CD Cover

Practices for Beginners CD

This audio CD was created for students who want help with their practice at home. Included on the CD are three practices for beginners. Janice leads the listener through the sequences that are 20 minutes long including a sitting meditation to start and a relaxation at the end. The routines are easy to follow.

Here is the link for free access to these audio-only yoga practices:

A 14 minute guided relaxation is now on our Facebook page:

All quotes are from The Pocket Pema Chodron

Week 1
  • “Life is a good teacher and a good friend. Things are always in transition, if we could only realize it. Nothing ever sums itself up in the way that we like to dream about. The off-center, in-between state is an ideal situation, a situation in which we don’t get caught and we can open our hearts and minds beyond limit. It’s a very tender, non-aggressive, open-ended state of affairs.”

Week 2
  • “Why do we meditate? First of all, it is helpful to understand that meditation is not just about feeling good. To think that this is why we meditate is to set ourselves up for failure. We’ll assume we are doing it wrong almost every time we sit down: even though most settled meditator experiences psychological and physical pain. Meditation takes us just as we are, with our confusion and our sanity. This complete acceptance of ourselves as we are is called maitri, or unconditional friendliness, a simple direct relationship with the way we are.”

Week 3
  • “When you open yourself to the continually changing impermanent, dynamic nature of your own being and of reality, you increase your capacity to love and care about other people and your capacity to not be afraid. You’re able to keep your eyes open, your heart open, and your mind open. And you notice when you get caught up in prejudice, bias and aggression. You develop an enthusiasm for no longer watering those negative seeds, from now until the day you die. And you begin to think of your life as offering endless opportunities to start to do things differently.”

Week 4
  • “As human beings we are as impermanent as everything else is. Every cell in the body is continuously changing. Thoughts and emotions rise and fall away unceasingly. When we’re thinking that we’re competent or that we’re hopeless- what are we basing it on? On this fleeting moment? On yesterday’s success or failure? We cling to a fixed idea of who we are and it cripples us. Nothing and no one is fixed.”

Week 5
  • “Our attempts to live humanely in this world are never wasted. Choosing to cultivate love rather than anger just might be what it takes to save the planet from extinction. What is it that allows our goodwill to expand and our prejudice and anger to decrease? Traditionally it is said that the root of aggression and suffering is ignorance. But what are we ignoring? Entrenched in the tunnel vision of our personal concerns, what we ignore is our kinship with others.”

Week 6
  • “In cultivating loving-kindness, we train first to be honest, loving and compassionate towards ourselves. Rather than nurturing self-denigration, we begin to cultivate a clear-seeing kindness. Sometimes we feel inadequate and weak. But our loving-kindness is unconditional. No matter how we feel, we can aspire to be happy. We can learn to act and think in ways that sow seeds of our future well-being, gradually becoming more aware of what causes happiness as well as what causes distress. Without loving-kindness for ourselves it is difficult, if not impossible, to genuinely feel it for others.”

Week 7
  • “Remind yourself, in whatever way is personally meaningful, that it is not your best interest to reinforce thoughts and feelings of unworthiness. Even if you’ve already taken the bait and feel the familiar pull of self-denigration, marshal your intelligence, courage and humor in order to turn the tide. Ask yourself: Do I want to cut myself off from my basic goodness? Remind yourself that your fundamental nature is unconditionally open and free.”

Week 8
  • “The essence of bravery is being without self-deception. However, it’s not so easy to take a straight look at what we do. Seeing ourselves clearly is initially uncomfortable and embarrassing. As we train in clarity and steadfastness, we see things we’d prefer to deny – judgement, pettiness, arrogance. These are not sins but temporary and workable habits of mind. The more we get to know them, the more they lose their power. This is how we come to trust that our basic nature is utterly simple, free of struggle between good and bad.”

More Help with Home Practice

The Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York has created excellent level I and Level II sequences for practice at home. Download the sequences here.