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Embodied Mind: A 4 Part Intensive Dive into Integrating Mindfulness and Yoga, with Jill Satterfield

Embodied Mind:  A 4 Part Intensive Dive into Integrating Mindfulness and Yoga, with Jill Satterfield

At Zazen, SF

This four part series will introduce and mine the rich territory and opportunities of integrating mindfulness directly into yoga asana. We will explore what mindfulness is, what it is not, and how it can be practiced in motion and in stillness.

These weekends are excellent for yoga and mindfulness teachers, as well as anyone with an interest in combining both in their own personal practice.

Each weekend can be taken separately, however those taking the entire series will receive a one-hour private session with Jill during the time period of the course.

An Embodied Mind letter of completion can be awarded to those completing the course.

Applications are necessary as space is limited to 16 people. Those signing up for all 4 weekends will be considered first.

Cost: $160 per weekend, $85 per day, $620 for the 4 - week course.

Taught by Jill Satterfield, who led the first mindful movement class on a silent retreat at both Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and Insight Meditation Society over 25 years ago with her teacher Ajahn Amaro, Jill has pioneered the integration and study of meditation and mindfulness into yoga. She was named one of the “four best yoga and Buddhist teachers in the country” by Shambhala Sun/Lions Roar Magazine and been featured in the NY Times, More, Tricycle, Yoga Journal, amongst many other publications. Jill has sat over 150 silent retreats and been practicing both yoga and meditation for over 35 years. She is founding faculty of Spirit Rock’s Mindful Yoga and Meditation Training and teaches in UCLA’s Mindfulness Awareness Research Center Trainings as well as internationally.

Weekend One:

Day One: Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice and its Roots, Theory and the Integrative Possibilities

Mindfulness from the Buddhist tradition is a practice that leads to wisdom and compassion, a steady mind and the ability to notice the present moment as it arises, with kindness.

Directly integrating this intentional practice into yoga postures can include a willingness to let things be, which becomes interesting when one is in a posture that requires some setting up and effort to hold.

We’ll practice mindfulness while seated, examine some of the Buddhist principles and ethics behind mindfulness practice and experiment with integrating what we discover into an asana practice.

Day Two: Letting It Be – A Contrary Approach to Breath Techniques You May Have Learned in Asana Practice

Any hatha yogi knows something about the importance of breathing practices – breath is one of the subtlest and most refined of practices in any tradition. Many yogis practice particular breath techniques while in postures, and for many good reasons.

This workshop will offer a different approach to breathing while in a posture that echoes what we aim to do in a mindfulness practice, just feel the breath without controlling it at all.

This intriguing exploration is sure to re-arrange the way you experience a posture and hopefully allow the powerful experience of knowing the mind more deeply by observing the breath, rather than controlling it.

Weekend Two:

Day One: Integrating Skillful Means: Loving Kindness and Compassion Practiced in Motion and Stillness

When we are busy in a pose -- attending to our feet, arms, torso and breath it’s easy to skip over noticing the inner chatter of thoughts and feelings going through the mind.

It can be quite revealing then to listen to the sometimes critical voice that judges and comments about what we are trying to do. By noticing internal speech, we can address it, and change it and re-arrange it to be more supportive, kind and helpful. This daylong will explore ways to take deep care of ourselves mentally and emotionally as well as physically.

Day Two: Restorative Postures: Meditating Lying down for Rejuvenation and Ease

Movement can be complicated, and that’s partially the wonderful challenge of it.

On the other hand, when learning to integrate mindfulness and meditation into postures, it is helpful to slow down, even become still to embody the practices more profoundly.

We’ll practice a variety of meditation techniques in postures, to renew and connect mind and body.

Weekend Three:

Day One: Choosing the Form: What Postures are Best Suited for this Exploration?

There’s a large catalogue of yoga postures, from relatively easy to incredibly challenging. Mindfulness is challenging on it’s own, let alone within movement, so the question we will explore is which postures then, are most suitable for the integration of mindfulness?

By practicing different poses, you’ll have the experiences of why or why not – which postures work better for you as far as integration, kindness and overall skillful means.

Day Two: Mindful Movement: Inner and Outer Awareness

This workshop will be a guided day of practice. We’ll explore different sequences, interspersing periods of sitting, and walking meditation directly into the sequences.

Weekend Four:

Day One and Day Two: How to Self – Prescribe: What’s the Best Practice for Today? Different Practices Recipes for Self Compassion and General Wellness

This weekend will explore a variety of skillful means – different mindfulness techniques, meditation techniques and a variety of sequences that you will be able to take home and work with according to how you feel, and what is happening in your life.

Not all practices suit every mood or circumstance, so knowing what is more suitable and skillful is both an art and science – inner listening and experimentation. Ultimately, over time we gain the wisdom, and the compassion to work with what is in our practice and life. This weekend is a culmination of the other weekends, but can be taken on it’s own as well.