If you want to feel truly rested in an hours time or less, then Yoga Nidra might be the ticket for you!
First of all, let me say, I am not what one would call a Yogi. I love exercise of all types and the Hot Yoga class I take at Epic Yoga on Friday mornings fits nicely into my schedule. I love that the class is early (6 AM) and 45 minutes long. Epic Yoga has several classes throughout the day and offers various workshops throughout the year.
I had the privilege of attending a Yoga Nidra and Acupuncture workshop at Epic Yoga a couple of weeks ago. I had no idea what to expect and as you will see, I was pleasantly surprised and rested.
Yoga Nidra means “deep rest” or more commonly – “yogic sleep”. We started with a short yoga practice to warm up the body. Once we were done, we laid on our mat in shavasana. Then, the owner of the studio, Leanne, began a guided meditation that is designed to take you to a restful state – that place just between being awake and falling asleep. As she guided us through the meditation, I began to feel myself slipping into wakeful sleep. I was awake but if I wanted to move, I couldn’t. I wanted to lift my hand but it was heavy and felt really grounded to my mat. My entire body felt that way.
As Leanne guided us, she suggested that we listen for sounds outside the four walls of the studio. I know that the interstate is near so I concentrated on the sounds of the vehicles. To my amazement, I could hear trucks and cars so clearly that I could identify a big semi-truck or a small car by the sound of the engine. The interstate is about 1000 yards away.
Leanne guided us through the relaxation of each part of our body. My body began to become even more relaxed. I was awake and alert but felt but could feel my body in a restful state. The acupuncturist came around and inserted two needles into my ears. I barely felt it. The needles in the ear affect the central nervous system taking you deeper into a rest. This did not hurt and I fully intend to have an acupuncture session. I will let you know how that goes!
Leanne completed the guided meditation and the needles were removed. We began to wake ourselves up by wiggling our fingers and toes, and rotating our wrists and ankles.
I truly felt rested. Leanne said that the one hour guided meditation was the equivalent of four hours of deep, restful sleep and advised us not to make any major decisions that night (no telling what we might agree to). I slept great and on Monday, felt like I had a very low-key weekend with some extra sleep.
A couple of days later I reached out to Leanne for some additional insight on Yoga Nidra. Here is some information she shared:
Helps with trauma, stress and anxiety
Calms the body by moving along the center of the brain, systematically relaxing the body
My favorite thing that Leanne shared with me is that yoga nidra is being used to help soldiers who are suffering from injuries and/or PTSD. It helps them to rest, and calm their minds and bodies. This information means a lot to me. I wish I could have shared it with my Dad.
Why add Yoga Nidra to your life
In our go-go world, the opportunity to shut down for a half hour or more, and be truly rested when you are finished, is a gift you should consider for yourself. If you want to reduce stress and anxiety, a yoga nidra practice might be just right for you. Leanne provided a link to one of her guided meditations. Please feel free to use it. She has an extremely soothing, pleasant voice. She will guide you effortlessly through the process, and there is a calmness in the way she talks and guides you. A process where you get to lie on the floor and relax!
To try out Leanne’s 35 minute yoga nidra, click here and scroll all the way to the bottom of the page.
Enjoy your rest,
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Photos courtesy of me, my husband or Unsplash.com