Meditation & Mindfulness

Bring meditation magic into your life. We can help you hocus, pocus, and refocus.

We’ve all heard about the numerous benefits of meditation. Less stress, lower blood pressure, being fully present, increasing patience, and boosting creativity. Sounds amazing, right? Sometimes starting a practice can be intimidating and frustrating. That’s where Danja Yoga can help. We use many meditation techniques at the studio and over the years have seen people transformed and renewed through the power of sitting.

Meditation & Mindfulness Classes

At Danja, we offer five signature meditation & mindfulness classes.

Meditation: Basics

Begin your meditation path and become more present in everyday life.

WEDNESDAYS 4:30PM

 

Discover less stress, more presence, increased patience, and a boost to creativity as you experience the numerous benefits of meditation. Learn the basics of meditation with our signature style of breath meditation. This easy-to-learn practice helps calm the noise of an active mind. Focusing on the breath will ground and center you into the here and now, providing a home to return to when the mind drifts off course.

The buzz words are anchor, presence, and calm.

Meditation: Breath

Give your body and mind the rest and relaxation they crave.

SUNDAYS 12PM

 

Experience the restful combination of breathwork, seated meditation, and Yoga Nidra. Each class begins with breathwork designed to calm and rebalance the nervous system. Once the body is relaxed, seated meditation is introduced. The second half of the class encourages rest and features Yoga Nidra, also known as Yogic Sleep. This guided meditation invites your body to deeply relax into a sleep state while the mind stays inwardly alert and conscious. No effort is required.

The buzz words are peace, rest, and healing.

Meditation: Wisdom

Set an intention and tap into the wisdom of meditation.

MONDAYS 8PM

 

Create an intention that’s uniquely yours and specific to whatever you’re encountering in your life. This intention can be the driving force to help manifest your goals and bring them to fruition. Guided contemplation and intention invite you to get more out of your practice and even more out of life.

The buzz words are contemplation, awareness, and intention.

Meditation: Heart

Connect with your heart and cultivate true happiness.

FRIDAYS 10:15AM

 

Loving Kindness meditation dissolves fear of intimacy with others and opens the heart to more compassion and empathy towards yourself and others. Uncover your radiant heart, awaken your practice, and widen your capacity to love more deeply. Feel connected to humanity and make your heart a little lighter.

The buzz words are love, equity, and connection.

Meditation: Courage

Tune in to emotions and discover what makes you uniquely you.

THURSDAYS 6PM

 

Learn to accept and appreciate the emotions that show up in life and stop fighting your own thoughts and feelings. Train the mind and brain to embrace life as it actually is. Work with the energy behind emotions to gain a new perspective and see those emotions as neither good nor bad. Befriend your emotions and celebrate the vivid spectrum of thoughts that are part of who you are.

The buzz words are presence, feelings, and beauty.

Benefits of Meditation

Boost Your Brain Power

Meditation can help you increase focus and concentration, build a stronger mind, and have higher levels of creativity and insight.

Experience Better Health

Meditation can enhance your emotional health by decreasing stress, anxiety, and depression. Physically, meditation can lower blood pressure, help control pain, and improve your sleep.

Find Balance in Your Life

Meditation trains the mind to find balance and be fully present so that you can appreciate the ebbs and flows of life.

Meditation just might make you kinder.

One of my meditation students shared a comical story in class. She started meditating and making it a regular part of her routine. One day her co-workers approached her and asked what she's been doing differently because she seemed calmer and a lot nicer. She responded that she's been meditating. Their response was, "GOOD, PLEASE DON'T STOP!"

Meditation Techniques

Meditation techniques taught at Danja include Shamatha/Calm Abiding, and Metta/Loving Kindness. 

Shamatha / Calm Abiding

BODY

Begin by taking a comfortable seat. The key word here is "comfortable." Meditation isn't torture! So take a moment to find ease. Loosely cross your legs and allow your knees to fall slightly below your hip bones. Sit up straight and make yourself tall.

Allow the hands to gently rest palms down on the thighs.

Slightly tuck your chin.

For this meditation you can keep your eyes open. Begin to gaze at a spot about two to four feet ahead of yourself on the floor. Make sure its a soft gaze and not an intense scowl!

BREATH

Are you breathing right now? (I hope the answer is yes!) This is your natural breath. There's no need to change it. Begin to notice the breath as it enters the nostrils and leaves as you exhale.

MIND

When your mind wanders, come back to the breath using it as your anchor. Imagine a huge ship in the ocean tossing its anchor overboard so that it can float in the same place and stay on course. Each time the mind wanders, remind yourself that you're breathing and begin noticing the breath again.

BENEFITS

Invites us to be more present in our work

Allows us to connect with friends and family in a genuine way

Invites us to be present for both the pleasurable and painful moments in life

Wakes us up to what is going on in this very moment

Cultivates powerful mindfulness that optimizes the interaction between attention and awareness

Develops stable attention

Develops strong inner strength

And it helps us to be a little nicer and more kind!

Metta / Loving Kindness

You can do this meditation seated or lying down. Recite the phrases aloud or silently in your mind, Each phrase plants a seed of loving wishes in our hearts. Once that seed is planted, it has no choice but to grow! As you contemplate the phrases, it helps to envision the person your sending loving kindness towards.

May I be filled with loving kindness.

May I be safe from inner and outer dangers.

May I be well in body and mind.

May I be at ease and happy.

There's several steps to this meditation. First, begin with yourself and then extend it to others. Each time you swith to a different person, replace I, with they, we, all beings, or even a person's name. Allow yourself time to genuinely reflect on the phrases and their meanings.

SELF — Begin the practice by cultivating love for yourself. When you love yourself, it's much easier to extend that love to others. As RuPaul says, "If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?" She's got a point! One who truly loves themselves won't harm others. One who loves themselves will tune into the energy of loving-kindness and understand how awesome it would be if every person in the world felt this feeling in their heart and readily shared it.

If you can't love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?

RuPaul Charles

Now let's send Loving Kindness to others:

RESPECTED PERSON — Such as a spiritual teacher, pastor, mentor, and/or counselor. It may even help to visualize them sitting in front of you and doing the meditation with and for you.

DEARLY BELOVED — Close family member or friend. These people might include parents, relatives, spouses, partners, children, and friends.

NEUTRAL PERSON — Someone you know, but have no special feelings towards. These are people you don't usually think about at all. You may not even know their name! They could be the barista who made your drink at Starbuck's this morning, the UPS delivery driver, or even someone you glanced towards when stopped at a traffic light.

DIFFICULT PERSON — Up until this point, the meditation has been fairly easy. Here's where we really start planting those seeds of loving kindness - and watering them - a lot! Think of someone you are currently having difficulty with. This could be your nemisis, mortal enemy or family member you have conflict with. Why send loving-kindness to your enemies? The reason is simple. If your enemies are well, happy, and peaceful, they won't be your enemies! Plus it kind of softens your heart towards them and makes you not dislike them as much!

ALL BEINGS — Envision the whole Universe—the Earth, the stars, plants, animals, reptiles, amphibians - you get the point! Think of everything you've ever experienced or thought, every being you've ever met, and all those you will ever meet. Send them loving kindness too.

Mindfulness Techniques

These are a few of the mindfulness techniques we've encountered and appreciated. We've gathered them from various sources and hope they help you live in the present moment. Why do you want to live in the present? So you don't miss anything!

CLASS AND MEETING BREATHING

When you go to classes or meetings, make a card that says BREATHE and put it somewhere where you can see it. Whenever you feel agitated, bored, antsy, anxious, or feel your mind wandering, look at the card. The reminder to breathe will help you to stay in the present moment. Take silent deep breaths, in through your nose and out your mouth. The point is to concentrate on your breathing.

7/11 BREATH

Breathe in for a count of seven.
Breathe out for a count of eleven.

3 - 2 - 1 CONTACT

Notice the three places where your body makes contact with the world. Your feet, legs, and arms are obvious ones, but also notice your skin meeting the air or touching the fabric of your clothes.

FOCUSED BREATHING

When you have negative thoughts, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Focus on your breath as it moves in and out of your body. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute can help.

BREATHE x 3

Breathe in,
Expand your body.
Breathe in,
Expand your mind.
Breathe in,
Expand your view.

BUDDHA'S BREATH

Breathe in for a count of eight.
Breathe out for a count of twelve.

4 - 7 - 8 BREATH

Breathe in for a count of four.
Hold for a count of seven.
Breathe out for a count of eight.

BOX BREATHING

Box breathing, also known as Four Square breathing, is a powerful, yet simple, relaxation technique that aims to clear the mind, relax the body, and improve focus. It's used by Navy Seals because it improves mental well-being, boosts brain performance, changes the body's response to stress in the future, and helps deactivate the fight, flight, or freeze response.

  1. Close your eyes. Breathe in through your nose while counting to four slowly. Feel the air enter your lungs.
  2. Hold your breath inside while counting slowly to four. Try not to clamp your mouth or nose shut. Simply avoid inhaling or exhaling for 4 seconds.
  3. Begin to slowly exhale for 4 seconds.
  4. Pause and hold the breath for a count of four.
  5. Repeat steps 1 to 4 at least three times. Ideally, repeat the three steps for 4 minutes, or until calm returns.

Open Meditation

Come to the studio on Tuesday and Thursday at 4pm for Open Meditation. We provide the meditation props, room, and ambient music. You provide the breath and focus. These sessions are self-led and donation-based. All proceeds go to Kaleidoscope Youth Center.

Meet Our Mindfulness Guides

DANIEL
Danja Yoga's co-founder and Director of Meditation & Mindfulness, Daniel Sernicola
Daniel Sernicola is an experienced registered yoga teacher with the Yoga Alliance. He has over 2,100 hours of yoga and meditation teacher training from some of the most respected teachers today, including Dr. A.L.V. Kumar, Sage Rountree, Cyndi Lee, Marcia Miller, Ethan Nichtern, and Sharon Salzberg. A student and teacher of Tibetan Buddhism, Daniel has developed meditation and mindfulness programs inviting others to realize the benefits of meditation in their lives. He has primarily studied in the Shambhala and other Tibetan traditions, and has also studied Zen Buddhism. Daniel is passionate about bringing yoga and mindfulness to youth and developed a comprehensive program in the Columbus community for anti-bullying, self-acceptance, and healing from trauma.

1980s

Daniel grew up in Canal Fulton, Ohio and was introduced to various spiritual paths by his parents. His mother instilled in him the importance and power of prayer and contemplation. His father's side of the family was deeply rooted in Catholism. Early on Daniel learned the value of tradition and spiritual discipline. Bullied from the beginning of his public school experience, Daniel had a strong desire to fit in and belong.

1990s

As a teenager, he landed in the fundamentalist tradition and developed a clearer understanding of Christianity.  At the age of 17, Daniel decided to accept and be his true self and came out as a senior in high school. This admission intensified the bullying and turmoil in his life and instilled in him deep compassion and understanding.

2000s

As a 21-year-old, Daniel was introduced to Tibetan Buddhism and began meditating. This was the first time in his life he connected with inner peace. Daniel found meditation to be extremly healing and little by little began to heal both his mind and heart. Daniel's interest in meditation eventually led him to yoga. The somatic mind-body awareness provided Daniel the vision help others achieve inner peace and make yoga and meditation accessible to all.

Present

Encouraged by his mentors, he pursued several teacher training programs and began offering meditation & yoga instruction. In his mid-thirties, he was introduced to the Shambhala Buddhist tradition. Though he enjoyed the aspect of sangha, he stepped away due to sexual misconduct originating from Shambhala's leadership. In 2020 Daniel co-founded Danja Yoga Studios in Columbus, OH. He launched Teacher Training programs focused in yoga and Buddhist meditation.

To engage in any path of well-being or self-development, some small part of us must already believe that we’re worth developing.

Ethan Nichtern

Testimonials

Yoga nidra and meditation with Daniel is absolute bliss. He guides you through a series of breath and meditation techniques that will leave you feeling totally rejuvenated in your body and mind. Daniel has a natural ability to articulate the ancient teachings of yoga in such an easygoing and accessible way. He is a skillful meditation teacher and you can tell that he is truly passionate about what he teaches. This is the perfect class if you need an energetic reset or just want to give yourself the gift of deep relaxation.

Kelly, Yoga Nidra Student

Daniel is an expert at guided meditation. He masterfully combines clear instructions with ample silence. His buttery voice soothes you into deep relaxation and helps you find your own inner calm. Be gone, "monkey mind"! Daniel to the rescue.

Wendy, Yoga Nidra Student

Daniel’s approach to breath and meditation is one that I’ve come to appreciate and attend on a weekly basis. I look forward to each class because it allows me the opportunity to soften and unwind my mind. I’ve taken bits from the practice and I’ve incorporated it into my daily life, it’s especially helpful during stressful periods within my life or when I have a demanding work week. Daniel truly cares and I can tell that he enjoys sharing the gift of Yoga Nidra, it has made a positive impact in my day to day activities and life.

Vance, Yoga Nidra Student

We'd Love to Hear from You

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Getting Here

We are located in The Gemma Building at the corner of Ohio and Oak in Olde Towne East. Our studio is a 3 - 5 minute drive from Downtown Columbus

Parking

There's ample parking on the streets around the studio. Please avoid parking in the lot directly next to the studio as it is for residents of the building

Bikes

There's a bike rack outside in front of the left side of our building. We also won't object to you bringing your bike inside.

 

Traveling from Out of Town

If you’re traveling from out of town, you’ll find Olde Towne East is charming and walkable. A number of hotels are a short drive from the studio. There's plenty of AirBnBs as well. Dozens of restaurants, coffee shops, gastropubs, and microbreweries are in a few blocks’ radius from the studio. We’re happy to  make recommendations.

Contact the Studio

info@danjayoga.com

614.947.0629

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