Meditation & Yoga in Silicon Valley
Pictured: Cassandra teaching meditation at Facebook, HQ in Menlo Park, CA
When clients ask how Cassandra’s meditation offering is different, this is her answer:
“I’ve been teaching yoga for more than a decade now, and practicing for almost two. I have close to 3,000 hours of training, but when facebook asked me to start teaching seated meditation at their headquarters in Menlo Park, I was a little surprised. After all, it has always been Buddhist meditation traditions that dominate the corporate meditation scene. As it turned out, most of the employees in my program had far more success with yogic meditation than the other forms they had been exposed to (Buddhist, Zen, etc.) This has continued to be the case now wherever I teach meditation. Instead of teaching by example in silence, I offer a five-minute yoga philosophy lesson followed by a guided meditation on the philosophy discussed. These meditations offer the student something to concentrate on, such as a breathing technique, visualization, or even body movements.
Yogic meditation differs from Buddhist meditation in that yoga is separate from all religions, yet can be practiced by people of all faiths and atheists alike. When the secular world tries to practice meditation without religion, but extracts only mindfulness (and none of the other important sister practices) from the Buddhist religion, you have an incomplete and possibly dangerous understanding of this healing practice.
One of the definitions of meditation is concentration, and the specific techniques help students grasp onto something so that their busy minds can settle. This is actually the point of many of the yogic techniques—give the mind something to fixate on so that stillness can arise naturally, even effortlessly. Meditation as sustained concentration (dharana and dhyana in sanskrit) is approximately a quarter of yoga practice, according to the sage Patanjali. One could easily argue that it is 100% percent of the practice, as breathing (pranayama) and asana (postural) practice all require this sustained concentration and lead to a practice of meditation in motion. Cassandra also teaches from the wisdom of Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga. Ayurveda is an ancient medical science, akin to Traditional Chinese Medicine, meant to balance energy movements in the body. Instead of needles, Ayurveda uses meditation and yoga as some of its main techniques to rebalance any particular student.”
Cassandra McDonough is a Meditation and Yoga Instructor in the Silicon Valley. She has taught at corporations such as Facebook, Amgen, Microsoft, Motorola, Oracle, HP, Amazon, and more over the last ten years. If you are interested in providing wellness to your employees, book a FREE sample meditation lesson at your company today. You can use the online scheduling system below to book a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your options.