A brief talk about Nidra

WHAT IS YOGA NIDRA

Yoga Nidra in Sanskrit mean Yogic Sleep, but it is not sleep. It is a powerful meditation technique from the Tantra Yoga tradition. It is both a name of a state of being and of the practice that creates that change of consciousness.

The practitioner through Nidra learns to relax and to facilitate their healing and can manifest seemingly magical changes in their life, helping to clean up karmic debris in their life.

We can use different means to achieve the state of nidra but the following will always be included:

1) Pranayama: Control of breathing and the ability to control and direct Prana, the life energy force.
2) Dharana: Concentration, cultivation and heightening of inner perceptual awareness
3)Pratyharya: the withdrawl of the senses and influences of the  mind.

The stages of the Yoga Nidra Practice are usually followed the same way, whether it’s a 10 min nidra or a 45 min practice.

1) Relaxation – you begin with a preliminary preparation of the body
2) Sankalpa– A personal goal is declared silently

3) Rotation of Consciousness – we then tour the whole body in a structured fashion
4) pranayama –awareness of the breath
5) Creative Visualization – Various images are visualized mentally
6) Your Sankalpa is repeated and, now in a highly suggestible state of consciousness, is programmed into the subconscious mind.
7) Return to Full Awareness – a careful and gradual return to a normal state

So what is a Sankalpa

‘Kalpa’ means vow, and ‘san’ is a derivative of the highest truth. A sankalpa then, is like a commitment in support of the deeper meaning of our life.

A sankalpa is the resolve, determination and good intention will that resonates precisely in your core and aligns with your highest intention .  Swami Saraswati describes it as a will power that is flexible enough to account for changing circumstances changes begin to manifest in your inner and outer world.

Think of your sankalpa as the seed and your mind the garden, we plant a seed and for it to grow we must cultivate it, water it, feed it and encourage it to grow.

We can often struggle to hear our own true sankalpa. We sometimes develop it within the practice of Yoga Nidra, without really understanding what it is.

What it isn’t is a wish, or a new years resolution. It isn’t a ‘wanna’ (I wanna lose weight, I wanna quit smoking I wanna a new job). Typically this kind of statement lacks commitment; a sankalpa is a statement of deeply held fact.

Roger Miller calls it  “a heartfelt desire, the calling of your higher self our DHARMA, it is what resonates with your true soul & what speaks of your true nature”. It takes time to find your sankalpa, to develop the deeper understanding of who we are before we can truly know where we are going.

You need to learn to listen to the deep voice within. Your heartfelt calling is already there, in you waiting for you to hear it.

Learning to find what you really want is a process that takes time; you have to dig through all the preprogramming that you have, the samskaras, the grooves in our record.

  • Here are a few tipson finding your sankalpa
  • Find and follow your Bliss
  • Try don’t to string too many things together
  • Make it simple right now your samkalpha might be to take the time to find a good sankalpha
  • Keep it in the present moment – the word WILL, means will power, but can also mean in the future
  • Tap into your psyche, your inner strength
  • you can say ‘I am stronger, I am becoming healthier, I live a healthy life, I belong, I am powerful

And remember that a sankalpa made with conviction, determination & perseverance but mostly from a deep sincerity will never fail you.11032678_10153162371738099_6929746366132006448_n

It’s all about the Sukha Baby

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‘Sukha’…… Approach your yoga practice (and life) with the understanding of Sukha.

Sukha translates as ‘easy’, for example ‘sukhasana, or easy pose’ but in our yoga practice (and life) it means so much more. In our modern western way of life ‘easy’ almost means lazy or to do something without any thought. ‘No problem’ we say, “its easy peasy”. But Sukha is actually work, but it is work that requires very little effort. So Sukha = Effortless Work. A student of Krishnamacharya, Ramaswami Srivatsa, says that sukha is ‘No Pain with Gain’. Read that again, NOT ‘no pain no gain’ (this isnt the 80’s) But ‘No Pain With Gain’. Whoa, can you do that? Can you really stop forcing your body into Chinese Acrobat positions and still be doing Yoga. Of course you can! Teachers are all the time saying ‘if it hurts don’t do it, but thats not the whole story. It isn’t just don’t get hurt, it is about trying to do poses without force, without strain and stress. Remember Yoga is about de-stressing not creating more stress. Feel how different it is to move out of pain instead of into pain. What a concept!

And like all of Yoga we can take these teachings off the mat and intertwine them into our lives. Matthieu Richard, a Buddhist monk and the author of Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill defines sukha as: “the state of lasting well-being that manifests itself when we have freed ourselves of mental blindness and afflictive emotions. It is also the wisdom that allows us to see the world as it is, without veils or distortions. It is, finally, the joy of moving toward inner freedom and the loving-kindness that radiates toward others.” So perhaps we can take that idea of No pain with gain into other aspects of how we live. When we are having a heated discussion with our spouse or partner, turn down the heat and apply Sukha, and see if you reach a mutually beneficial conclusion without the pain of arguing. Maybe you are stressing over how to ask for a raise at work, apply Sukha, see if your calm mind and presence can help you to better articulate the whys of you getting a raise. There are countless ways to bring Sukha into our lives.

So the next time your in bridge pose (or living your life) think about how you can use Sukha …..Effortless work. 

Om Shanti

Cheryl

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Yoga Nidra a resortative meditation / Re-post

Namaste everyone!

This is a re-post from a few months ago. I have been doing  regular Yoga Nidra workshops for a while now and usually let people know that they can access the nidra recording from my blog. But since the original post was a while ago and I have posted many times since then, it is a bit of trouble for them to locate and I had another workshop Saturday, so I am re-posting. I hope you find peace & joy in meditation.

If you aren’t familiar with yoga nidra, let me give you a little background. Yoga Nidra translates “Yogic Sleep”, but it isn’t sleeping. It’s a deep meditative state that allows the body to heal its self on a cellular level. Nidra is one method of Pratyahara, the 5th limb of yoga and the gradually withdrawal of your senses.

Yoga Nidra brings an incredible calmness, quietness and clarity to the mind & body, it also induces deep physical, emotional and mental relaxation. Yoga Nidra takes us through the many layers of awareness, down through the levels of consciousness and into our sub-conscience. In Yoga Nidra our brain moves beyond sleep & dreaming accessing the healing Theta waves & the restorative Delta waves, you are deeply relaxed and yet still in a state of awareness. It is deeply restorative and allows the body to completely de-stress.

I recorded the session, so if you‘d like to join us please make your self comfortable  by coming into savasana. Cover yourself with a blanket and place a bolster or pillows under your knees this will help your hips and lower back to be comfortable. This recording is about 35 minutes long, so allow yourself plenty of time. Give up any expectations of what you will experience in Yoga Nidra, and simply allow yourself the opportunity to relax. Relaxing takes practice, so meditate often and use this audio whenever you like.

I made the choice to have it hosted on YouTube, since YouTube is a video site, I had to make a video for it. So I just grabbed some flower pictures from our garden last year and some snowy pictures from last winter and made a slide show.  The picture quality isn’t the best and this is my first attempt at a YouTube video. Since I plan on uploading audio podcasts of live classes & workshops I’m going to research other hosting & posting options.

But hey, don’t worry about what it looks like just close your eyes put your head phones on and kick back.

Om Shanti

Yoga Nidra a sweet, slow meditation

On Saturday March 21, I lead a Yoga Nidra meditation, at Yoga East. I had about 15 participants, some knew about Yoga Nidra, some were new to the practice. Some brought their own blankets and pillows for comfort; some just used what the studio provided but everyone came to de-stress. Yoga East is such a calm space to begin with, with its bamboo floors, pale green walls and a welcoming atmosphere, that it didn’t take much coaxing for everyone to settle in. With bolsters under their knees and blankets to keep them from getting chilled, they all looked very comfortable.

If you aren’t familiar with yoga nidra, let me give you a little background. Yoga Nidra translates “Yogic Sleep”, but it isn’t sleeping. It’s a deep meditative state that allows the body to heal its self on a cellular level. Nidra is one method of Pratyahara, the 5th limb of yoga and the gradually withdrawal of your senses.

Yoga Nidra brings an incredible calmness, quietness and clarity to the mind & body, it also induces deep physical, emotional and mental relaxation. Yoga Nidra takes us through the many layers of awareness, down through the levels of consciousness and into our sub-conscience. In Yoga Nidra our brain moves beyond sleep & dreaming accessing the healing Theta waves & the restorative Delta waves, you are deeply relaxed and yet still in a state of awareness. It is deeply restorative and allows the body to completely de-stress.

 

I recorded the session, so if you‘d like to join us please make your self comfortable  by coming into savasana. Cover yourself with a blanket and place a bolster or pillows under your knees this will help your hips and lower back to be comfortable. This recording is about 35 minutes long, so allow yourself plenty of time. Give up any expectations of what you will experience in Yoga Nidra, and simply allow yourself the opportunity to relax. Relaxing takes practice, so meditate often and use this audio whenever you like.

I made the choice to have it hosted on YouTube, since YouTube is a video site, I had to make a video for it. So I just grabbed some flower pictures from our garden last year and some snowy pictures from last winter and made a slide show.  The picture quality isn’t the best and this is my first attempt at a YouTube video. Since I plan on uploading audio podcasts of live classes & workshops I’m going to research other hosting & posting options. I promise to get better 🙂

But hey, don’t worry about what it looks like just close your eyes put your head phones on and kick back.

Om Shanti