What the what is Yoga Nidra?
It was after teaching my first class of yoga nidra that I witnessed the powerful potential of this ancient practice.
A women came up to me, slightly in shock and with a great sense of relief in her being to ask me what “that” was. She said some form of dis-ease that she had been working on healing for a long time had been significantly relieved, maybe spontaneously healed during the session. It was a very positive experience for me to receive her in the space she was in and I remembered being quite surprised and also in awe.
Though not necessarily uncommon, spontaneous realization and healing is not something I’d guarantee in a yoga nidra session, still the experience really accentuated the validity of the method for me. I knew I hadn’t really done anything, basically reading through the steps in my notes; however following the very specific and seemingly random, sometimes comical, guidance had real impact. I guess the ancient yogis were on to something.
Interestingly, because of accounts like these, “[r]esearchers are examining the practice’s potential to help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; addicts struggling to get clean; people with depression, cancer, and MS; health care workers; and married couples coping with stress and insomnia.”
So what is it?
Contrary to better known yogas, yoga nidra, translated as yoga ‘sleep’, occurs while lying down and involves as little movement as possible. Through a sequence of instructions, simple imagery, felt senses and the use of paradox, the individual is guided towards a very specific and powerful space of healing and relaxation. A space of awareness where our true nature resides, outside the ego mind. A place rich with potential.
As recognized yoga nidra expert, Richard Miller states:
“Yoga nidra…can be practiced for countless reasons: to induce profound relaxation in your body and mind,; eliminate stress; overcome insomnia; solve personal and interpersonal problems; resolve trauma; and neutralize and overcome anxiety, fear, anger and depression…[y]oga nidra dissolves the obstacles that stand in the way of our leading an authentic life and purpose and meaning, and for those who are interested, it can awaken us into living an enlightened life of self realization as our True Nature”.
Perhaps the most exciting thing for me, is that yoga nidra is not just a body of knowledge to learn but rather an experience to have. Although the concepts of true nature, ego and liberation can be understood easy enough, understanding them rarely brings the change and transformation desired. Yoga nidra provides a unique and powerful arena where these concepts of realization are not just understood but engaged, felt and experienced, and thus the impact can be transformational.
Join me and experience the practice for yourself
Thursday February 16th 7.15 - 8.45pm $17
Friday mornings starting February 24th 9am - 10.15am 6 weeks for $81
Visit www.thenesthotyoga.com for more details and to register.
See you there,
In the Vinyasa Foundations series this past Monday we focused on lowering into Chaturanga Dandasana from both plank on the knees and high plank using a block under the chest as a guide to how much to lower down. It is important to be aware of how your shoulders are positioned during the transition in to Chaturanga as letting the shoulders roll forward can lead to injury. This article outlines some strengthening and activating exercises to ensure proper function and alignment for your shoulders. Enjoy!
Sarah-Jane loves learning, listening, sharing and doing yoga!