23 Nov THE HEALING POWER OF YOGA NIDRA
I work hard. I push, I explore, I battle, I play, I win, I lose, I try, I fail, I succeed. That’s is the beauty of life. It’s difficult, it’s demanding, and it’s unpredictable, but it’s also amazing, providing you have amidst your ‘life toolkit’ a re-set button – a means to stop, let go, and allow yourself to completely rest.
When we are truly at rest our mind is silent, our judgements are gone and our being is open and connected to the truth of who we are. When we connect with this state, we feel safe, steady, balanced and peaceful, no matter what is going on in our lives.
So, how can we find this place? How can we take ourselves there reliably, time and again? If you practice meditation, then perhaps you’ve experienced a ‘flash’ of bliss. Something clicks and suddenly there you are, in harmony. At one with the universe. But, if you’re anything like me, these moments are rare, and as soon as you chase after them they tend to sneak off and hide. Yoga nidra is different, particularly the yoga nidra I work with: iRest Yoga Nidra. Anyone can practice yoga nidra, from complete beginners who have no intention of ever stepping foot on a yoga mat (you don’t need a yoga mat to practice yoga nidra) to those with a long-time meditation practice. The iRest Yoga Nidra protocol (please don’t be afraid of the word ‘protocol – it merely indicates that iRest incorporates a number of tried and tested practices) eases the practitioner into a deeply restorative state and enables them to observe or even ‘welcome’ whatever emotions and feelings arise. I can’t stress enough the transformative healing power of simply allowing what lurks beneath to rise to the surface and be seen.
To imagine how yoga nidra feels, perhaps cast your mind back to the last time you were laying on a beach, and if you were lucky enough, those moments in which you were drifting in and out of the most delicate of sleeps. Remember that state of being aware of your surroundings, yet somehow also dreaming, perhaps having effortless insights and revelations about yourself and the people you interact with. These experiences can leave us feeling profoundly rested and as if we have resolved something – worked-through something, been given the answer we were exhausting ourselves by looking for – and yet they come just as we have given up all manner of trying.
This is the beauty of yoga nidra: it provides answers without analysis. It provides healing without any diagnosis. It provides solutions without having to understand the problem first.
iRest Yoga Nidra is the only yoga nidra to date with research proving its efficacy at treating stress-related illnesses (such as PTSD, addiction, and depression), but for me, it enables me to live with an honest, raw understanding of myself. And what more could we want from our lives than to know, and be able to love, who we are.
Practice Yoga Nidra now: A mind-taming ten-minute practice that will bring you into your body, and into presence.
By James Reeves
Curious for more? Come to our Yoga Nidra weekend at YogaFest where James Reeves will introduce you to the 10 steps of iRest Yoga Nidra. Taking time to explore each component of the practice through a mix of explanation and experience.