(The left picture is the brain responding to Yoga Nidra and to the right is the response while resting- pictures from Yoga Nidra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (2013 Golden Jubilee Edition)
The more "in-tune" I become with myself, the more open I have been to trying new things. I have decided to not let the looming fear of uncertainty dictate my day to day living.
Karen Noe, an author and energy healer (among many other things; see button to the left side of the screen for more information) offers classes and workshops to people throughout the year. I decided to go out of my comfort zone and finally sign up for one. I selected "The Yoga Nidra Workshop" and I immediately felt comfort with the word, "yoga" as I am somewhat familiar with it. However, don't let me fool you! I have been exposed to limited amounts of yoga in a studio and primarily through Tony Horton in his P90x series. I do know that I feel in love with Yoga when I was practicing it and appreciated how my mind, body and soul responded to it... so... why not?
We were requested to bring a yoga mat, blanket and something to block the light out from your eyes; I naturally began thinking what all of these items would be used for and was able to perfectly place what the need of these items would be. I also made sure I wore my "cool" compression black leggings ready to get my "vinyasa" on but within moments of meeting our delightful instructor, Annette, I quickly learned this experience would be different than what I had originally anticipated.
The combination of Yoga Nidra was described in our handout as, "... the art of conscious relaxation. Yoga, meaning union, or one pointed awareness and Nidra, meaning sleep. You will experience going into the conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind during the practice." So, in a nutshell, we were all instructed to lay down on our mats, put something over our eyes, cover our bodies with a blanket (I am still so happy that I brought the soft, heavy fluffy one) and just relax. Um, yes please🙋🏻- sign me up! It was the best surprise ever! Sure, I would love to lay down and relax! It has been said that one hour of this practice is equivalent to four hours of sleep; experiencing this practice, I can honestly tell you I came out of it feeling rested, clear and energized. According to the literature we received in this workshop based on the book: Yoga Nidra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (2013 Golden Jubilee Edition), we learned the benefits of Yoga Nidra targets three different types of tensions (Muscular, Emotional and Mental tensions) which are generally the culprits in "...stress and depression in modern life."
Some of the therapeutic benefits of Yoga Nidra are:
-aides in the healing of heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, digestive issues, MS and cancer patients, PMS and arthritis
-Relaxes central and autonomic nervous system
-General well being
Annette's voice was calming and soothing. One of my favorite parts about our instructor was her excitement in educating each of us on the value of this practice and the impact it has made in her life. Isn't it so important that we give credit to people when they do something that impresses us? Something that they have overcome to get where they are today? Annette's story was heartfelt and strong. It takes a special person to be able to bring a room full of strangers to a point of complete and utter relaxation (and some magical snores reverberated the essence of "delta" land -no judgement, I promise- I loved every second of knowing everyone was just as relaxed as I was!) At the end I felt replenished and rejuvenated! The format of the workshop had time allotted at the end where you could hear all of the different experiences and this might have been one of my favorite parts of the entire experience. Each person goes through something different and according to Annette, this is true down to each time you practice this. I highly recommend trying this out! It was really awesome!
Here's here information if you decide you ever want to go to a day spa in your head!