher’s; who’s good, who’s bad, who wasn’t very nice to them that one time, etc – or obsess about getting poses just right, or maybe just kind of float through class without doing much more than leaving with a vague sense of having had a nice workout. But to go on our mats and look inside? To study the breath in each pose and realize that each breath and each moment in the pose is taking us deeper into the depths of ourselves? Holy Moly. That’s awesomely wonderful but also a little scary.

(sigh) I know. I know. Calvin said it better.

Letting Go of the Banana!

Lately, I’ve been talking in Savasana about the Monkey and the Banana.
For those of you who want to hear about the Monkey and the Coconut and the Banana from Mooji, himself. Here it is.
The key, it seems to me, is to see how that even as we strive for freedom we seem to be caught. We reach for the sky yet are pulled simultaneously down back to earth and seem to go nowhere. Just like the monkey trying to escape from the monkey catcher; he can’t be free because he’s unconsciously holding onto to something.
So, what is it in our own lives and practice that, despite all of our efforts, is keeping us caught? What is the banana we’re holding onto? I don’t think it’s our love of binge TV or buying stuff on Amazon or any of our other tiny little indulgences. I think Mooji is pointing to something much more basic and out of our normal field of awareness. But, it’s up to you to decide how it relates to your practice! Enjoy!

RBY as a Student Centered Studio

Yoga is a practice. Just like learning the piano, picking up salsa or ballroom dancing, learning a martial art like Aikido, learning tennis, or billiards. We start knowing nothing and slowly we progress. A teacher in any of these ventures will help set us on the right direction and help us correct bad habits that we pick up along the way. But, ultimately, we grow and progress in our practice by putting the time in, day in and day out. Often we will overcome challenges to poses, tight areas, and weak points not because of the guidance of a teacher but just simply because we will discover for ourselves a better way to be in the practice. This simple formula of practice applies to anything in life. We apply ourselves to what we wish to develop – with devotion and intensity, under a regular schedule and we stick with it over time. As we continue on our practice we will naturally feel our body condition itself to adapt to the workload we are putting it under. Mental obstacles that come up we  slowly overcome by both diligence and flashes of unexpected insight or intuition. This all happens naturally, organically. The teacher is there to help a little bit along the way but the real weight of responsibility lies with the student. It’s up to you. Thank heavens for that!

Richmond Beach Yoga is not a teacher centered studio but a student centered studio. What this means is that we are not looking for yoga celebrities or yoga divas to inspire and dazzle the students who then will be unable to practice what was taught the second they leave the studio or class. Instead, we are creating a culture in which students feel the confidence and joy of a strong and sustainable practice in which they are developing through virtue of their own efforts.

When we come together as a community before and after class, watch if you are getting caught on focusing on and talking about how things external to you are affecting your practice.  Or, conversely, are you talking or thinking about the challenges you are facing in your own practice and how proud you are for having overcome something or how frustrated you are at the current wall you might have hit in a pose or attitude somewhere along the way. It’s only natural that a few weeks or months later we will talking or thinking with pride about how we moved through the wall we were complaining about earlier!

Are we talking about how someone or something outside of us has the power to affect change in our lives or are we talking with pride and care about how we are doing everything in our power to affect change from the inside out? Please consider these two states of mind very carefully. There are experienced yogi’s, even some who become teachers, who still obsess over others and are still waiting for something from the outside to help them to develop just a little bit more. Let’s all work to make RBY a place where we support each other by first taking responsibility for our own practice, and then just watch how the energy in the room will become electric and filled with inspiration! There’s nothing more wonderful than discovering for ourselves a new way to be in a pose, a new way to hold the mind steady and with quiet equanimity. To anyone who really gives themselves to their practice, these moments of inspiration happen with surprising regularity. But, if you’re not careful,  you’ll say it was the teacher who did this, who created the inspiration or energy – or the amazing yogi next to you. No. No. No. It was you! You made that happen! How wonderful that we can be our own instruments of change and development. Let’s please all work together to create this sort of culture at RBY.

RBY as a Place of Practice and the Amida 20 Flow

RBY is first and foremost a Place of Practice. This means that we are a place for like minded practitioners to come and share their passion for developing their practice and the Mind/Body. Some people are genuinely surprised, for example, that every week we have 3 times set aside just for quiet sitting. No instruction. No guidance. We don’t even charge for it. Totally free. A person can literally come in off the street and join us whenever they want. It’s just a time to come and be still and share your energy and essence with those sitting by you. It’s giving each and every one of us the respect we deserve, to assume we are strong enough practitioners to hold our own on the mat and are capable of maturing to the point where our practice is, just by virtue of us doing it, beginning to support and guide others. I’d like to think that all of our classes, meditation and yoga, share this spirit. We are not creating ‘good yoga students’ but powerful agents of change and goodwill in this crazy, crazy world. With that in mind, we are offering a new flow called the Amida 20 Flow. It’s created with the Person of Practice in mind. For those who just want to deepen on their mat and are looking for a place and people who can support them on this precious journey this new class is being offered. Of course, RBY, in general, exists to support each and every one of us on our journey to make this a better world through our own development. See you on the mat!

Here’s the Amida 20 Flow in detail.

The Amida 20 Flow: Sequence of Postures

Tadasana 5minutes
Plank 1
Surya A 5
Dancer Flow 5
Twist/Lunge Flow 5
Navasana 2
Handstand/ Headstand 2
Tree. (Right) 1
Lung Twist (Right) 1
Warrior 2. (Right) 2
Side Angle (Right) 2
Triangle (Right) 1
1/2 Moon (Right) 2
Prasarita Series 2
Dolphin & Dol. Push Ups 2
Side Plank /S.P. Push Ups 3
Tree (Left) 1
Lunge Twist (Left) 1
Warrior 2 (Left) 2
Side Angle (Left) 2
Triangle (Left) 1
1/2 Moon (Left) 2
Bridge/ Weel 1
Forward Fold 1
Square R/L 2
Lying Twist 2
Savasana 5