Considering the Duress of the Heatwave and Our Practice Outdoors . . .

Hi Dear Folks;  This summer there will be Mindfulness-Based Yoga sessions shared in local parks on Monday evenings as well as some Sunday morning Mindfulness-Based Contemplative practices also in local parks.

The past week there has been unusual heat for such sessions though we have met and shared practice.  There was no air-conditioning or thermostats to adjust.  We simply made space and were able to offer an attentive, open presence and navigated our way with interest and curiosity.  Practice showed up without the burden of ‘too hot.’

Monday evening the 21st was our first session of the term and it was going to be above 90 degrees according to the forecast.  A number of folks chose to stay home which is of course prudent, especially with illness or physical difficulties.

However, as folks arrived and settled in beneath the Giant Sequoias and Lovely Big Leaf Maples and on the moist lawn of Bagely Park heat ceased to be a concern.  We just practiced each in our own appropriate and nourishing way.  All seemed to sense the value of this simple practice regardless of the concerns about heat that might have been before arriving.

Likewise, on Sunday morning we met for our Contemplative Session at Rood Bridge Park.  It was already very warm.  We sauntered to lovely Woodland Pond and the sweet, babbling creek that meanders in and out of the pond.  It was cool, moist and still for our sitting practice and kind, open conversation for the hour together.

Consider the possibility that meeting the duress of heat, cold, unlikely yoga postures, being still for long periods, and other challenges may evoke our natural, inherent capacities for meeting life’s challenges with robust vitality.  Not through pushing, controlling, ambition, or manipulating.  With openness, interest, patience, and curiosity.  We might be surprised.

Of course, of course there are extremes like this evening the 28th of June at well over 110 degrees where it is best for most of us to care for ourselves and stay inside.  Our session this evening is canceled appropriately.

Consider Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s scientific talk about the physiologic benefits of the duress of extreme heat and cold in Finnish saunas and cold water immersion.  Definite duress yet profound, well-documented and researched benefits: Use of Sauna and Cold to Increase Net Resilience, Mitochondrial Biogenesis, Mood and Longevity

I hope all this inspires and encourages you in the face of life’s challenges to be curious, interested, kind, and creative about how to meet what shows up.

Kindest Regards. —  Brant

BEING A FORCE OF NATURE: Three Thursday evenings of acknowledging & remembering our inherited vitality through simple practices; heart, mind & body

This is an ideal series for MBSR alumni who long to continue and enrich personal practice.  Also, for those just beginning an enquiry into a contemplative practice that opens doors to life’s possibilities, this will be appropriate and very accessible.

Learn about and practice ways of waking your unique abilities as we meet the challenges and joys of this era of transformation after this past year and a half.     Scholars, researchers, mystics, sages and everyday people over eons have
shared practices that evoke an inner stance that invites the foundational vitality in us to emerge more generously as we find our unique path in life; heart, mind and body.

This is a course that asks you to participate with your whole heart.  To lean into class time, personal practice, and earnest enquiry.  That whole-heartedness is the foundation for opening the door to remembering the grace, power, and vitality that lives below the surface of our many draining distractions.

This series will invited each of us to explore our unique possibilities for awaking inner life as the foundation for our path forward.  There will be learning about the evidence that points us to capacities most of us have never considered possible in the realms of contemplative/meditative practices, modes of physical exploration, how we nourish ourselves, breathing practices.  This series will be far less about following some orthodoxy and very much about listening, learning, and exploring these realms in our own unique way.

There will be assigned home-practice and study between our sessions with resources provided; readings, podcasts, videos, invitations to attend other classes online and in-person here this summer.  During our sessions we will practice and confer with one another about what and how we are learning.

The underlying purpose here is to awaken our own unique capacities to meet the challenges and joys of this era of immense transformation personally, with family, in community with friends/coworkers, and globally.  A tall order yet all we need is here in our lives and this will be an invitation to point life in that direction.

Online at 6pm on Three Thursdays, June 24th, July 15th, August 5th. Book Each Individual Thursday Class Here

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction on Saturdays this Summer Starting July 10th at 2pm

PLEASE NOTE – OPEN DOOR THIS SUMMER:   MBSR registration comes with an All-Class, Workshop & Series Pass for a full learning experience this summer.

My traditional MBSR course, the one I have taught here for the past 12 years, has been adapted to the unique challenges and advantages of this staying-at-home era.  It was devised for ease of access and relevance, availability and diversity of class-learning beyond the weekly MBSR sessions and support of long-term learning.  Please know that this course has far less of the drudgery of typical online classes and more attentive guided personal mindfulness practices which are far less stressful than most online learning.

Below are the details of this training, MBSR-SH.  Use the Contact Form to advise Brant of your interests and ask questions.


Program Structure:

  • After reviewing the details of the course below complete the online MBSR Application .  With the advice of your instructor complete the written application if you are unable to completed online.  Then. . .
  • Complete a brief conversation with Brant at some prearranged time. Reach out to him to arrange this.
  • This course will be many hours of class time (1-1.5 hours one day per week) for 8 weeks. Plus. . .
  • As part of your learning you are welcome to attend one of Brant’s relevant-level mindful yoga classes or sessions each week, the Shared Meditation Evenings, and  Brant’s workshops.  These all come with your registration and are additional, optional ways of practicing and learning making this a comprehensive learning experience.  Generous depth and breadth of learning is the intention with this offering.  Details will be available after your registration.
  • There will be a free MBSR Orientation on Saturday June 26th; 2pm for those interested in the course.  Then the course begins on Saturday, July 10th.
  • For the course we will be meeting each Thursday, 6 until about 8pm.
  • The sixth class will be and extended up to 3 hour mini-silent-retreat class; 6 until as late as 9pm
  • Please make a commitment to do home practice each day you are not in class during the Program; up to 45 minutes.  Home practice is at the heart of learning in this course
  • Tuition is $250 for those who have applied by the Orientation day.  After that tuition is $320.
  • Also, you will be Brant’s guest at a subsequent All-Day MBSR Retreat once we are able to resume in-person classes.
  • Payment plans and partial scholarships can be arranged for those with limited means.  Especially during this difficult time of corona virus, layoffs, and society change I will always find a way to admit you to class if you know this is, without-a-doubt, the right time. Contact Brant for details.
  • There will be classroom learning and practice of: Gentle, adaptive mindful movement, Body scan meditation, Sitting meditation, Walking meditation, Mindful breathing practice, Group dialogue, Interpersonal learning
  • If you are currently in active treatment with an acute condition consult with your doctor, therapist or psychotherapist to provide the MBSR instructor their written or emailed recommendation/referral for MBSR prior to the beginning of the course.   You may be asked to give your doctor or psychotherapist permission to talk with your MBSR instructor in order to support you appropriately if you and your healthcare provider believe it would be helpful.  Participants often do this to better include their healthcare providers as partners in the learning process.
  • The MBSR training is held online this term.  You will be provided a Zoom link for the full 8-week course once you have completed booking the course.

To enter the MBSR program you must  1) complete a brief conversation with the instructor 2) Complete an online MBSR Application   3) after these you can arrange with the instructor for booking your reservation and payment of tuition.

Questions about MBSR? Learn more or contact Brant.  MBSR Orientations are helpful though not required.


Welcoming You to a Summer of Transformation

Dear Folks;  I am so very glad to invite you to this summer’s transformation.  In so very many ways we are transitioning life from the lockdowns and diverse difficulties of the past year and a half.  While, I think, all of us long for things to be back to ‘normal’ I am quite sure that the new normal will be very different than our past ways of living.

With the changes in health status, employment, relationships, and so much more we’ll rely on inward stability, an inner stance that softens our tendency to react and invites appropriate response.

This can come with the practices and learning we have shared here over nearly two decades; Mindfulness-Based Yoga classes, workshops focussing on well-being (breathing, balance, gratitude, grieving, adaptive yoga, etc.), custom-tailored trainings (police officers, firefighters, corporations, universities, governments, etc.), contemplative practice (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Shared Meditation Evenings, etc.).

You were kind enough to share your experience of this over many years here in this recent post about what we long for.

This summer there will be much more to share and learn in new ways.  While there will be many of our usual weekly online classes, we will practice together in-person in nature frequently with mindfulness-based yoga and meditation & contemplation sessions.  There will be some workshops and series  you’ve requested alongside some new ones:  Being a Force of Nature series,  Workin/Workout series and the Progressive Relaxation series.   We’ll also make time for a gathering outdoors this summer for an all-student gathering/picnic with time share with one another nourishment, play, and conversation.

Another benefit I have added to your passes and membership booking is to give you access to a growing library of yoga teaching videos like the ones that we use in our line sessions.  You’ll see the list once you’d booked for the term.

Keep up-to-date with all of this by visiting the Schedule and Calendar pages.  They list everything.  

PLEASE NOTE:  This summer I will ask that you register for each and every class of your weekly course or workshop via the Booking Page.  That way the diversity of these summer courses can be managed directly by you and I will not need to try to manage such a diverse selection of offerings.

I look forward to working and sharing with you all this summer!  —  Brant

Offering a places in my upcoming MBSR course for COVID Long Haulers

Dear Folks;  If you or someone you know/love is facing the consequences of COVID Long Haul difficulties  I am holding spaces for a few folks to attend my spring MBSR course as my guests, tuition-free.

Today on NPR’s Science Friday I heard the very poignant stories of folks who are suffering the mysterious and often very difficult neurological symptoms that linger for long periods after a COVID inflection.  I even have family members and students who describe these experiences themselves.  One of the elements of the story was a physician and researcher who noted that stress is often a trigger for these. symptoms.

Note the word cloud above that is from comments of folks who completed the winter MBSR course here.  Perhaps those words will offer a path forward.

My hope is that an MBSR course will help those coping with this stress-trigger.  If you or someone you know sense that this would be helpful I am glad to offer a place in my spring MBSR course starting on Thursday, April 15th.

Reach out if you have questions.

Kindest Regards. —  Brant

Progressive Relaxation Evening: Saturday, April 3rd; 6:30 til 8pm

Dear Folks;  Tailored for after dinner and the end of the day, let’s settle into some deep relaxation and restoration.  Even learning this skill to carry your forward as we meet life’s challenges with a greater capacity to recuperate.

This is an evening to practice and learn more about methods of deep relaxation you can embody at home to support your health and well-being.

Modes of restorative practice such as progressive relaxation, body scan, visualization, and mindful pause will be included.

Book Here

Work in & Work Out: Finding energy, vitality, and clarity with a simple, daily practice. Thursday, April 1st; 5:30pm.

We tend to divide our attention for health and well-being into the need to ‘work out’ in some way or in some way offer ourselves an inward practice of yoga, meditation or contemplation.  Let’s bring all that together in a simple practice that you could weave easily into daily life encouraging your fullness of strength, flexibility, clarity, and breath.  We’ll bring together the experience of presence; heart, mind and body.  Perhaps a bit of joy will glimmer as you practice.  Perhaps that will grow to influence your personal experience of daily life in some positive way.

What we will share was inspired by Dr. Zach Bush’s 4-minute Workout and perhaps the more validating research on short-interval trainings like this though this course will be more pointed toward weaving such body work with mindfulness/attentive presence, breathing practice, and biomechanics more diverse than that research or Dr. Bush’s sequence.

Here is a brief video invitation to such a practice.

Let’s weave these together in a natural way that can be incorporated into our work day or busy schedule.  We will learn about the positive consequences of this simple, at-home or at-office practice and then practice together.

You will be provided a link to the custom-made video of this 9-minute practice for your further practice.  With Brant on Thursday, April 1st; 5:30-7pm.

Book Here.

Spring Online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Course (MBSR): Thursday April 15th with a free Orientation on the 8th

Dear Folks;  Our spring MBSR-SH course begins on Thursday April 15 at 6pm with an Orientation the week before.  Note above the word cloud of comments offered by spring MBSR-SH graduates.

“I walk away from this course profoundly changed in how I see and
deal with everyday stresses.”
 MBSR-SH graduate, March ’21

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is an extremely effective way of learning to care for ourselves by moderating the those sharp edges of stress. It has a large library of research proving its effectiveness.  This online version MBSR-SH  preserves that effectiveness using todays tools appropriately.

“I found the group so nourishing and affirming.
The practice was simple but exponentially richer as we progressed.”  
– MBSR-SH graduate, March ’21

Come to the free online MBSR Orientation on Thursday, April 8th at 6pm.  Book Now.

If you have been thinking about the MBSR course there is still room this spring as folks begin registering online. Set aside concerns about tuition if you have been laid off, impacted by illness, or having trouble with funding. Just reach out to me and we’ll make this work for you; scholarships, payments over time, discounts.

“I’ve have been able to live day-to-day and enjoy many moments
without worrying about the unknown.

– MBSR-SH graduate, March ’21

With your registration you’ll be included in online yoga class of your choice: See Schedule as well as the Shared Meditation Evenings at 9pm Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Reach out with questions  —  Brant

Many thanks for shaping Spring Term with your thoughtful comments! We begin March 29th.

Dear Folks;  What a joy it has been to read your feedback and to shape the classes for spring just as the flowers bloom and the sun becomes warmer.

I listened to your comments and desires for classes and have assembled a host of workshops, series and modified our weekly. class schedule.  Here is the overview:  Link to Spring Schedule.

Here is what you all provided:

While most of the booking memberships and passes you book online are the same,  look for these new elements when you book your classes:

  1. There is an All Class Pass for spring which used to be the 30-class pass and now it’s the pass for everything; classes, workshops, shared meditation session, course series.  Just sign up for one or all!
  2. Because so many of you attend together on one Zoom session/screen I’ve created the One-Screen Add-On Membership: For family members and friends so you can attend together more economically.  Your added dear ones pay less than half the tuition.
  3. This has always been the case but I want to say it here to make sure you know.  I will always work with you to modify tuition if there is economic hardship; payments, reductions, scholarships, etc.  Often dear students offer a complementary pass that I pass on and I, likewise, do so.  Let’s just work together!

Here are special some classes, series, and workshops for spring that you asked for!

Much Love. —  Brant