YOGA NIDRA MEDITATION
Yoga nidra (Sanskrit: योग निद्रा) or yogic sleep), meditation is a simple yet profound technique adapted by Swami Satyananda Saraswati from the traditional tantric esoteric traditions rooted in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy) and the practices of pratyahara (withdrawal of senses) and mental nyasa rituals (‘place’ efforts of relaxation on specific parts of the body). Yoga nidra was experienced by Satyananda Saraswati when he was living with his guru Sivananda Saraswati in Rishikesh.
In yoga nidra the practitioner remains in a state of light withdrawal of the 5 senses (pratyahara) with four of his or her senses internalised, that is, withdrawn, and only the hearing still connects to the instructions. The yogic goal of both paths, deep relaxation (yoga nidra) and meditation are the same, a state of meditative consciousness called samadhi.
As well as being relaxing, restorative and restful, studies have shown that yoga nidra can also:
• Ease insomnia
• Decrease anxiety
• Alleviate stress
• Reduce PTSD, chronic pain and chemical dependency
• Heighten awareness and focus
• Transform negative habits, behaviours and ways of thinking
• Foster feelings of peace, calm, and clarity
During Yoga Nidra, we create deep relaxation for health, mental peace, and higher awareness and has been quoted to say that it is a practice of self mastery of the autonomic nervous system.
We engage in simple breathing exercises to release tension and trigger the nervous system to induce a state of parasympathetic activation.
Creating a Sankalpa (Intention or Resolve)
This intention is something we wish to manifest in any area of our life or a quality we wish to cultivate and/or embody. For example, someone might want to manifest fearlessness, courage, inner peace, or fulfilment.
Rotation of Consciousness
The primary objective in this stage is to isolate the mind. The mind is focused, alert, and separated from external stimuli. We separate from the body, from the senses, and from their need for attention. So we create command control over the sensory mechanisms of the physical body, specifically through exercises which deal with the mapping of the brain and opens the gate to the contents of the subconscious and unconscious levels of mind.
Awareness of Prana
The objective here is not only to enhance our ability to be aware and connected to our emotional responses, but also to work with the subtle body. We want to become mindful of the realms that lie beyond body and experience the pranic tide of breath without judgement.
Awareness of Feeling and Emotion
Our aim at this stage is to use the interaction of polarized emotional experience through a type of word association. We want to dissolve our attachment to emotional and conditional programming that lies hidden from conscious awareness in the subconscious mind.
At this stage, we access and work with contents of the unconscious mind and samskaras which are our mental and emotional patterns, individual impressions, ideas, or actions. Together, our samskaras make up our programming. Here, guidance through a series of archetypal images or a guided visualization in form of a vivid journey will evoke responses in our relaxed mind. We cleanse and heal the mine field of deep-rooted conditioning.
The Final Step
We revisit our intention (sankalpa) and plant it into the field of the unconscious mind. We then return awareness back to the body. Yoga Nidra takes us through a magical process of releasing the physical body, quieting the brain waves, moving towards a calm theta state.
All abilities are welcome, you may be brand new to meditation, or have meditated for years and curious to experience another form of practice. Yoga nidra meditation is offered in small groups to ensure a sense of comfort and ease. You will pre pay for 6 classes in advance (I am unable to offer a refund for any missed class, unless there are mitigating circumstances).
In the comfort of your own home
If you are struggling to make one of the classes, but would appreciate the teachings and practice, perhaps consider gathering family and friends together and I can facilitate the meditation in the comfort of your own home (minimum 4 people). Enjoy the benefits of the practice on a day and time to suit you. Call me to organise.
6 week Trauma Therapy Course
Life events can take their toll. Accident, injury, illness or traumatic experiences can leave us feeling bound and constricted in our body and mind, experiencing muscle pain, insomnia, panic attacks, hypervigilance and more.
This trauma therapy course run over 6 weeks will offer you insight into the physiology and psychology and neurology behind these reactions and how we might then reduce or resolve them.
People with histories of trauma may experience extreme disconnection from the body or may not be able to feel whole areas of the body. When we become muffled like this, we no longer feel fully alive.
We begin each session with a different subject for example: what happens in the brain and with the nervous system in trauma state, breathing techniques (pranayama) to calm and reassure, archetypes within the unconscious, thoughts and beliefs, how stress effects the body and the cycle of muscle contraction and inflammation, metta practice and energy systems.
We then ease into a yin yoga practice and yoga nidra meditation to have a felt sense of what it is to feel relaxed and find our sense of agency and safety. We finish off with time to reflect before moving forward with our day.
The groups are small to ensure you feel heard and we tend to co-create the course week by week, pending your needs.
You are very welcome to attend more than one course.
Wednesday 6th June, 11am to 1pm at Floating Point Flotation Centre, Pangbourne
Wednesday 5th September, 11am to 1pm at Floating Point Floatation Centre, Pangbourne
Wednesday 24th October, 11am to 1pm at Floating Point Floatation Centre, Pangbourne
Email me for your booking form at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Once monthly I offer a mini retreat offering both the potency of yin yoga and yoga nidra meditation and themed with a different subject each time, exploring flower essences, essential oils, total bliss out, women’s cycle and seasons and insights into the physiology of stress. This mini retreat gives us the space to simply slow down and take a breath, release the week past and prepare for the week ahead. Contact me for dates, or check Facebook events.
1 to 1, private tutoring available, contact me for further information