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Yoga Buddhism Ecology

  • You and the Mat 3966 Piedmont Avenue Oakland, CA, 94611 United States (map)

A series of five workshops with self-guided study to facilitate daily practice, featuring advanced active asana, meditation and discussion:

  • Monthly online study packets
  • Online discussions, sangha and spontaneous arisings!

It is possible to attend individual sessions by registering directly with You and the Mat - Links by sessions below.  Please note sessions are from 1-5.30pm with short break at 4pm. 

We are looking at a radical shift in the way we live right now. How can we bring the richness of the traditions of Yoga and Buddhism into the understanding of our current human existence? How does our practice meet our individual and collective needs? In what ways can we bring our appreciation of the beauty and the woes of this extraordinary planet to inform the way we move, breath, live? Scroll down for previous participants' comments on course and course material.

Each month’s theme is formed around a question that will encourage reflection in the yoga and meditation practice, their philosophical underpinnings, and on our relationship to this extraordinary planet. The series, which was originally taught in 2012, attempts to bring the inspiration of writers, thinkers, artists, and sages into a co-educational enquiry. Serious practitioners and teachers will come together to further their own practice through exploring this material and practice suggestions together. Participants will be asked to commit (or re-commit!) to daily practice, and a simple reading assignment. Everything else – including a rich array of online offerings to support practice, reflection and action- is optional.

Fee: 400.00 Early Bird if registered by 8/1

If space exists individual sessions will be available (without online material) at 90.00 per 4.5-hour session.

Registration is at You and the Mat by using this link or contacting the studio directly. We will take registrations for the entire series and only if there is space, we will invite drop-ins to individual sessions at a higher rate. The intention is to create a vibrant community discussion and support with consistent attendance and engagement. This series of 20 hours can be used towards Yoga Alliance Further Education requirements or towards Yoga for All Training/Untraining elective hours. Please email me for further information about the content, and if you have any question about her Yoga for All BASICS 250 and ADVANCED 425 hour yoga programs. Descriptions of workshops below.
Monthly enquiries :
August 21 - What is Love? Includes week-to-week exploration of the Brahma Viharas in practice as a way of welcoming ourselves in every moment, seeing kindness as efficiency, and the beginning of our community  

Sept 18 - What is resistance ? Resistance and its relationship to suffering, the Four Noble Truths in the body-mind, resistance as a political and biological necessity, resistance creating immunity and inspiration, depression v. melancholia

Oct 16 - What is space? Exploration of the ether element in practice, in the central channel, 5th chakra, the space between Wise View and Wise Intention, quality of upekha, nirvana, ultimate goals, spirituality v/w science...  This session will explore variations of sarvangasana and there will be options for those not inverting.   TO REGISTER

Nov 13 - What is Enough? Our concept of waste (garbology) and progress, Wise Livelihood, sustainability and the 3rd chakra, equality, a balanced ethical practice and balanced ethical existence, activism and restraint/yama, earth element. (NOTE: 2nd Sunday because of Thanksgiving) TO REGISTER

Dec 18 - What is Community? Review. Exploration of seeing sangha internally, locally and globally  TO REGISTER

This previous course included a local Piedmont group that met over 9 sessions and an online community from across country and beyond. The current proposed course is a distillation of this course and only offered locally for now.

The oneness I have felt with the world around me has lived in my heart since childhood. Then, participating in YBE at a crossroads in my adulthood distilled and deepened that feeling into knowledge, into consciousness, into expression.  The distinct languages of yoga, Buddhism and ecology, we learned through Mary's thoughtfully researched and skillfully offered coursework, are not separate, just as we are not separate from the earth, or indeed each other. 
Megan Beck, long term practitioner and Yoga Trainee, Devon UK.
It has been a wonderful opportunity to grow my practice and appreciation for our beautiful planet.
Karen Fletcher, Yoga Teacher TN
I want to express gratitude for Mary, for the PYS group, and the extended online group. These past nine months have been nourishing and inspiring, even as life's demands have pulled me in unexpected directions during this time.  For me, the way to stay connected with the challenges of our planet, without (or reducing) the anxiety of being overwhelmed, is to bear witness to all that we can, to affect change in places we are able, and to acknowledge that we can't do it all.  I feel supported through quiet contemplation, meditation, and right living in simplicity and with patience.  I am also supported by my local, Sacramento, yoga community, and hope I am able to give as much as I receive from this community.  The resources, ideas, and practices made available over the past nine months will fuel my practice for a long time.
Bob Reed, Yoga teacher, Sacramento, CA



Earlier Event: July 30
Not So Simple Yoga
Later Event: September 30
Portland Weekend and Teachers Session