Moving into Meditation: A 12-Week Mindfulness Program for Yoga Practitioners

Moving into Meditation: A 12-Week Mindfulness Program for Yoga Practitioners

by Anne Cushman

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Moving into Meditation is a practical and inspiring guide to integrating mindful yoga and embodied meditation, in a 12-week format.

One week at a time, Moving into Meditation lays out a plan for exploring body-based practices to get you more in tune with not only your limbs and core but your mind and heart. Cushman's curriculum integrates

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Moving into Meditation is a practical and inspiring guide to integrating mindful yoga and embodied meditation, in a 12-week format.

One week at a time, Moving into Meditation lays out a plan for exploring body-based practices to get you more in tune with not only your limbs and core but your mind and heart. Cushman's curriculum integrates asana with mindfulness meditation to help practitioners turn "embodiment" from a concept into a tangible reality. Her insightful mixture of practices, yoga history, and Buddhist philosophy are made relevant to your present-day life. Personal stories from the "trenches" of decades of practice and teaching add color; Cushman's characteristic poetic and funny voice makes all readers feel that much more human. Cushman believes—and experience proves—that by becoming better attuned to and acquainted with the body, the physical forms become a vehicle for becoming more intimate with yourself and your world. From there, we can explore and embody the teachings of the Buddha for a more awakened life.

In recent years, "mindfulness" has blasted into mainstream culture much as yoga did two decades ago, making "mindful yoga" an appealing trend. But how does mindful yoga evolve from a buzz-worthy concept to a lived experience? How do yoga asanas and pranayama support and express the practice of meditation? How do you explore the teachings of the Buddha through the vehicle of your own living, breathing, human body?

As we quickly learn, the practices are inherently entwined. Experienced yoga and meditation teacher Anne Cushman answers all these questions and more in Moving into Meditation, teaching us to deepen our asana practices with mindfulness meditation and enhance our meditation practice with asana. With compassion, humor, and deep intelligence, Moving into Meditation guides us through integrating mind, body, and spirit practices for a wide-awake life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Yoga and meditation teacher Cushman presents a detailed, step-by-step plan for tapping into the mind/body/spirit connection with this 12-week program. Cushman emphasizes the importance of making meditation and asana a seamless practice; she offers an array of techniques to tune into the body and breath in ways that complement, enhance, and deepen the asana practice. While noting that the fusion and integration of yoga asana with Buddhist meditation has become more common, she observes the need for guidance. In each chapter (or week) she presents a component of her program, such as “Exploring Your Body in Action,” “Cultivating Your Breath,” or “Taking Your Seat” (in which the author dives deeply into the art of seated meditation) along with specific practices. Cushman includes helpful resource suggestions at the end of each chapter, as well as audio and video links. The author provides clear, precise instructions, but also weaves into her text lyrical prose and colorful anecdotes from her own life and the lives of other teachers and students. Practitioners of all levels will find this to be a rich companion volume, though it will speak most profoundly to those who already have some knowledge of yoga and meditation. Line drawings. Agent: Agent: Lisa Bankoff, ICM. (July)
From the Publisher
“A clear and wise book to help you open your body, heart, and mind. Anne invites you to integrate yoga, meditation, and love into a seamless whole.”—Jack Kornfield
“What does yoga have to do with mindfulness, and how might we bring the two together? How can mind training affect how we feel and help us disidentify from habits that cause us so much self-inflicted suffering? In Moving into Meditation, Anne has gifted us with a comprehensive yet concise blend of the vast wisdom traditions of yoga and Buddhism, offering not only weekly doses of essential methods for transformation but also stirring stories that highlight each practice. This book has everything anyone would need to inhabit an integrated, heart-centered practice and will be of immense benefit to yoga enthusiasts and meditators alike. I cannot recommend it enough.”—Sarah Powers, author of Insight Yoga
“For all those meditators who feel the lack of embodied presence and those yoga practitioners who yearn for more awareness and lucidity, this book offers the solution. Anne Cushman draws on her own journey into the heart of these two traditions and guides us with evocative writing and powerful yet accessible teachings and practices. In Moving into Meditation you’ll find a wonderfully crafted program that will bring you deeply into your own spiritual journey.”—Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
“With a light touch and her characteristic humor, Anne draws us into her own life story as she leads us into mindful exercises with simple clarity and kindness. There is never a dull sentence! In Moving into Meditation there is no rigidity or expectation—as is so often experienced in public classes—but rather the sense of time, space, freedom, and encouragement to explore your own needs. She is not offering a well-trodden path; she is drawing from her own life and practice, where yoga and meditation flow together into the same river of awareness. This is a book of valuable guidelines that will provide inspiration and encouragement to even the most seasoned practitioner of yoga and meditation.”—Angela Farmer, yoga pioneer and creator of The Feminine Unfolding, Inner Body Flow, and other videos

“Gently humorous, deeply insightful, and always practical, Anne Cushman helps us go straight to the heart of our own basic goodness amid the messiness of our everyday lives. I can’t wait to share Anne’s insight with the women I teach. Her willingness to share her own life journey will give us all the confidence we need to come home to ourselves in a loving, nonjudgmental way.”—Linda Sparrowe, author of The Woman’s Book of Yoga and Health

“Anne Cushman’s Moving into Meditation is more than a book. It is an entire program for cultivating a mindful relationship with the body. In the Four Foundations of Mindfulness teaching, the Buddha says to begin with awareness of the body. Anne’s book provides a pathway for establishing a body-based meditation practice that is in accordance with this instruction. Very specific and well organized, this book allows you to establish a mindful yoga practice at your own pace. For those who struggle with body challenges, it offers specific heart meditation practices to bring about change in how you relate to your body. The amount of detailed information in this book makes it a reference within itself.”—Phillip Moffitt, author of Dancing with Life and Emotional Chaos to Clarity
“Anne Cushman’s new book is a rich meal indeed. Cushman is one of the most talented writers in the contemplative world today. Her prose is elegant and engaging, vibrating with intelligent life force. But beyond that, she has digested the histories of the yoga and Buddhist traditions so fully that she is able to make a stunning and seamless integration of the two—and to give us an unparalleled explication of why, indeed, they are not two traditions, but one. As if that were not enough, she weaves all of this together into a practical, useful, inspiring, accurate, and comprehensive twelve-week program of study and practice. Wow! This book should soon be on the shelf of every meditator and yogi who aspires to a full embrace of practice and of life.”—Stephen Cope, author of Yoga and the Quest for the True Self

Library Journal
Cushman (Enlightenment for Idiots) created a "systematic program designed for yoga practitioners of all levels who want to deepen their practice of physical postures and breathing techniques to support, express, and include the ancient art of mindfulness meditation." Based on the author's work with students at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA, the program is a beautiful blend of insight meditation and classical yoga. Each week of the program has a theme with a series of practices to work on, and the program builds upon itself as it progresses, culminating with experiencing life joyfully. The author teaches how each week's theme can be integrated into asana practice, seated meditation, and daily life. Her kindness and sense of humor make connecting with one's intuitive wisdom a delightful journey. Each chapter provides a few suggested resources for exploration of the week's theme. This reading list alone will keep readers occupied for months, if not years—it is a treasure trove of resources. In addition, many of the practices in the book are available via downloadable audio or video. VERDICT An excellent guide for patrons seeking to deepen their yoga practice through mindfulness meditation.—Julia A. Watson, Marywood Univ. Lib., Scranton, PA

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Product Details

Shambhala Publications, Inc.
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Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

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