The thing about meditation is that you become more and more you. -- David Lynch
Meditation takes you on an inward journey that can be the most exhilarating journey you will ever take. It isn't for the faint-hearted as it takes courage, patience and taming of the ego to tap into the quiet space that opens up access to flow. It attunes your mind and body to the source of infinite intelligence. This journey doesn't look like the vacation ads you see on t.v. Nor is it filled with bright flashing lights and sound bytes. But it is filled with light and sound. And you begin to hear the voice of your own inner intelligence growing clearer and clearer.
The different types of meditations:
Silent Meditation: arguably the more difficult type of meditation, silent meditation is our ultimate destination for on-the-mat meditation. It brings us into the still place beyond the commotions of the monkey mind where there is everything and nothing all at once. It is where Truth resides. It's like we tap into the great Cosmos, and we are the portal. Typically, even in silent meditation, a silent mantra is used or breath is observed.
Mantra Meditation: focuses on changing negative self-talk through repetitive use of sound vibration that recodes over our negative thought patterns into ones that are elevating, expansive, grounding and supportive of our true and authentic nature.
Pranayam Meditation: focuses on specific breath patterns depending on the purpose of the meditation. It increases lung capacity and expands the pranic body, making us less fearful. It stimulates the parasympathetic response, soothing us into calm and relaxation, even when on the move. It helps to develop nervous system strength and bring us to a more relaxed and awake state.
Sound Meditation: a more passive yet incredibly healing form of meditation, it uses the sound vibration of the gong or crystal singing bowls. You lie on your back or sit in meditative posture and take in the sounds that soothe and repair the nervous system and recalibrate the body back toward it's natural state of well being through a process called entrainment, allowing the body to align with the higher frequency waves of these finely calibrated instruments.
Visualization: can be guided or not, it uses mental imagery, the image of which depends on the goal of that particular meditation.
Moving Meditation: can use mudra-in-motion with mantra meditation to help align the body with thought (words), or use mantra or breath with walking or with yoga postures (asana).
Living, or Mindfulness Meditation: focuses on one-pointedness as we wash the dishes, eat our meal, listen to another speak, play with our children, and so on. We fully engage in these tasks as if they are our entirety.
These are infused into our classes, coaching sessions, and special series with special emphasis on mantra, pranayama and sound. See below.
Meditation classes & series at Urban Yoga Chicago
Sunday Morning Sadhana: the ultimate practice (5:30 to 7:30 am)
This morning practice is comprised of a 20 minute mantra meditation prayer known as Japji, or Song of the Soul, followed by yoga (20-40 min) and meditation (31 minutes to an hour). It instills a solid discipline of self-care; one that conquers the weaknesses of the mind. It strengthens one's caliber of Self. Visit us here for more information.
Though this is technically a class with emphasis on the physical practice of yoga, it is an excellent way to step in to the meditation practice. While the physical exercises put you under a pressure cooker that challenges you to stay present and keep up, the teacher guides you into a meditative place from which to work through each exercise. It strengthens your nervous system to make you physically strong enough to step into the world of over-stimulation and irritations, expands your radiance to make you attractive to all things good, changes your negative self-talk to one that is supportive of your true nature, and expands your capacity to tap into your body's natural intelligence to heal and transform.
We first establish a sense of safety in our class to encourage each child to be fully themselves. From this base, they can receive what they need to receive and grow. Sacred Playground is a playground in which children can experience their spontaneous and awesome nature. By using tools to help shift negative self talk and establish a more responsive mindset, we guide them into themSelves. Go here for more information.
Please email us for access to our Urban Practice online meditation videos.