"The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it."
- Thich Nhat Hanh
What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra, also known as "yogic sleep" or "effortless relaxation," is a form of guided meditation where the practitioner lies down while a teacher guides the session. Through this practice, the body finds its natural state of equilibrium, leading to balanced and soft breathing, revealing both conscious and unconscious aspects of the mind. This leads to a profound state of blissful awareness where the practitioner can direct their attention towards the nature of consciousness and awareness. As a result, one can experience interconnectedness and become aware of their true, expansive, and deeply restful nature. The practice of Yoga Nidra is gaining popularity worldwide, with ongoing research further proving its effectiveness in promoting restful being, healing, restoration, and awakening to one's deepest self.
Is Yoga Nidra for you?
Yoga Nidra is a practice that is accessible to anyone, but it is especially beneficial for those who struggle to let go during meditation, and for those who are dealing with sleep deprivation, trauma, anxiety, or depression. It is also perfect for individuals who are curious about the deep states of meditation that they have heard about but have never been able to achieve. The efficacy of the Yoga Nidra practice I teach has been proven through research and has become an essential tool in my yoga therapy practice, helping to ease the symptoms of various conditions and boost overall well-being. Countless individuals in my private clinic have been surprised by the power and efficacy of this practice, which paradoxically does not attempt to fix anything but instead welcomes and listens deeply. Through this practice, problems of both the body and mind find harmony and resolution. I take pleasure in teaching this paradox - that true transcendence comes from embracing and surrendering to ourselves and life as it is - the heart of yoga and embodiment of enlightened living.
The Essence of Practice
When practicing Yoga Nidra, it's important to lie down and relax. The teacher will guide you through the process, which usually takes around 45-50 minutes. To start, you set an intention for the practice and inquire into your deeper intentions for life. This helps to create a sense of purpose and focus for the practice.
Next, you begin to form the foundations of an "inner resource" - a playlist of feelings and associations that make you feel safe and well. This can include memories of happy times, positive affirmations, or visualizations of a safe place. By connecting with these feelings and associations through memory, imagery, and a felt sense, you are able to tap into a sense of well-being, belonging, security, and ease.
Once the foundations of the inner resource have been established, you can begin to gather concentration and sensory awareness by exploring the body and breath. In a way, you use your senses as a microscope, exploring, listening, and welcoming every aspect of the body and breath. This practice leads the body and mind into a deep state of relaxation.
It's in this relaxed state that various emotions, thoughts, and beliefs may start to emerge - often unexpectedly. These could be experiences or emotions that you haven't had the chance to deal with, or perhaps you've found them too overwhelming and have therefore repressed them. However, with your body and mind rested "in neutral," you're able to welcome and respond to these thoughts, feelings, and beliefs in new ways. By deeply listening and welcoming them, you may find new understanding or resolution. Classical yogic techniques of reflecting on opposites, or feeling your underlying true nature of open, spacious awareness, can help you trust and go deeper into your experience.
As the mind and emotions are seen, heard, welcomed, and connected with, they become increasingly subtle. This gives rise to the final phase of the practice: exploring consciousness. Through Yoga Nidra, you can dive into your Higher Self and recognize it as open, expansive, unbounded, unlimited awareness. This is the ultimate liberation and the highest realization you can come to. By practicing Yoga Nidra regularly, you can cultivate a deeper connection with your true nature and experience a profound sense of peace and well-being.
Join me on journey of Self - Discovery through practice of Yoga Nidra
Every Monday and Friday @7PM
To register - www.anikaloveyoga.com