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Contemplative Yoga

Monastic Wisdom for Body, Mind, and Spirit

Registration Fee: $120 USD

Program Description

You are invited to explore the relationship between body, breath, mind, and spirit through a series of 20 yoga practices that were offered over a period of two years.

In our yoga classes Abbey Program Coordinator and yoga instructor Melinda Thomas blends principles of Benedictine and inclusive spirituality with gentle, fluid asanas (yoga postures) for an experience of contemplative movement. Each practice weaves a heart centered theme with deep breathing, skillful alignment cues, and plenty of modifications to cultivate harmony in your body, mind, and spirit. Themes are inspired by yoga principles, monastic wisdom, the Celtic wheel of the year, and rhythms of nature. Our contemplative yoga series seeks to honor the traditional spirituality of yoga in conversation with monastic and Celtic wisdom.

No prior yoga background is necessary. All experience levels and bodies are welcome!

What would it be like to relax into your breath and trust the wisdom of your body?

Do you long to embody the rhythm of the seasons?

Does the practice of yoga call to your spirit even if you don’t know where to begin?

What's Included

  • 20, one hour long recorded yoga classes with Melinda Thomas in video and audio format that include
    • 3 Yin yoga practices – Yin yoga is a series of gentle seated or reclining postures held for 3-5 minutes at a time to improve circulation, settle the breath, and ease the mind
    • 2 Yoga nidra practices – Yoga nidra, which means yogic sleep, is a guided meditation experienced while lying down to promote deep rest and rejuvenation
    • 15 well sequenced practices that include standing postures, gentle backbends, seated poses, forward folds, easeful twists, and accessible flows
  • Modifications are offered throughout each practice. This is about cultivating a contemplative relationship with your body rather than performing a posture to match an external image.
  • Recommended books and resources for further exploration related to the theme or style of the classes

You have immediate, life-time access to all of the material and can engage the practices at any time.

A yoga mat, two blocks, a strap or scarf, and a blanket are recommended. No prior yoga background necessary. All levels of experience and bodies are welcome.

*Wisdom Council member Jamie Marich is a guest presenter for one of the yoga sessions

Your Guide for the Journey


Melinda Thomas, E-RYT 500

Melinda Thomas, E-RYT 500 is the Program Coordinator for Abbey of the Arts providing program and logistical support, forum facilitation, and yoga offerings. She is an experienced yoga teacher and has been studying and practicing yoga for more than twenty-five years. In each of her classes and workshops Melinda weaves spiritual and contemplative themes into accessible, alignment based movement practice. Her aim is to honor the spiritual foundation of yoga in conversation with monastic and contemplative wisdom that offers participants a safe, inclusive, and integrated experience. Melinda is a writer and the author of Sacred Balance: Aligning Body and Spirit Through Yoga and the Benedictine Way. She lives in North Carolina with her son whose room is often littered with LEGOs and who still wants to cuddle. Visit her website >>

Praise for the Course

Thank you, Melinda! Feeling rooted and ready to spread my branches as I head into my work day.
Jeannie Cole
I have a better understanding of yoga especially in relation to breath and the elements.
Diana Turner-Forte
Thank you Melinda for making the practice such a safe container wherein I could listen to my body and heart and make appropriate choices in that moment.
Elaine Breckenridge
I started to practice yoga as a way to heal my physical body after some core area surgery and it has helped me to return to my martial arts practice in a healthy way. I appreciated the focus on breathing into the body while being grounded.


Your registration constitutes an agreement with our online program Terms and Conditions below.

All prices displayed in USD.


Registration Fee

If you need a different payment plan or a scholarship to make this program accessible, please get in touch with us.

Terms and Conditions

Please consider your purchase carefully and review the many free materials we have on our website to make sure the program will be a good fit or get in touch with any questions.

We ask that you honor our work by not sharing the program materials with others who are not enrolled.

Please contact us for permission to quote in settings beyond the program

Some self-study retreats include video or audio recordings of sessions that were recorded in a live community offering of the retreat and may make reference to forums or other modes of sharing. Please disregard these as self-study retreats do not have these available.

If you choose a payment plan and stop payment before fulfilling the commitment without contacting us to make other arrangements, your access to the program will be removed.