Saint James Episcopal Church, a very active downtown Lancaster church, has established a strong mission for the art of Contemplation, of Stillness, of Meditation, and all that matters in the world of quietness and prayer.
I am pleased to be invited to lead a 6-week session of Yoga Classes, there, that hark back to the true goals of classical Hatha Yoga:
The Cessation of the Fluctuations of the Mind
Here’s the link to sign up: Yoga at Saint James . I am including the entire post so that you can see the opportunities for Meditation they offer. At the end of their post, you can link to the Registration form. Or you can show up and attend the class as a drop-in.
PARKING: The class is held in the lower level of the Parish House at 119 North Duke Street ( next to the downtown public library and across the street from City Hall and in the block between Chestnut and Orange.) For your first visit, allow an extra 15 minutes to find a meter, to walk from a street without meters, or to just park in the Duke Street Garage until you get your bearings on where to park and how much time to allow. Very often there are parking spaces on the same block, even right out front because City Hall visitors tend to come and go rather quickly. The parking authority is very aggressive so be sure to load the meter or park in the garage as the fines are worse than an extra $1.50.
Often forgotten in the pace of modern life, classical Hatha Yoga teaches us how to connect specific ways of breathing with gentle movement of the physical body to relax the mind and the body in preparation for sitting and the stillness of meditation.
This set of yoga classes is designed as a sequence, focusing on breath, movement, and stillness as a path to wellness and contentment. Alignment and balance are also emphasized. All levels are welcome. Chairs will be available. We start a new sequence every six weeks. November/December works on Shoulders. You SHOULD be there !
A donation of $75 per session or $15 per week is requested.
Withdrawal of the Senses ( Pratyahara, Sutra II, 29) follows the disciplines of postures, then breath control, then Sense Withdrawal, followed by concentration, then Meditation.
…………and then. as we follow all of the Eight Limbs of Yoga, we come to Concentration, and then the 8th Limb, so hard to define, we find enlightenment, the true self, the realization of the Divine.
I am guilty, as all of us can be, to see Yoga as a way to energize or align my body, and then, as a human being in this very difficult world, perhaps there comes a stillness of the mind that allows for rest and for getting a real sense of what is.
It’s easy to stop there. Occasionally, we may think we understand the principles of honesty, non-grasping, being a careful and committed student, non-violence, to name only a few of the Yamas and Niyamas that lead us to being a better person, more compassionate and patient with ourselves and others. But only then are we positioned to understand the poses. And, THEN, quite amazing, we begin to study Pranayama, breath control, and all of its diagnostic and therapeutic uses. Ok. We have finally arrived at Limb 3. This has been an accessible path, given the availability of the simplest versions of yoga available today.
Limb 4: Meditation. This one, also, seems to be available and getting together to learn and to practice meditation. That is all around us also. So, let’s say, we get that one, the fourth limb, the one we always thought was the end point. That, of course, is just the beginning.
Up through Limb 4, most of us come to these practices for some wish for making us a better person. Maybe we have pain, illness, stress, all of those self-fulfilling options.
But only then, says Patanjali who has written for us the oral traditions of thousands of years of wisdom, Only then do we come to Concentration, and Samadi, such an indescribable concept. For there, we may begin to realize all that is more than our own self. All that is revealed, I do not know. But I know these are all quiet places. They require a discipline and a willingness to risk being beyond who we think we are.
Think? I will say, finally, that Thinking certainly involves the Senses, especially the tongue, which forms Words.
SO. Look for a rest from words, thinking, all kinds of pain, and come with me for the next few weeks. This is on my mind now. I hope you will join me on the path. I am actively trying to set up classes for people who are at work ( at home of office ) during the day.
for now, You can find me at The Yoga Room, in Kissel Hill Commons, Noon Wednesdays.
To get to The Yoga Room, take Oregon Pike to the light just beyond Universal.
Turn right on Kissel Hill road ( in .2 miles), then go 1 miles to Kissel Hill Commons. Turn left into the Commons and go around the U-shaped, one-way path to The Yoga Room.
You may have purchased one of my 6-weeks series of cards, that works. The Yoga Room Class Card also works. Otherwise pay a $17 drop in fee –