Many people think that yoga nidra is a tool to help you fall asleep. After all, nidra means sleep in Sanskrit. However, this is a misconception that undermines the true power of the practice to bring the mind to a state of deep, clear, and unobstructed awareness.
The following reflections are from a series of pieces I wrote on yoga nidra several years ago for my old blog The Art of Being Nothing (which is gone now - RIP!). My reflections back then are still very relevant now, so I hope that you enjoy reading them and are inspired to try out yoga nidra for yourself. As I have said so many times before, yoga nidra changed and in some ways even saved my life.
January 21, 2019
Collectively, we as a generation are burnt out. If there’s anything that life has been screaming into my consciousness the past few weeks, it has been that. I’ve been telling myself that I’m okay with buying pre-packaged meals at the grocery store because I don’t have time to cook. That I’m okay with not getting enough sleep each night because I have too much work to do and too many phone calls to make. That I’m okay with the fact I’m grasping at straws trying to accomplish the impossible of being in school full-time and trying to have some kind of career at the same time, while not being clear on what that is. That I’m okay with half-assing my Ayurvedic daily self-care practices because I don’t have enough time to do them.
Truth is? There’s nothing about that to me that is acceptable. However, the busier I make myself the less time I have to reflect on my true intentions and commitments.
I’ve been blessed to have been given the opportunity to work with Rita at Rebuild Ayurveda to explore and promote her work with yoga nidra. The founder of my school, Dr. Marc Halpern, used the technique of yoga nidra and the science of Ayurveda as a major part of his own healing journey. To deepen my understanding of the practice, I took part in the yoga nidra teacher training this weekend.
The experience was far more profound than I had anticipated. Yoga Nidra is not a technique – it is a state of consciousness that provides us with the access to master creation. It is distinct from meditation, which is a practice that is designed for the transcendence of creation. The technique taught by our school is a technique of progressive relaxation that allows us to enter the yoga nidra state.
After a four-day training with multiple sessions per day, I am calm, collected, and filled with a renewed sense of clarity for my own life. One of the most important parts of our yoga nidra sessions is something called the Healing Sankalpa, where we have the opportunity to visualize what we want to manifest in our lives. In the yoga nidra state of consciousness, we bring our bodies and minds back to a blank slate (consistent with the idea of creating from nothing!), and from that blank slate, we can provide new imprints into our subconscious on our intentions for life.
In my visualizations, I realized that what I desire in this lifetime is to be a Source of peace, community, and nourishment. To be a center for healing, health, and happiness. I don’t have dreams to run a big organization or create widespread systemic change – to be allowed to grow my own garden and have enough to feed my loved ones would be the ultimate gift.
February 15, 2019
Many of you may have noticed I’ve been pretty expressive in my enthusiasm for yoga nidra, and today I have the privilege of presenting you an interview with Rita Burgos, my yoga nidra teacher. Rita is a classically-based yoga nidra representative through my school, the California College of Ayurveda, and runs her full Ayurvedic clinical practice in Los Angeles, Rebuild Recovery.
In this episode, we uncover what yoga nidra is – a state of consciousness separate from the waking state, sleeping state, and even dream state. How do we get into this state of consciousness? What does yoga nidra give us access to? What are the more profound opportunities and benefits of practicing yoga nidra, beyond just relaxation and stress-relief?
Our belief is that yoga nidra can benefit anyone. I believe that yoga nidra can be the vehicle for one to discover the power of the body and mind to heal and create when given the true space and freedom to do so.
Rita’s mission is to make yoga nidra accessible to more communities and organizations as a tool for empowerment, healing, and cultivating more harmonious environments and lifestyles. She regularly hosts Yoga Nidra Teacher Trainings here in the Los Angeles area. If you would like to attend a teacher training, get in touch. All are welcome =)