“Abhinam Yoga Nov TTC Students were asked to lead a meditation class. They chose to organize Sunset Beach Meditation. Here, they share their teaching experience”
Last week Laura and I (Signe) were tasked with preparing and leading a meditation class for the students of 200 hrs Ashtanga Yoga TTC using the knowledge we have been taught and acquired over the last 3 weeks here in beautiful Goa.
Meditation classes are usually at the end of our tightly packed, busy days held within the Yoga shala which we have grown to love. Since the responsibility was handed over to us we wanted to try something new and hopefully inspiring, to really drive the passion and connection to meditation – making it a total, well rounded experience rather than just a classical way to end our day.
With the open walls of the shala we often gaze at the sunset through the palm trees as we finish our last Ashtanga class of the day. It’s a beautiful way to finish our practice but we longed to have the time where we could appreciate and focus on the sunset on the beach with the incredible sound of the waves breaking and silencing on the shore… Sounds pretty perfect right…
Originally, we toyed with the idea of an active Osho meditation that would propel the students into actions that would allow their busy minds to become distracted enough from their thoughts to enter a state of meditation which we had tried in previous weeks with Kundalini dance meditation and gazing at candle flames. As we crossed our tired, achy legs and began to think, we gazed out towards the horizon at what happened to be sunrise, the start of a jam packed Wednesday and the thought struck us almost simultaneously… a sunset beach meditation in Goa would be an amazing, energizing and yet calming way to meditate and end the day.
To organize this we asked the landlord to show us a shortcut to the beach that would not only provide a quicker way of getting there but also quiet, peaceful and totally undisturbed by the busy road we normally use. He showed us down a path which could have been easily confused for a driveway but actually opened up to be a fascinating walk through the outback of Goa. Totally untouched, peaceful and surrounded by nature in the form of palm trees, sand and wildlife.
Once we had found this route, we wanted to make sure that meditation started from the moment our feet touched the ground outside the shala. Something we had learned earlier in the week ‘’walking with awareness’’ – paying close attention to each movement of your feet and softly gazing at the path which you are walking. The walk was the perfect set up, the group walked in silence one by one, as we led them to a quiet spot on the beach away from the restaurants.
We were strapped for time as nature took over and the sun began to set, so we asked the students to sit down in a comfortable position looking out to the sea and the setting sun. Focus was the key for the first 15 minutes; eyes fixed on the incredible horizon, emptying the mind of all thoughts directing their consciousness to the ‘gaps’ or pause between the thoughts as Yogi Namito taught us. The mood became calm, everyone was visibly relaxing into the sand – the transformation as we watched allowed even us as observers to fall into our own meditative state.
The second stage fell into perfect timing as we asked everyone to close their eyes, the sky was darkening so it was time to shift the focus to the sound of the rhythmic crashing of waves. We sat for another 15 minutes focusing on both internal and external breath retention. As the class came to an end we asked students to return back to their natural breath and closed with three Oms and the Shanti mantra.
From Goa with love,
Signe & Laura