What Are You Longing For? Nearly 300 words students offered to describe what they value most in courses and practice here. Perhaps ways of meeting such longing.

Dear Folks;  I recently sent out a brief survey asking us to offer three words that describe the experience of class and practice here.  Nearly 300 words showed up and they are summarized in a word cloud above.  The largest words were the most commonly offered in the survey.  I think we all long for the experience of many of those words.

Also, I asked folks in the survey if they wanted to say anything else.  I was utterly surprised at how many responses there were and how encouraging and informative for us.  Here they are:

  • “You have control over this moment, this choice, this breath”– The Brant Shoulder Angel reminds me every time I’m tempted to push some hard choice or goal to a mythical future day when I’m stronger or less busy. 
  • Accepting life as it is right now. Not constantly judging. 
  • An awareness of how mind and body link together.  Learning to listen to feedback and have confidence to adjust.
  • Consistent care, kindness, encouragement to be kind to self and those I love.
  • Being able to slow my mind helps immensely with focus and keeping anxiety away.
  • Classes were amazing. 
  • I’ll preface my submission by saying that have not attended many of your sessions or trainings over the years for reasons not of your doing.  That said, I always found comfort just knowing you exist and that you were busy providing your services, wisdom, and help to those who took part.  I love your manner and the world-views I knew of yours.  
  • Cares about my physical constraints and adjusts poses as needed
  • Enjoy the class and community. 
  • Even on days when enthusiasm wanes for everything ( grieving?, pandemic?, other?), the pull of commitment and community brings me back and never disappoints. 
  • For sixteen years I learned yoga at this studio.  Brant shared his expertise with grace and kindness.  I am sure I am currently pain free because of my work here. 
  • Gave me peace about myself and the world at large.   Everyone should take your Mindfulness class
  • Helps me establish centeredness and calm for a little while ! Thank you!
  • The Stress Reduction Clinic there in Hillsboro offers a safe haven for people to witness the awesome powers of being. Even though I was unable to fully complete your workshop, I continue to “just do the work” and my life is everything ic could ever imagine.
  • How to breathe and get perspective. How to tune in to what is important and how to let go.
  • I am grateful to Brant
    and to Laurie Bass for encouraging me to teach yoga… right about when I said I was going to let go of it. Thank you both, and to Yoga Hillsboro for the beautiful space, and loving community.
  • I appreciate all of the courses from their gentle and loving kindness approach.
  • I feel at peace and a sense of self caring that I never experienced before yoga. I value my time in your classes so much and they continue on outside of the classroom. 
  • I feel encouraged to accept this aging body, some of the  limitations, with grace. I work today with what there is, and stay out of the “shoulds”. I have become much more limber, more aware, and more curious about my physical abilities! 
  • I get much value from the opportunity to improve my meditation practice.  To relax slow down and be in the moment.  And share with others to open my mind to other people’s experiences.  
  • I greatly appreciate your classes because even though I don’t have a traditional “yoga body”, I am always made to feel comfortable and welcome and encouraged to work at a level that is appropriate for me.
  • I have incorporated yoga into my life and it sustains me and is evolving.  It’s how I’ve gotten to know my body over time.
  • I have learned to better care for myself and to listen to my inner voice to guide me.  It’s so encouraging to come together with others in our weekly practice (even if only via zoom)  to share an encouraging word or funny story. Such a wonderful feeling of community and support. Thanks you, for all the loving support you offer to us. 
  • I learned that anyone can exercise regardless how bad their disabilities are and that kindness gets people to appreciate what they have. 
  • I learned to meet people where they ARE in the moment. It was so refreshing to just be there for yoga and not worry about how I looked/how much I weigh. Accessibility is so important. That its ok to adjust the poses so its easier on you, without shame. I’ll probably never go to another yoga studio, I can’t imagine feeling comfortable in another environment. 
  • I love how you encourage everyone to do their practice for their own body and not try to achieve a “perfect form”.  
  • I love the focus not just on the movement in yoga, but the spirit of the practice, how to link mind and body, both in yoga and the medication classes.
  • I loved the MBSR course I took with you, such a special time shared by my entire family. Be Well 
  • I met someone very special who I never would have met otherwise. Thank you.
  • Thank you for being a wonderful foundation stone in my life.  Love from Melbourne, 
  • I really value this course and the support that Brant provides in and outside of the weekly classes.
  • I remember the life struggles of my fellow students most, how hard life can be and yet how they carried on, seeking a more tranquil existence.  That has been lasting inspiration for me.
  • I sometimes have to force myself to get started, but I’ve never regretted it and have always finished feeling better than when I started.
  • I took your MBSR course over ten years ago. It was more useful to me than years spent with a therapist: acceptance, presence, true compassion. I also treasure the diverse people I met in that class; it helps remind me, often daily, that despite our sometimes deeply partisan differences, we are all basically seeking the same things in life… I thank you for offering that class. It stays with me. 
  • I value practicing being in the moment and remembering to breathe.
  • I very much needed to connect with my body after months of Covid.
  • I’ve come a long way in having the wisdom to know the difference between changing the things I am able to and accepting the things I cannot change. Thank you
  • I’ve learned how to appreciate and cultivate calm and quiet. And movement in class has invited me to reconsider my relationship with my body ~ it helps me practice more kindness and curiosity than only pushing or challenging. 
  • In person or remotely, Brant and his commitment to and compassionate support of students is a healthy and safe haven. He cultivates a sense of community and care that is above and beyond any other on-line course.
  • It has been such a comfort at a time where I have felt so alone to come together with others and practice yoga and mindfulness. 
  • It has really helped to learn and understand mindfulness. I still need to get better at it, but at least I can recognize it when I’m successful!
  • It is supportive to witness someone doing something out of love and
  • Dedication. Thank you for shining that example for so many years.
  • Learning in a community of supportive peers with inspirational leadership
  • Learning to listen to everything
  • Learning to process and listen tuning out extra noise.
  • Learning to quiet my mind, focus on my breathing, and let go of what isn’t useful help me everyday.
  • Loved both your workshops and classes. Thank you 
  • MBSR changed my life and Yoga is taking things a little further everyday. You have created a safe, nurturing environment to learn and share our little thoughts and it has given me a sense of community during these challenging times – Thank You, Brant – Sundar.
  • MBSR course has helped me and stayed with me since I took the course in 2011.  I try to keep recalling the concepts and use them in my everyday life.  
  • Meditation is something I’ve wanted for  myself for a long time and I’m go glad I found you and your course. It was one of the first and nicest thing I’ve done for myself. 
  • Most organized  and challenging classes I have taken.  I really like that.
  • My practices with you have helped me cultivate a greater appreciation for this life and this body – to find deeper compassion for myself and others. 
  • Participating in the sessions improved my subsequent life experience though I’ve never understood or been aware of any connection. Maybe mysterious but result is good. 
  • Possibility: I become aware of the many options there are for how I relate to my experiences, and I am gently reminded that it is possible to align ones thoughts and behaviors with ones highest values.  That is what Brant does.  Never talks about it, just does it.
  • Setting time aside as a practice is still clunky for me but the more I do it the more valuable it becomes.  I am forever grateful for both your yoga instruction and meditation groups.
  • Since 2007, I’ve attended gentle, beginning, and intermediate yoga classes; along with numerous workshops, MBSR and MBSR alumni nights. I continue to return to Yoga Hillsboro to remind me to meet things as they are. Life is always changing as well as my practice – and so are the offerings from Yoga Hillsboro. Currently, the virtual meditation group (created as a result of COVID-19) has been one of the most enriching ways to regularly connect with the community I missed after moving further away. Our meditation group has allowed me to maintain and expand the much needed group practice even through this very abnormal chain of events in 2020 and now 2021. 
  • Strategies that have helped with PTSD and asthma. Experiences that I hope to get back to, but try to replicate in my life now. 
  • Stress relief…. would not survive my hectic work life without your classes. 
  • Taking time out, a pause, to notice and not react, to stretch, to breathe, to move in safe, careful, and unusual ways; to realign, recalibrate, refresh, and move forward
  • There Is too much to say.  During this incredibly difficult time it has been very comforting and a great support to have you guiding the meditation group and bringing us to be connected to the others in the group.   
  • Truly a transformative place of peace and joy.  I felt completely at home and encouraged to be my authentic self.
  • Well, I, like everyone else, misses the togetherness of the on-site classes, but things change!  I’m so very glad you have gone on-line, Zoom is my friend!  I like the acceptance of all kinds of body types/issues, and find that these gentle stretches are my go-to if I’m feeling rough physically.  The meditations have helped, though I’m not utilizing the skill as much as I probably need to in this stressful year.  I also like your open-mindedness, and willingness to share with us other approaches and techniques you’ve learned elsewhere.  (I’m trying to keep up w/ the balance exercises especially as hiking season dawns!)  Thank you for your KIND SPIRIT and acceptance of everyone.
  • When offended by someone, think about what might be going on in their life before getting mad/upset at them. That usually gives me enough time to calm down. Good advice.
  • You are a remarkable person and valuable resource through good and bad times in life.  I value your offerings and will continue with you as long as you are available in my own way.  Thank you. 
  • You create a safe space for people to open up. Thanks!
  • You’ve taught me that I know the right answers oftentimes. I need to listen to my inner wisdom and speak it with kindness to others. 
  • Your “teaching” modeled the curiosity, non-judgement, and constant re-realization that you inspired in me and that I sometimes now invite my friends to try