Torrance Meditation

2 Reasons Meditation Classes Are Scarce

Torrance Meditation
Photo: Meagan Kathleen Photography 

Last night, I was building my puzzle, and Reid was perusing the Internet. He said, “Someone on this forum is asking for guided meditation classes in the South Bay. There are a lot of answers. Should I send them your way?”

It’s a tricky question for me to answer. No, we don’t have many guided meditation classes at our studio. We have one each week. Here are the simple two reasons why:

  1. Meditation is the first thing people skip when they are busy.
    Over the course of my yoga teaching career, I’ve been asked to host various weekly meditation classes. My studio owners have said, “People are really asking for more meditation!” Yes, they are. We all want to meditate. We receive advice everywhere we look telling us meditation is a key to increased productivity, decreased stress, and general wellbeing. Sign me up! Right?

    Sorta. More like: Sign me up, but know that I will cancel if other things come up. 

    When time is short and schedules are full, people may make the effort to hit the gym or the yoga mat. And, they will probably choose that option over sitting meditation. Because physical movement practice brings immediate, tangible results. And, though most of us say we want internal happiness, we are pretty darn motivated by a slim waist or nice ass. Meditation is a longer commitment for gains that cannot be so easily quantified. On days when something has to go, it’s probably the sitting practice.

    I’m not saying that’s the right choice. It’s just the obvious one.

  2. Meditation should be free and individual. 
    This is a personal belief of mine you are welcome to disagree with. I will defend it wholeheartedly. Guided visualization is a great self-care practice. Going to a guided visualization class is valuable, and it is certainly better than not taking any relaxation practice at all. However, it’s not meditation.

    Meditation is a personal, self-guided, daily practice. 

    I can teach you tools for meditation. I can introduce you to various meditation techniques, answer questions you may have, and guide you toward a practice that is uniquely yours. But, at that point, it’s on you. Classes that emphasize this are the classes most likely to bring a lasting impact to your life.

    If you’re seeking a meditation class, I highly encourage you to find one with an end date. At that end date, the practice becomes yours. You may choose, then, to join in group sits weekly or monthly to be with your community. That is a beautiful thing and can be tremendously helpful.

Starting this Spring, we will offer group sits twice a week. One will be instructed, the other will be self-guided. Both will be free. Probably, you will get busy and skip these classes even when you intend to show up. I will be there, though, for the days you commit to sit.

If you’re ready to start now, I recommend Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction courses at InsightLA and throughout the country.