I had known about a free yoga/meditation group for months and wanted to go for the same amount of time with no good reason not too so recently I ended the procrastination.
The session was/is held on the third floor of the YHA building next to Arnolfini on the Bristol harbourside so pretty nice surroundings if nothing else.
In the room around 10 or so people were sat facing the front where some incense burned and a picture of an elderly indian lady smiled back. No one spoke as some fairly dramatic orchestral music with spooky choir played out from the old stereo system.
After we had waited a couple extra minutes for any latecomers the music was cut and a softly spoken gentleman introduced himself before talking about Sahaja Yoga/meditation.
There was a diagram and mention of energy lines and of the important place near the base of our spines where the mother energy comes from. I really struggled to take in the information but I was trying, it was just a bit hard to absorb as it swayed so far away from science.
We did some meditation by touching different parts of our body ( no rude bits! ) and stated things like 'I will be strong'.
Then we listened to a tape of the lady sitting in the picture frame, a friendly faced woman who was apparently the founder of Sahaja meditation.
The audio wasn't great, we had been prewarned of this, it didn't help that the subject matter was a little too deep, I understood little of what she said.
After the audio interview and a little more talking we were told to try out some meditation. One problem was I hadn't been told how to actually meditate, what you were supposed to do. I found slipping into the basic mindful meditation I have attempted in the past was the best choice. I started to feel mellow as I drifted a little then a tap on my shoulder abruptly pulled me back into the room as one of the senior students said 'keep doing what your doing, I'll just be behind you sorting out your channels'
'goodie' I thought.
So there I sat , my palms facing upwards , attempting to let my thoughts roam freely , some sitar music played in the background and was actually really good, that alone was taking me on a journey. I would think of dancing characters made of colorful jazz squiggles dancing to the choppy music running down invisble staircases that mimicked the musical scale of a keyboard. Then a hand would clip my neck or the top of my head and leave me on edge as I remembered and tried not to remember that someone was behind me swishing his arms around.
Once the ordeal was over I had a little chat with my puppeteer who informed me I was very much a future thinking person as he sensed a lot of energy around the right side of my head, this apparently matched my current profession in I.T and , well , its possible he felt something and it is possible it fits with my career choice. I can't say having someone standing behind me helped me relax, I think there may be some power of suggestion going on and I am just not a strong beleiver.
I felt a bit odd afterwards but probably because I had tried something different in an unfamiliar environment. I actually did feel more relaxed and focused than normal so there was definite benfit to attending the session. Personally I think I will stick to the mindful meditation I have been performing from the guys at headspace. Having said that I am tempted to go back and give the Sahaja group one more try as I can't always rely on my first impressions, it is just their focus on the spiritual side of meditation which I am less comfortable with.
Either way hats off to the kind people who run the sesions for free and who are more than welcoming to new- comers, that I certainly cannot dispute.
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