About the School

Ameditation yoga school located in the heart of Yarraville, Melbourne. The school is currently run by Jai Cheswick a practitioner since 2008 and ‘teacher’ since 2017. Meditation yoga classes and courses for beginners and those with some experience. Regular workshops and courses.

Next Mens 8wk Programme starts in 2020 >More.

  • Reduce Stress

  • Improve Self-Acceptance

  • Develop Confidence & Humility

  • Discover a Sense of Comfort in Your Own Skin

  • 30-40 mins / day

As a 'traditional' school of meditation yoga we focus on practice rather than philosophy and surrounds. Everything you need to make your class enjoyable, including mats and blankets is provided.

The practice hall is quiet, the perfect environment for meditation yoga. While the Yarraville Masonic Hall is a little more weathered than contemporary yoga studios it helps us to accept our own perceived imperfections of flexibility, knowledge, behaviour and of our ageing and tirednesses.

The perfect place to take some time out in the heart of Yarraville. Jai’s relaxed and down to earth manner make these authentic meditation yoga teachings easily accessible, and left me feeling steady and calm in both body and mind. I can definitely recommend these classes for a Tuesday night !

What is Yoga ?

While the sanskrit word 'yoga' is usually translated as 'union' and refers to a vast spectrum of practices which broadly share themes of self-enquiry, transcendence and liberation, yoga is really all about Love.

Yoga practice originates in the Indian subcontinent where it has been followed in one shape or form since time immemorial. Commonly the 2nd century Yoga Sutra of Patanjali identifies yoga as the stilling of the fluctuating mind and the resultant state of pure awareness or 'Samadhi.'

The later tradition of Hatha yoga and its iconic 'asana' - postures, is also a foundation for the experience of Samadhi. It is a practical method of yoga in which the body is utilised as a tool and gateway to liberation.

Postures, purification techniques and breathing exercises and mantra are some of the techniques employed. Hatha yoga enables the body to become strong and flexible and the mind to become steady and clear.

At Meditation Yoga we honour and respect the Indian origins of yoga. We believe that yoga, which has great potential as a way of conditioning the body, is much more than a physical workout and is ultimately a spiritual practice in which mental clarity and freedom are available through practice and self enquiry.

Discover all that you are not — body, feelings thoughts, time, space, this or that — nothing, concrete or abstract, which you perceive can be you. The very act of perceiving shows that you are not what you perceive
— Nisargadatta Maharaj

Mens 8wk Program

At Meditation Yoga we offer a dedicated 8wk programme for men. This allows men to practice with men and learn the foundations of meditation yoga progressively and within an inclusive class environment.

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You will learn about the key techniques of physical yoga such as breathwork & movement, postures & sitting and will also be briefly introduced to the philosophy which underpins and supports all meditation yoga practices. This programme is suitable for absolute beginners and experienced.

Mens Meditation Yoga programme takes place at the school on:

  • Tuesdays : 19:00 - 21:00pm Next Mens Programme starts March 2020

  • $220 inc gst for eight classes (8wk programme)

  • Teacher : Jai Cheswick, Senior Meditation Teacher

  • Book Here

Develop an at home practice

This evolving initiative is a programme for men who want to become more grounded and present. This is not a mens group. However, it does embody the essence of support to facilitate change in mens lives at an unconscious, deep level.

Meditation Yoga and the tools yoga gives us, support us to gently quieten the activities in the mind and rest in the field of 'awareness'. This is us in our true nature. We’ve all felt glimpses of this, and over time, through practice this becomes more of a way of being.

Practising regularly brings a newfound sense of strength, purpose, and comfort in your own skin.

It takes a while for our conditioned Western minds to stop the habitual merry-go-round of thinking that goes on in our heads of past and future scenarios, but that’s what yoga is all about.… bringing us to the present moment, and out of the habitual flux of thoughts.

Men join the programme to develop their own 'at home' practice to support internal change. Weekly classes are friendly, not social.

This is a 'doing' programme. Talking and 'advice' are kept to a minimum.

Through participating in a regular weekly class each individual can explore, through physical postures and breathing practices, what it means to be themselves: to clarify direction and purpose; to develop integrity, to learn what commitment is and what it is to be trustable; to be clear and grounded; to be strong and consistent; to be whole; and to be aligned and at peace, inwardly and outwardly.

Cultural differences and sexual orientation are not be barriers to joining the programme. A commitment to the intention, methods, and structure of the programme is what is imperative.

Each man in the programme will at times have life experiences that will be challenging, and this should not exclude their participation. However the programme is not a ‘support group’ or ‘therapy session’. Men can continue to see a therapist, psychologist, or coach, as an adjunct to this programme. Men should seek professional advice and support external to the programme, should they require it.

About

Men are welcome regardless of age (min 18) or ability (although we will be doing some yoga postures)

This Mens Mental Peace Initiative is an evolving programme for any man who wants to become more grounded, present and at ease with themselves, to quieten the mind and reduce the internal conflict that makes for a troubled life.

  • A safe place for men to soften towards and within themselves.

  • The more you get to know yourself through practice, the more responsible you will be to yourself and others.

  • This is a skills - based approach to issues.

  • Men learning skills from a man carries an added level of validation (for men) of the efficacy of meditation yoga practices.

These traditional meditation yoga practices are psycho-physiological, non-talking practices, proven and honed organically by indigenous Indian culture over many hundreds of years.

The more you get to know yourself through practice, the more responsible you will be to yourself and others.

This programme is not a 'talking therapy'.

Learning and practicing these straightforward skill sets is more aligned to qualities of becoming more 'human' rather than simply becoming more efficient.

  • Reduced internal conflict

  • Improved self-acceptance and acceptance of others

  • Improved self-compassion and compassion for others

  • Increased confidence but with more humility.

  • More self-responsibility.

  • Greater ability to reflect upon mistakes without negative judgement.

  • A sense of comfort within ones own skin

  • A reduced need for validation from others.

Beginners Classes

At Meditation Yoga we offer a dedicated class for beginners so that those who are new to yoga can learn the foundations of yoga progressively and within an inclusive and gentle class environment.

You will learn about the key techniques of physical yoga such as breathwork & movement, postures & relaxation and will also be introduced to the philosophy which underpins and supports all yoga practices. This class is suitable for absolute beginners, those who are fairly new to yoga and also those who like to take things gently.

Beginners yoga classes take place at the studio on:

  • Tuesdays:18:00 - 19:00pm

  • $80 for four classes (valid 2 months)

  • Teacher : Jai Cheswick, Senior Meditation Teacher

  • Book Here

Below is the core structure of each class:

Checking in: Upon arrival each student briefly checks-in with themselves and the rest of the group as to where they are at and how they are feeling.

Yogic Practice : These physical exercises get students into their bodies and out of their heads. Sincere, dedicated practice and commitment of heart and mind is required to develop stability, comfort and strength within body, breath and mind.

Over time there is less distinction between daily home life and the practice of Meditation Yoga. The physical aspects of meditation yoga are only the outward manifestation of what is, most importantly, a real and direct way to improve our quality of life.

As a beginner you might practice just once a week in class, however over time you will need to make a commitment to at least some practice each day (every other day).

Indian Meditation

Indian practitioners have developed a proven system of physical postures and breathing practices to quiet the mind, allowing the practitioner to enjoy their own company without distraction.

Regular weekly classes reinforce your own 30min daily home practice, while easy to learn techniques bring your attention to the body and the breath.

  • Simple Asana 30mins (open up the body and calm its ‘nervous’ energy)

  • Breathing Practices 15-20mins (even out the breath and calm your thinking)

  • Sitting Practices 15-20mins (counting meditation, focus on the breath)

  • Chanting of simple bhajans 5-10mins (encourage a feeling of joy)

General Information

  • Please arrive 10-15 minutes before each class

  • Allow 2 hours after a light meal

  • Wear non-restrictive clothing (warm clothes & socks in winter)

  • Mats / cushions / blankets provided

  • Booking refunds are not available.

  • Missed classes cannot be made up

All reasonable care is taken for the welfare of participants in courses. Cheswick Consultants does not accept responsibility for any injury incurred in class, or following a class. If any doubt please inform Jai Cheswick at time of enrolment.

Benefits

These traditional meditation yoga practices are psycho-physiological, non-talking practices, proven and honed organically by indigenous Indian culture over many hundreds of years.

The more you get to know yourself through practice, the more responsible you will be to yourself and others.

This programme is not a 'talking therapy'.

Learning and practicing these straightforward skill sets is more aligned to qualities of becoming more 'human' rather than simply becoming more efficient.

  • Reduced internal conflict

  • Improved self-acceptance and acceptance of others

  • Improved self-compassion and compassion for others

  • Increased confidence but with more humility.

  • More self-responsibility.

  • Greater ability to reflect upon mistakes without negative judgement.

  • A sense of comfort within ones own skin

  • A reduced need for validation from others.

Who Can Benefit ?

I welcome connection with those who are experiencing stress, anxiety and have difficulty in managing their emotions.

In accepting new students, I will consider people who are:

  • Open to personal development and inner change.

  • Physically able to practice yoga postures (even though the body might be stiff).

  • Able to take responsibility for themselves.

  • If required work with with others with an attitude of respect and co-operation.

  • Willing to join in the programme to the best of their ability.

  • Competent in basic living skills and are able to attend to their own personal care, as I do not provide support in this area.

  • Able to share the same space without causing distress or harm to others.

  • Prepared to link in with mental health services and comply with any agreed treatment plans if required and appropriate.

  • Able to manage their own medication.

  • I am not an alternative to acute hospital admission for those in crisis. The minimum age is 18.

Ideally clients commit to a minimum of 8weeks when they join any of our classes or programmes.

However I understand that life sometimes makes this quite difficult.

Asana

A sana is the physical practice of yoga poses.In addition to referring broadly to the physical aspect of yoga, asana can also be used to describe a single pose. What most people call yoga could more specifically be called asana.

Foundational Asana 30mins (open up the body and calm its ‘nervous’ energy)

The Benefits of Asanas : Stability, Comfort & Strength

Asanas are performed to improve stability, comfort and strength of mind, body and breath. The use of breathing and focus can help relieve stress and anxiety. The poses are not meant to simply be physical exercises but rather used holistically as a mind-body practice to improve physical, mental, and spiritual health.

The Sanskrit Names for Poses

Asana is used as a suffix in the Sanskrit names for yoga poses, such as trikonasana, virabhadrasana.

It is common to have the Sanskrit names for animals, Hindu deities, and mythological figures included in the names for poses. You will also see variations in the spelling as they can be translated into English in various ways. Some poses have more than one name as they come from different yoga traditions.

The History of Asana

Asana is the Sanskrit word for posture or seat. As interpreted from the archeological record and primary source materials, the first yoga asanas were most probably seated positions for meditation. They were described in about the third century.

Asanas are part of the Hatha yoga practice, a branch of yoga combining physical movements and breathing techniques. The "Hatha Yoga Pradipika" was written in the 15th century and describes only 14 postures, of which 11 are seated positions.

It is not until fairly recently in yoga's history (with the influence of the Western physical culture movement) that asana developed such a wide array of poses and became the most widely practiced aspect of yoga.

Pranayama

Y oga breathing exercises, also known as pranayama, are an important part of a developing yoga practice. Paying attention to the breath is also a meditation technique that can be used on or off the mat, as it has the effect of keeping us constantly in the present moment. The past and the future melt away when the mind becomes fully focused on breathing.

Breathing Practices 15-20mins (even out the breath and calm your thinking)

What Is Prana?

Prana means energy, breath, or life force. Learning to direct and control prana in the body has long been considered a crucial aspect of yoga. Exercises in breath control, such as breath retention and deliberate methods inhalation and exhalation for specific mental and physical benefits are at the core of pranayama practice.

A (Brief) Look at Your Autonomic Nervous System

Breathing is part of the autonomic nervous system, which is comprised of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. In general, the sympathetic nervous system is responsible for governing our responses to stimuli, deciding whether they are threatening, and tripping the signals that tell the body how to react. This is sometimes described as fight or flight responses. The parasympathetic nervous system helps the body calm back down after the danger or stressor has passed.

One of the things that the sympathetic nervous system effects is the breath. In the presence of real danger, the breath becomes fast and short as your body tries to load itself with oxygen to facilitate its escape. This kind of breathing is also a response to non-life-threatening stressors. It happens in response to panic and then perpetuates the panic.

When you're aware of the effect of stressors on your sympathetic nervous system, you can deliberately slow and deepen the breath by signaling the body that it's ok to calm down. Your breath is a powerful force you can use to control your body's responses to stress.

Sitting

S itting in Meditation Yoga is not relaxation. Sitting is an activity into which we can bring attention and intention. Our intention is to bring the mind to stillness and so we set our body up in such a way that we can focus all of our attention inwards.

Sitting Practices 15-20mins (counting meditation, focus on the breath)

Mudra : Energy Locks

These five mudras help to hold your attention (energy of attention) within the body.

  • Jnana Mudra - Fingers

  • Khechari Mudra - Tongue

  • Jalandhara Mudra - Chin

  • Shambavi Mudra - Gaze between eye brows

  • Asvini Mudra - Perineum / Pelvic Floor

Counting Practice

Counting practices are used in many meditation traditions. Counting focuses attention rather than letting it wander.

Lineage Tradititon

For close to 900yrs the lineage of the Siddha Nath tradition, Maharastra, India has been refining and authenticating skill sets in meditation yoga to suit the times in which they are shared.

Lineage is important because it is through lineage that right understanding is developed and in which practices become refined. Lineage also reduces the current teachers own sense of self-importance.

Dean Das - Forensic Psychology is a western-born Meditation Master, a teacher for over 30 years. Dean commenced practicing Yoga at 15 years of age. In the early 1970's, Dean Das met his Guru's Guru. On his instruction Dean Das travelled to India, and lived with his Guru, in a 'father-son' relationship for 7 years atop Sapta Shringi Devi mountain, Nasik, Western India.

His Guru is the revered Siddha Master, Swami Prakashananda Sarasvati ('Babaji') of Nasik. Dean Das took initiation as a Bramachari Sannyas monk of the Sarasvati Order. Upon returning to Australia, Dean Das worked as a University academic, a Mental Health Specialist, and Consultant in the field of Forensic Psychology.

In 2010, Dean Das fulfilled his Guru's prophesy by founding Mind-Yoga (Aust), dedicated to training students in the ancient Siddha/Nath Yoga system of Western India. Mind-Yoga (Aust) provides each student with ongoing 'one-to-one' teacher-student guidance within a group setting.

He is currently producing a documentary film on the life of his Guru, 'The Prakashananda Documentary'.

Swami Prakashananda Saraswati ('Babaji') meaning 'revered father', lived at the top of Sapta Shringi mountain, outside the city of Nasik, Western India, for 27 years. In 1988 he left his body. 'Babaji' was a revered Siddha Yogi (God-Realized/Self-Realized Yogi) throughout India. He was described as 'the living embodiment of love'.

Babaji saw himself as a simple and humble man describing himself in terms of an 'Agaram Bagaram Baba' ( 'a bit of this, a bit of that' Baba'). Yet behind this humble exterior was a man of immense 'spiritual power' capable of 'awakening' a seekers latent 'spiritual consciousness' (shaktipat) via direct transmission of his own spiritual energy.

Philosophy

Philosophy is fascinating and we can end up thinking about it too much. Meditation Yoga is about practicing simple skill-sets to bring about the cessation of thought. However, a little philosophy and background provides some context for the practices.

Meditation Yoga is a six-limbed practice (rather than usual eight-limbed).

Far from focusing just on the body, the disciplines address different aspects of physical, emotional and mental states. Indian practitioners have developed a proven system of physical postures and breathing practices to quiet the mind, allowing the practitioner to enjoy their own company without distraction.

Meditation Yoga does not concern itself Yama or Niyama for key reasons:

  • Yamas and Niyamas are about responsibility to ourself and to others. They are the Hindu equivalent to the 10 commandments.

  • Tantric Yoga is all about having ‘a practice methodology' that brings about ‘inner-change’. So it begins with Asana, physical postures rather than a set of rules.

  • Tantra says that the more you get to know yourself through practice, the more responsible you will be to yourself and others.

  • Knowledge of self through inner experience is better than trying to adhere to a generalised ‘code of ethics’ written thousands of years ago.

While on the mat:

Asanas are the poses we are familiar with today. Aside from being great for keeping the body limber and the blood flowing, the asanas are also practiced in mindful concentration, preparing the body for meditation.

Pranayama is a series of breathing exercises.

While sitting:

  • Pratyahara

  • Dharana

  • Dhyana

  • (Samadhi)

Yama & Niyama

Yama and Niyama are often cited as being part of the Eight Limb practice of Patanjali.

Yamas are the ethical code regarding treatment of others, hatha yoga philosophy asked for truthfulness, integrity, generosity and moderation.

Niyamas are practiced in order to better understand the self. Hatha yoga philosophy tasked the practitioner to be disciplined and humble, willing to surrender to higher thoughts than those of everyday.

Integrity is a Process

A person with integrity is a person who is whole and complete.Developing integrity is a lifes' work for most of us. It’s about doing what you said you’d do, being who you say you are, and cleaning it up when you can’t honour what you said you would.

A person with integrity is a person who is reliable and trustworthy, a person that can be counted on. Integrity forms the foundation for all relationships, but most importantly it’s at the core of how you relate to yourself.

Being in integrity is not an outcome, it’s an ongoing process of reflection and correction. Effective people are not perfect people who have everything sorted. Rather, they are those who keep looking at where and when they are in and out of integrity, and then make the appropriate commitment to a path of action.

Feminism & Men

As men begin to see that while they have worked dutifully to fulfill societies expectations of them, even as they "succeed" they find feelings freezing up and over time vitality drifting away. Friendships can fade and they can slip into isolation. By the time they reach 45 or 50 they are numb inside, quite possibly 'Comfortably Numb' (Pink Floyd), with all the trappings of external success but a sense of emptiness within.

Feminism represents an accurate critique of male roles in industrial capitalism but does not currently offer men an alternative vision of manhood.

Men simply cannot be taught how to be a man by women. It is for this reason that the 8wk Meditation Yoga programme is for men, who free from fear of being misunderstood, can soften towards and within themselves.

This could be taken by many feminists, female and male, that I am advocating some kind of return to macho values.

This is untrue.

I want to help men to thaw out, to feel what they are, in order that they may begin to look to themselves for more appropriate ways of being with one another, their partners, and their children.


Conflict

Regular practice of meditation yoga helps us to see the conditioned patterns of conflict that we have inherited from thousands of years of familial and social conditioning. As we cultivate peace we begin to end the reign of violence.

Conflict is very familiar to us. Movies, politics, business...

• It can be very obvious. Physical violence. This is what we mostly notice and address. eg Violence against women, against men.

• It can be subtle. Emotional and financial conflict. We often call this emotional or financial abuse.

• It can be more subtle. Mental conflict. eg Unspoken thoughts of hatred, comparison towards and about others.

• And, even more subtle. Internal conflict within ourselves. Destructive self-talk. eg 'Im useless, not good enough'

• Physical violence begins with internal conflict.

Peace is unfamiliar to us. A child sleeping, a moment looking at nature…

• We have to learn how to become peaceful.

• Meditation yoga practices provide a ladder out of conflict and into peace.


Gender norms impact both women and men.

https://www.ourwatch.org.au/

Gender norms are not neutral. Rather, they are highly value-laden and assume the acceptance of a particular set of values.

These norms play out in complex ways that are damaging to both men and women, and maintain gender inequality and disrespect for women. Gender norms are part of both internal and external conflict. For example a woman might be 'taught' not to express themselves, which can dumb down their personality, and becomes a kind of internal violence.

The labelling and confining of people into one of two groups of rigid, hierarchical and value-laden ‘acceptable’ norms can pressure people to hide or suppress parts of their diverse and complex personalities and interests to conform to narrow gender stereotypes and norms.

Men also suffer abuse. Violence through coercion, manipulation, fear of losing kids etc. Great up-to-date research. Well worth watching.