Yoga Nidra is a type of guided meditation that allows us to remain aware while we enter the dream and sleep states of consciousness. This may sound tricky but the technique is actually very practical and accessible to all. Because we lie in a comfortable position (also known as the yoga pose savasana) for the duration of the practice of yoga nidra rather than participating in the other more technical and physically demanding yoga poses, people of all ages, fitness levels and health statuses can participate.
Yoga nidra is said to allow us to relax our nervous systems in the most powerful way to humans without the use of chemical agents. If that alone isn’t enough to convince you to try it, here are some other benefits. The practice of yoga nidra:
Decreases stress and anxiety, decreases symptoms of PTSD, chronic pain and chemical dependency.
Increases feelings of peace, calm and clarity, increases awareness and focus.
Transforms negative habits, behaviors and ways of thinking.
There are several components of a full yoga nidra meditation. While this week’s classes will still be hot vinyasa yoga, I will incorporate one or two components of yoga nidra. Our nervous systems will be grateful!
Do you remember when going out to play was a huge part of your day? I know among adults play is sometimes considered unproductive and a waste of time. I disagree. The more relaxed I am, the more productive I am. Ideas and solutions to problems almost effortlessly spring to mind when I am open, having fun and feeling free. And what better way to find a relaxed state of mind and body than by playing?
How does play fit into my yoga practice? Very prominently! The Sanskrit word lila can be loosely translated as play. One use of this term refers to the notion that the universe was born through playful creativity, freedom and bliss rather than necessity. Whoa! If an entire universe can be created by having fun, what will happen if we try some playful variations of side crow during my classes this week? The possibilities are limitless! Show up this Friday from 2-3pm at Towson Yoga Works if you want to have some fun!
These words by Liz Huntly are a perfect description of this (and most!) week’s yoga classes.
“Yoga brings the body into stressful positions, challenges the muscles to hold longer, to stretch deeper. We create situations of tension. And then we learn to soften into that discomfort, to find stillness at the centre of a self-imposed vortex. The ability to maintain equanimity in a yoga pose is (in my personal experience) directly related to the ability to maintain sanity in a high-speed, low-connection culture.”
Join me this Friday from 2-3pm at Towson Yoga Works to find balance among all of the imbalances that are an essential part of being human.