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Mass meditation to bring 100 people together in Glasgow for 2018 Peace Day

One-hundred people are expected to turn out at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall this Friday (21 September) for a Public Peace Meditation to mark the UN’s International Day of Peace.

They will gather at 12 noon to observe a one-minute silence before joining in a group meditation led by The Wee Retreat, which specialises in wellbeing retreats in the Southside of Glasgow.

The group will hear from Interfaith Scotland Director Maureen Sier, who will set the scene in-keeping with this year’s theme: The Right to Peace – The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70 which, of course, celebrates the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights (the most translated document in the world).

They will also be entertained by Scottish poet Imogen Stirling and Glasgow-based Samadhi Soundscapes.

The event has been organised by Vicky Kakos – who owns and run The Wee Retreat – with support from Holistic Scotland Magazine, which has provided media coverage and will supply goodie bags in conjunction with Equinox Kombucha, Scottish Blend, and Bio D.

Vicky said: “We wanted to put Glasgow on the map because we believe that people make Glasgow and that the people of Glasgow care about world peace.

“So, we’ve booked a beautiful room at Glasgow Royal Concert Hall overlooking Buchanan Street where 100 people can come together to mark the occasion.

“The theme this year is very fitting and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is as relevant today as it was on the day it was adopted 70 years ago.

“The event is entirely non-profit and everyone involved is doing it for free. We have only asked for a nominal £5 ticket fee to cover the room hire and posters we have been using to help market the event.

“We can’t wait to be part of 100 people meditating together and hope that you can join us!”

The International Day of Peace – otherwise known as Peace Day – is observed around the world every year on 21 September.

It was established in 1981 by unanimous UN resolution and designed to provide a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to peace, above all differences and to contribute to building a culture of peace.

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What to expect from a Zen yoga class

The benefits of practising yoga are unlimited. From increasing your flexibility and improving joint health to boosting your emotional and mental wellbeing, yoga is a great, gentle way to bring natural health and wellness to your body and mind. And there are so many different classes to choose from, such as Astanga, Bikram, Hatha, Iyengar, Kundalini, Vinyasa and so on.

But we were curious about Zen yoga, whose traditions are rooted in Zen Buddhism, so we headed along to one of Positive Change Yoga’s Day Retreats in Dysart – led by yoga instructor Scott Hutchison-McDade.

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We learned that Zen yoga takes influence from lots of different types of yoga – sometimes adopting traditonal postures and, at other times, adding its own unique twist. That we can expect a range of movements and sequences in Zen yoga – some of which will be familiar and others which may be completely new.  There are elements of Qi Gong included in Scott’s classes, for example, which blend effortlessly with the fluidity of a number of traditional yoga sequences.

Buddha

Scott makes the class feel at ease and prepares us for a meditation.

“Don’t worry about emptying your mind,” he reassures. “It’s impossible. Your mind is like a train station. Trains (aka thoughts) will come and go but as long as you don’t get on and follow their journey, it’s perfectly fine.”

The meditation is one of many we practise throughout the day. For this one, we close our eyes and internally repeat a mantra to the sound of drums. For others, we use mudras.

After the meditation, we practise some classic Qi Gong moves, followed by balance work, squats and traditional stretches. It’s tough but, as Scott would say, it’s also beautiful and incredibly awesome.

Dysart comm Hall

After a plant-based lunch, we practise Yoga Nidra, otherwise known as Yogic Sleep. We get comfortable under blankets and drift into a meditative state while trying our best to stave off sleep and wandering thoughts.

“If you find your mind wandering, or if sleep comes, just reconnect with my voice,” says Scott.

Our class concludes with some crystal therapy to rebalance our chakras and a sound bath.

The result is thoroughly chilled – and one that’s worth giving a go if…

a) you don’t take yoga too seriously

b) want to experience a myriad of movements, postures and benefits

c) want to feel more spirituality connected with yourself and the world at large

d) want to have the option whether to take things at a slower pace or step it up a gear

e) you are there to release tension, unleash your emotions and explore your best possible self

f) want the full experience e.g. incense, candles, drums, gongs, crystals, yoga, mantras, meditation, chanting and so on…

g) want to feel the love

Love

Find out more about Zen yoga and its origins here. Or to book a class or retreat with Positive Change Yoga, click here.