Introduction to Meditation

by Rachel Coppola

Perhaps you've heard about the benefits of meditation, but are not sure where to begin. Or perhaps you've been meditating on and off for a time, but haven’t been able to develop a consistent meditation practice. In this Introduction to Meditation course you will learn techniques to help calm your mind and break free from habitual thinking so that you can deeply transform and enrich your life. Since there is no one style of meditation that is “best” or that fits all people, the intention of this course is to guide you through a variety of meditation techniques in a supportive and accessible environment and help you build a strong meditation habit that works for you. Meditation topics, strategies, and approaches that will be introduced, discussed, and practiced include: Loving Kindness, Focus & Attention, Body Awareness, Mantra, and Pranayama (breathing exercises). 

 

No prior meditation experience is required. Wear comfortable clothes and bring a journal or notebook. Class is capped at 10 participants.

WATCH THE VIDEO - Introduction to Meditation: Meet Rachel

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Continuing Meditation: Practice in Action

by Rachel Coppola

This is a continuing meditation course and is ideal for students who completed the Introduction to Meditation series, although completion of that course is not necessary and you are welcome to take the two courses concurrently.

This 7-week course provides guidance and accountability for your meditation practice in an accessible and supportive environment. While there will be time for discussion and questions, the bulk of each class will be spent in meditation. Each week a new practice–such as Focus & Attention, Body Scan/Awareness, Mantra, Loving Kindness, Mindfulness, and Pranayama–will take center stage. This class is ideal for those who are interested in developing and solidifying their personal habit of meditation.

No prior meditation experience is required, although completion of Introduction to Meditation is recommended. Class is capped at 10 participants.

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Kundalini: The Fundamentals

by Radha Kirin

In this 7-week course, Radha Kirin introduces you to a rich array of powerful practices from the Kundalini Yoga tradition. These ancient yogic techniques—including asana (body posture), pranayama (breathing), chanting, mantra, sound healing, and meditation—have been developed to remove the subconscious blocks that limit social, emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual growth. Kundalini Yoga is an incredibly efficient technique that puts your highest self back in the driver’s seat, and you will leave each class feeling energized, balanced, and present. Throughout the course you will learn how to control your thoughts and, as a result, feel limitless, powerful, and inspired.

Bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing with a few layers on top. Class is capped at 7 participants.

WATCH THE VIDEO - Kundalini at Backspace: What to Expect

Dates TBD

Kundalini: Level 2

by Radha Kirin

This is a continuing Kundalini course and completion of Kundalini: The Fundamentals or completion of a series of private lessons with Rhada Kirin is required (please contact jennyarrington1@gmail.com for more information). 

In this 7-week course you will dive deeper into the traditions and practices of Kundalini Yoga and learn and practice a more challenging series of kriyas. Each class includes warm-ups, breathing techniques, an exercise set (kriya), deep relaxation, chanting, meditation and sound healing to balance the glandular system, strengthen the nervous system, and harness the energy of the mind.

Bring a yoga mat and wear comfortable clothing with a few layers on top. Class is capped at 7 participants.

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Meditation: Breathe & Ground

by Anne McGinley

Have you been frustrated with meditation? Well, you may have skipped the first step—the breath! 

​The breath is the most direct pathway to your nervous system; the best indicator of your emotional, mental and physical condition at any given time; and THE universal building block of all meditative practices. 

​In this 5-week course you will learn naturally progressive breath and movement-based grounding techniques—drawn from the yogic and “soft” martial arts (such as thai chi and qigong) traditions—that will help you to set the foundation for your meditation practice. There will be gentle movements to ground the body, exercises to build mental focus and concentration, and an exploration of several breathing techniques to build body-breath awareness. You will leave the class knowing the "A B C's" of calm and and connection, and be empowered to step into your original vitality.

Included in the series is a one-on-one meetup with your Instructor (to be completed during the 5 week session) to help you in developing a breathwork+meditation plan tailored to your needs. Available times and sign up for your one-on-one will be offered at your first class meeting.

Wear loose comfortable clothing or workout attire and prepare to be barefoot. Feel free to bring a yoga mat, although one is not required. Class is capped at 12 participants.

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Back Care Basics: Movement & Breathwork for a Healthy Back

by Anne McGinley

Did you know that your spine is designed to move in 4 directions (forward flexion, backward extension, lateral side bending left and right, and twisting)?

In this 5-week course we will explore a unique combination of movement and breathing techniques drawn from the yogic and “soft” martial arts (such as thai chi and qigong) traditions that can be used to relieve back pain, develop strength and flexibility, improve posture, and increase energy and vitality. By integrating simple movement traditions with breathing and focus you will learn to keep your spine healthy and fluid.

Whether you are recovering from an injury or looking to implement a preventative maintenance back care routine, this specialized class for backs is for you! All levels welcome. 

Included in the series is a one-on-one meetup with your Instructor (to be completed during the 5 week session) to help you in developing a back care program just for you. Available times and sign up for your one-on-one will be offered at your first class meeting.

Wear loose comfortable clothing or workout attire and prepare to be barefoot. Feel free to bring a yoga mat, although one is not required. Class is capped at 12 participants.

Click here for dates and registration

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Mindful Journaling for Tween Girls: Building Creativity & A Positive Mindset

by Kelly Mack

The transition to adolescence has never been easy, but it has become even more fraught in the digital age where self-esteem is measured in Likes. Tweens, especially girls, are struggling with anxiety and perfectionism like never before. In this 7-week course participants will be exposed to a variety of writing techniques that will stimulate creativity, reflection, personal growth, and a positive mindset. This course is designed to inspire a deep appreciation for journaling and a passion to continue on a life-long path of self-reflection and mindfulness. Musicplayed on Backspace's resident vintage record playerwill serve, at times, as inspiration. The skill of unplugging and putting pen to paper is a valuable one that will last a lifetime.

 

This class is open to girls between the ages of 11 and 13. Please bring a journal or notebook, and a pen. Class is capped at 7 participants.

Click here for dates and registration

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Mindfulness Training for High School Athletes

by Lauren Zallis

This 7-week course is designed to help the student-athlete build resilience, enhance focus in play, cultivate an attitude of embracing challenges, and restore/sustain enjoyment for their sport.

Taught by sport psychology consultant, counselor, and former Division 1 athlete Lauren Zallis, this course walks the student athlete through the science of present-moment awareness and uses small-group and one-on-one exercises to help the student-athlete uncover and sustain the emotional state in which they perform most optimally. Through carefully crafted exercises that draw on mindfulness, self-assessment, visioning, and cognitive behavioral therapy, participants will learn to harness their mental and emotional power so that they can "get in the zone" and enter into "the flow state" more easily.

While the course is designed to help bring success to the athlete's physical game and keep enjoyment central to their reason for competing, the skills and practices acquired have far-reaching benefits that can applied to all areas of life.

This class is open to High School athletes. Bring a notebook and pen. Class is capped at 10 participants.

Course syllabus is available upon request.

WATCH THE VIDEO - The Mindful Athlete: Meet Lauren

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The Transition Foundry: Creating Your Next Career or Life Purpose

by Erik Medina

Some career transitions you plan, others are planned for you. Regardless, all transitions have at their core an opportunity. But unlocking that opportunity and navigating the complex terrain of a transitionwhether that be re-entering the workforce after a sabbatical, preparing for retirement, taking on a lifelong pursuit, or simply trying to define or redefine your purposerequires fortitude, clarity, and purpose.

 

The Transition Foundry is designed to springboard you to your inspired future. In this 7-week course, you will clarify your vision and develop defined plans, actions, and allies that will lead you there. This course is a journey of self-discovery supported by carefully designed exercises that draw on mindfulness, self-assessment, visioning, and cognitive behavioral therapy. Through various exercises and facilitation, you will identify the thoughts, actions, and systems that support or undermine your vision. You will be guided to clarify the questions that remain open and you will be challenged to explore and define those things that hold you back from accomplishing your goals.

The course is taught by Erik Medina, an executive coach at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His unique blend of professional roles as a manager, mentor, and executive combined with his 20+ year discipline of self-discovery and improvement allows him to guide and support his students to identify and embrace their core truth, create meaningful lives and careers, and be accountable for their own journey.

Class is capped at 8 participants and there will be a questionnaire and assessment to complete prior to the first class.

WATCH THE VIDEO - The Transition Foundry

Click here for dates and registration

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