At the Duke University Center for Integrative Medicine, an 8-week Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program costs $454. At Yoga Matrika, Kirsi Jansa is offering a beautiful meditation-based stress reduction program called Healing Relaxation in the Tara Rokpa Style and the 6-week tuition is $150. [ Flyer] While I recognize that even $150 is a singificant investment for most of us “normal” people and, even more challenging may be finding 2-hours free on a Saturday afternoon to make it happen, the reality is that this is an investment of $150 that can change your life. This program is priced competitively in comparison with other programs of similar quality and is open to everyone—-absolutely no experience is required. This is not a religious practice and we are very respectful of all religious and spiritual practices and orientations. If anything, a program like this is likely to deepen your commitment to your current spiritual practice.
How do yoga and meditation help reduce stress? There are a lot of different answers to this question, but one of the most basic ways that these types of practices help you reduce stress is that they teach you how to BE in the present moment. Stress is generally a condition of trying to hold your mind in the future and the past while also participating in the present moment. Concerns about the future,worries, to do lists, goals, obligations and responsibilities, strategies for projects that will unfold in the future, unknown considerations and all the trappings of a better or worse future moment create stress in our bodies.
What kind of skills do you learn in this type of stress reduction course? You learn how to use the tools of your body and senses to keep yourself in the present moment. This slows the central nervous system and the mind down giving your adrenal glands, nervous system and circulatory system a considerable break. The more you practice these skills and learn to use your body as a tool for healing, the greater healing you will feel. Specific skills include:
Breathing Awareness: learning to become aware of the process of breathing. This sounds simple, but really, there are infinite ways of looking at and feeling the breath. And, since you are always breathing, learning this skill gives you something you can do to reduce stress at any time in any place.
Body Scan: learn to feel your body using all of your senses and actively relax all the parts of your body. Can you relax your little toe? Sure you can! You will be amazed at what you discover about your body when you take the time to experience it in a non-judgemental way.
Loving Kindness: use your awareness to extend compassion to yourself and others.
Exploring the mind: without a specific focus for awareness, learn to watch the movements of the mind and do so without becoming attached
Pleae take advantage of this amazing opportunity to change your relationship to time, your body, mind and spirit. Release stress and tension and learn new skills for maintaining equinimity and balance. See the flyer for more details. You can REGISTR ONLINE HERE. The course start on January 28th and runs on six consecutive Saturdays from 4:00-6:00pm.
Posted by Sharon Fennimore Rudyk, Director of Yoga Matrika and Matrika Prenatal. If you are not local to Pittsburgh and looking for a Healing Relaxation Course or more information about Tara Rokpa, you can find more information here.