Do you read ‘Yoga’ and think movement? Do you read ‘Yoga’ and think ‘I can’t do that’. Did you know movement is only one aspect of yoga? There are ‘8 limbs’ of yoga and physical poses are only 1 of these, albeit the primary way we practice yoga in the West. Yoga Nidra is a yoga practice which doesn’t involve any movement and is suitable for all ages, and physical abilities. You can either lie down or sit in a chair; what’s most important is that you are comfortable during a session. Props to help you get comfy can include cushions, bolsters, eye pillows and blankets.
All you need to do, when you come along to one of our Yoga Nidra sessions, is follow along as I lead you, verbally, through a process to relax and release tension from your physical body, and mental tension from your mind. You may drift off into sleep, and that’s completely fine and quite normal when you start.
I guide you to systematically direct your attention to various parts of your body, helping the body to relax. I’ll guide you with some breath awareness before we move to experience opposite sensations and thoughts which supports releasing mental and emotional tension stored in the body. At the beginning, and end, of Yoga Nidra you will set an intention, which plants a seed for a quality or attribute you’d like to inspire in your life. Yoga Nidra sets up the ideal conditions to set this resolve, as you are relaxed and receptive to your intention.
It is said that 20 minutes of Yoga Nidra is the equivalent of 60 minutes of deep sleep.
Your nervous system is supported to be more balanced in Yoga Nidra, as in any meditation practice. If you spend most of your waking hours operating with from your Sympathetic Nervous System (the fight flight arm of your autonomic nervous system) by being busy running from one thing to the next, it becomes dominant and is physically exhausting. Practicing Yoga Nidra, gives the SNS a break, as the Parasympathetic Nervous System (the rest and digest arm) is activated, promoting recovery and healing in your body.
The form of Yoga Nidra I guide is that adapted by Psychologist Dr Richard Millar PhD, known as iRest Yoga Nidra. Research has proved this practice to be successful in treating PTSD and managing pain. The benefits of easing tension and promoting wellbeing aren’t only experienced by those suffering from PTSD, but are available for everyone who takes time to practice.
The benefits I’ve experienced from Yoga Nidra, include:
Learning to welcome all thoughts, emotions, feelings, people, situations. This helps in being more responsive and less reactive, a foundational benefit of meditating. This ability has allowed me to be more equipped to meet the challenges in my day to day life.
Being less judgmental to myself and others.By practicing welcoming everything that presents in meditation, an in life, and also acknowledging I’m doing the best I can with the resources I have (and of course still responsible for all my actions), I’ve noticed this has brought more kindness and compassion to how I treat myself and others.
Knowing that everything is a messenger.Whether it’s my emotions, thoughts or the feeling I have in my gut, these all are telling me something, when I stop to listen, and inquire.