What is Yoga Nidra? Yoga Nidra is an ancient technique that offers profound release from the stresses of today. Not only is the practice effective at soothing the nervous system and balancing hormonal secretions in the body, this guided somatic meditation practice can lead to a lasting change in beliefs and behaviors, as evidenced by successful application with Veterans returning from war who suffered from PTSD. (1)
Tell me about the process: This is a simple practice, available to everyone regardless of age and /or health conditions. With guidance from the facilitator, practitioners develop and utilize a Sankalpa, similar to an affirmation, during the practice. Sankalpa is a short phrase that describes exactly what the participant is seeking in life. At the time it is applied in the practice, the body and mind are in a deeply receptive state so that the Sankalpa facilitates a clearer way of seeing and being in the world.
What do I do? Participants relax, comfortably supported on the floor or in a chair as I lead you on a meditative journey that includes body awareness, breath awareness, and deep relaxation. As you rest and follow along with my words, your body relaxes and brain wave patterns shift, taking you away from the overstimulation of a busy life and towards a place of deep rest and rejuvenation on many levels.
More good news: Just 15 minutes in this practice offers the equivalent rest of an hour of sleep.
From Author David Whyte: REST is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. Rest is not stasis but the essence of giving and receiving. Rest is an act of remembering, imaginatively and intellectually, but also physiologically and physically. To rest is to become present in different way, especially to give up on the will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals. To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we put it right; to rest is to fall back, literally or figuratively from outer targets, not even to a sense of inner accomplishment or an imagined state of attained stillness, but to a different kind of meeting place, a living, breathing state of natural exchange… (2)
Several 5-week sessions happen throughout the year
on Wednesdays from 10-11 am
Next one begins on February 19th, 2014
Sessions are scheduled for February 19 – March 19; April 16 – May 14;
September 10 – October 8; and October 22 – November 19.
Would love to have you there!
Sharon Harvey Alexander, RYT 500 hr.
Yoga Teacher, Yoga Therapist, Health, Wellness and Lifestyle Coach
Please click here for a great review of the various oils we might select for use on our bodies. This practices nourishes the skin, and all the deeper tissues of the body, too! Ask me for details...
From Classical Ayurvedic Texts:
The body of one who uses oil massage regularly does not become affected much, even if subjected to accidental injuries or strenuous work. By using oil massage daily, a person is endowed with pleasant touch, trimmed body parts, and becomes strong, charming and least affected by old age.Charaka Samhita: Sutrasthana: V: 88-89
Abhyanga should be resorted to daily. It wards off old age, exertion and aggravation of vata.Ashtanga Hrdayam: Sutrasthana: II: 8-9
Anointing the body with oil. According to Deepak Chopra and many other Ayurvedic Practitioners, "this deeply healing ayurvedic practice activates the body's inner pharmacy and slows the aging process." Information from the Chopra Center states that "When stimulated through therapeutic touch or massage, the skin releases a pharmacy of healing chemicals that have health-promoting effects on the physiology. In addition to feeling good, regular massage and loving touch detoxifies the body’s tissues, increases circulation, calms the mind, and enhances immune function." (www.chopra.com)
The Banyan Botanicals Website states that "The Sanskrit word sneha means both “oil” and “love,” and the effects of abhyanga are similar to being saturated with love. Both experiences can give a deep feeling of stability, warmth and comfort. Sneha – oil and love – is sukshma, or “subtle.” This allows it to pass through minute channels in the body and penetrate deep layers of tissue.
Ayurveda teaches that there are seven dhatus, or layers of tissue in the body. Each is successively more concentrated and life-giving. It is taught that for the effects of sneha to reach to the deepest layer, it should be massaged into the body for 800 matras, roughly five minutes. If we consider that the entire body needs this kind of attention, a 15-minute massage is the suggested minimum amount of time." (www.banyanbotanicals.com)
So, go on. Give it a try. Why not give yourself the gift of love this month? And please report back. I'd love to know your experience. I will have oils available for purchase in the studio, too.
Blessings of love and light,