"When one thought ends, right before the next thought begins,
there is a tiny gap called 'now.' Over time we learn to expand that gap."

– Spring Washam

FAQs — Mindfulness Yoga & Meditation Training Program

What is “sliding scale?"

At Spirit Rock Meditation Center the rates for programs, events and retreats are offered on a sliding scale basis. This allows payments according to individual means. Spirit Rock is dependent on donations in addition to the minimum rate to run our center. The program price for MYMT is on a sliding scale. Please pay at the highest level of the sliding scale that you can afford. Anything you pay above the minimum is considered a donation.

Is financial aid available?

There are a modest number of partial scholarships available for this program. Scholarships were awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. You will need to apply by filling out a scholarship application form once you are accepted into the program. The Yoga Dana Foundation, Spirit Rock and the Life Balance Institute are also offering 5 scholarships for the program to yogis who work with under-served communities. You can find out more and apply for those scholarships here.

How does the payment plan work?

Once accepted into the program, you will be sent an acceptance letter with a financial form to fill out letting us know which payment option you choose. The payment options are:
    •     Pay in full by check or money order (we only accept US$) or pay in full by credit card upon acceptance;
    •     Pay a deposit ($500 minimum) by check or credit card upon acceptance plus direct debit payments from your checking account (from 2 – 12 monthly installments beginning July 22, 2014);
    •     Pay a deposit ($500 minimum) followed by 3 equal payments using a credit card.

How hard is the yoga asana practice? (I'm not very flexible or I can't put my leg behind my head or I am older now and don't practice ________.)

The emphasis in the Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation Training program is not on advanced physical practice, but on using the yoga asanas as a support for and expressions of meditative presence. A minimum of five years of yoga experience is required to ensure that you are familiar with yoga asana practice and with your own body’s capabilities and limitations. However, physical prowess is not required, and practitioners of all levels of physical ability have benefited from the program. You will be encouraged at all times to adapt the suggested practices to meet your own needs.

What will the asana classes be like?

Each day of the retreat includes approximately two and a half hours of asana practice, including both dynamic sessions and restorative/yin sessions. The emphasis will be on internal awareness more than on external form—on using the asanas to cultivate, support, and embody mindfulness. Breath awareness and pranayama will be part of every yoga session. There will also be more in-depth workshops that focus on particular aspects of the relationship between asana/pranayama practice and seated meditation.

I have attended retreats in another tradition. Will I be able to attend?

We value and respect all of the meditative traditions, and many of the teachers have studied in multiple traditions. Because an Insight Meditation (vipassana) retreat has a unique form and set of practices, it is important that you have experienced at least ten days of formal Insight Meditation (vipassana) retreat practice—including at least one retreat of five days or longer—to ensure that this is a practice that resonates with your needs and that you have been introduced to the basic instructions.