Workshop Number: 35
Leaders: Ann Ritter
Who May Register?: Adults Only (high school with permission)
Worship/Worship-Sharing: 20%
Lecture: 10%
Discussion: 15%
Experiential Activities: 55%

Who May Attend?
part-time attenders welcome (can come any session)
half gathering attenders welcome

Half-Gathering Attenders Welcome:
First half (Monday-Wednesday)
Second half (Wednesday/Thursday-Friday)

The trauma inherent in our turbulent times calls for self-care and reflection in addition to continuing deep witness consciousness and an open heart. Kundalini Yoga can meet each of us where and as we are, can help develop a particular kind of strength and endurance that leads to contemplative activism.

Workshop Description

Suitable for beginners (those with no yoga experience) as well as more advanced yoga practitioners, this Kundalini Yoga and Meditation workshop is not about how to perfect yoga postures (although it does address proper alignment). Rather it is about showing up and staying present. It is about how to use the body and mind as well as the voice, the brain, the heart—simply our whole selves—to open and gain deeper access to true, embodied worship. Through both movement and stillness, the yoga is your guide to a more authentic and heart-centered way of walking the earth every day.

The yoga sessions will include various mixes of asana (posture), mudra (hand positioning), mantra (chant), and meditation. Emphasis will be on relaxation and restoration of the body to prepare for meditation, and there will be a period of deep rest at the end of the yoga sequence each day. Following each day’s yoga session, we will move into traditional silent meditation, followed by worship sharing. There will be a small amount of lecturing on Monday. This lecturing is more by way of explanation and clarification than about yoga pedagogy. On Wednesday and Friday, we will have shorter sessions of yoga to allow participants to ask practical questions, share their experiences of the yoga practice over the course of the week, and interact with one another.

Experiential portions of the workshop will include a mix of sitting and standing, with the majority of time devoted to sitting, including for traditional silent meditation. Those who cannot sit on the floor on a yoga mat are welcomed and encouraged to use a regular chair, an exercise ball or any other props that will allow them to feel included and enabled, as well as comfortable. Worship sharing also may be done seated in chairs or on the floor, depending on our room assignment and available resources.

Please plan to dress in clothing that is stretchy and allows for freedom of movement. A personal yoga mat is essential, as well as other personal props, and a light covering for meditation, in case our room is kept cold.

Leader Experience

I have lead Kundalini Yoga and Meditation workshops at the FGC Gatherings in 2008, 2013, 2014, and 2017- 2019. I recently resumed regularly scheduled classes after a two-year break. In between, I have taught intermittently online, and remain part of a Kundalini Yoga teacher training team out of Durham, NC. That team should resume its work in person by mid-year 2022. In years past I have done specialty workshops at various yoga studios on Kundalini Yoga as an aid for ongoing self-reflection, and personal growth and healing. I also became certified in 2013 in Kundalini Yoga for those suffering from post-traumatic stress (PTS), and have taught Kundalini Yoga and Meditation for PTS in Atlanta, GA, and Nashville, TN, on numerous occasions in the past seven years. I was in residence at Penland School of Craft in NC in fall 2018 on fellowship as the campus yoga teacher. 

A member of the International Association of Yoga therapists, I also conduct individual therapeutic and restorative yoga sessions, and guided meditations. I can be found at least several weekday afternoons during the Gathering week in the on-site Healing Center, whose professional colleagues I consider my community of fellow healers and my support network.

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