I’m new to meditation, which class should I start off with?
Meditating is a skill that is learned over time. While starting with any of our 30 minute classes is best, we recommend that you take a series of classes as you begin to cultivate your practice (our introductory unlimited one month pass is ideal for that). All of our classes are designed for everyone, whether you are just starting out, or have a long term established practice. When you arrive, you may want to let your guide know if this is your first class. Meditation is a journey of learning with no rights or wrongs. Like any other discipline that takes practice, the most important first step is walking through the door and trying.
Why should I meditate?
Meditation has existed in cultures throughout the world for thousands of years. The people of those cultures have long known the lasting benefits of a regular meditation practice. In more recent times, modern science has been uncovering the long-term benefits of maintaining a regular meditation (or mindfulness) practice, which includes creating balance in life, better health, happiness and long term contentment. There are many sources online and in books that can help you explore the benefits of a regular meditation practice. Here at Take Five Meditation we suggest that a good place to begin, other than on one of our cushions, is with the book Why Meditate, by Matthieu Ricard.
What should I wear?
We suggest that you wear comfortable loose clothing so that you can sit on a cushion on the floor and breathe with ease. We also ask that you wear socks, as we will ask you to remove your shoes as you enter the studio. Note: chairs are available if you prefer to sit on one.
What should I expect when I get to the studio?
You will check into your class and if you have arrived early, which is recommended, you can sit in our tea lounge with a nice cup of our complimentary tea selections, peruse our books and offerings, or just get to know other members of our community.
What do I do with my phone and my valuables?
There are cubbies in the meditation studio itself for you to safely store your phone and valuables while you settle onto your cushion. We ask that phones be completely turned off in the meditation room.
Is there parking?
Take Five Meditation is located 2 blocks from the Dupont Circle Red Line Metro stop (North exit) and is easily accessible via many bus routes that run along Connecticut Avenue. If you drive, there is street parking and a public parking lot on Florida Avenue (2003 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009) one minute away.
How do I know if I am doing this right?
One of the beauties of meditation is that there are no hard and fast rules about what is right or wrong in regards to practicing. It is a personal journey that requires exploration, practice and time. That is why we offer many ways of meditating at Take Five. All of our classes allow each individual to have a deep and enriching personal journey as they create a deep sense of community.
What if I can’t sit on the floor?
Take Five Meditation offers chairs in the studio for your comfort. Ask your Guide if you don’t see them.
What happens if I’m late?
Unfortunately, to ensure a high-quality class that uses the full-allotted time for all clients, we won’t be able to disrupt a class to admit you to your scheduled class if you arrive after the doors are closed. As such, we recommend that you arrive at the studio at least ten to fifteen minutes early. Classes will begin right on time and the door to the meditation room will then be closed. (Please see our class schedule for times).
What is the cancellation policy?
To cancel your reservation for a Take Five Meditation class, you must cancel no less than 2 hours prior to the beginning of that class to return the class to your account. If you do not cancel or cancel too close to the class, you will be charged for the class and not issued a refund. You must also cancel your reservation 2 hours prior to the class if you have purchased an unlimited membership to avoid paying a $2 penalty for each missed class. All classes have a maximum capacity, so we need to keep seats open for those who want to attend.
I would like to do some research on meditation. Can you direct me?
A review of 114 studies found, in the context of poor physical health, consistent improvements in mental health and wellbeing, particularly reduced stress, anxiety, and depression where a mindfulness-based intervention was used.
Carlson, L. E. (2012). Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Physical Conditions: A Narrative Review Evaluating Levels of Evidence. ISRN Psychiatry, 2012, 1-21. doi:10.5402/2012/651583
“Some research suggests that practicing meditation may reduce blood pressure, symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression, and insomnia. Evidence about its effectiveness for pain and as a smoking-cessation treatment is uncertain” (source: National Institute of Health).
This study demonstrated that meditation may help reduce “blood pressure in association with decreased psychological distress, and increased coping in young adults at risk for hypertension” (source: PubMed.gov).
“Based on the results of this study, an affirmation can be made that meditation can be used as a non-invasive intervention treatment for improving fatigue, anxiety, quality of life, and emotional faculties of women with breast cancer,” (source: PubMed.gov).
A 2010 review of peer-reviewed literature found that meditation and other mind-body therapies may help relieve some common menopausal symptoms like hot flashes.
“Research suggests that meditation can be a powerful tool for learning control of attention, regulating emotion, and increasing self-awareness. New scientific data show that during meditation there are a number of measurable biological changes, and the data suggest that meditation has the potential to impact mental and physical health. For example, neuroimaging suggests meditation may have an effect on brain function that persists even when someone is not meditating. Another study showed changes in certain genes related to inflammation and histones” (source: National Institute of Health).
“Often touted as the equivalent of going to the gym for the mind, mindfulness is an emergent phenomenon that promises relief for busy professionals—asking them to slow down, stop, sit, relax, breathe, and find a moment to be in the present. Indeed, sitting silently is fast becoming the new hurrying” (source).
Scientific Benefits of Meditation – 76 things you might be missing out on (source).
Which came first, the chicken or the egg?
We just wanted to see if you read all the way to the bottom. However, some have said that meditation helped them answer life’s most difficult questions.