About YOGA NIDRA
The practices of Yoga Nidra last for around 15 minutes. Be assured of undisturbed peace for this period of time. It can be done sitting, but it is most effectively practiced lying down.
Use some support under your thighs if that’s more comfortable on your lower back, choose a pillow to encourage the natural curve of your neck and cover yourself with a blanket to avoid getting cold. Do anything it needs to make your body feel utterly comfortable and cared for!
Yoga Nidra is a practice of complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. We enter a state of consciousness which is neither sleep nor wakefulness, neither concentration nor hypnotism. It is an altered state of consciousness where we lose all sense of time, balancing on an edge: a state of awakened, conscious sleep.
In Yoga Nidra we work with sankalpas, which are positive resolves, intentions or affirmations we plant in our mind like a seed.
The 3-Breaths Journey
Find common ground
The Selfing Game
Part of this place
Fake it til you make it!
Introduction & Welcome!
1. Meditation through Movement
We keep it simple and we keep it moving – without rush! This class is meant as an antidote to the forward-momentum of our daily life. We use the repetition of movement in order to erode our task-orientation and getting-things done mentality. We use the simplicity and the precision of movement for our mind to drop into the present moment. We create a mindful state in order to set the stage for deeper insight and connection to follow. Mindfulness is the essence of the practice, the movement and physical sensations are where our mental attention rests. We learn to listen to the body and we learn to treat it well.
Props: Yoga block
2. Opening Into Vulnerability
Opening into vulnerability has nothing to do with weakness! It needs courage, heartfelt bravery, and trust to allow yourself to be seen for who you are… And that's what it needs for connection to happen!
Backbends are the physical expression of opening up; they are the physical tools we use during this class in order to strengthen our ability to authentically connect to the outside world. At the same time we try to find a sense of enoughness and good will for ourselves, both of which effectively erode the “fear of standing alone” (one of the primary builders of the “fortress”).
Opening into vulnerability cultivates our compassion, it means feeling alive and dropping our armour; yes, the armour protects us from injury and pain. At the same time, however, it wards off joy and connectedness too. In order for connection to happen we need to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen, with all our inadequacies and flaws. This class is meant to set the stage.
Props: Yoga block, plus a blanket or beach towel
3. Stir It Up!
The intention of this class is opening up to new perspectives and views. The translation into physical experience means that we move 360° through space and change orientation all along. The focus is less on strength, but more on flexibility, permeability and fluidity.
We use the image of “space” as a metaphor for new perspectives, possibilities and potential, trying to explore the “space” with an open, unbiased attitude. We try to let go of fixed ideas on how things SHOULD be and instead cultivate curiosity and mental flexibility. And if this is what we struggle with, we simply observe and recognize it. Eventually we learn to relax and open up to more feelings than just those that are comfortable or familiar.
So yes, it’s meant to trigger, to challenge and to be a little annoying. This is how we get to know our habitual reaction to the unfamiliar, our hooks and buttons. Both can reveal quite a lot about our self image and how it is standing in our own way. Remember, setting stuff in motion is what we are after – and for that, things have to be stirred up from time to time.
Props: Yoga block
4. Spiritual Warrior
In the previous sessions we focused on qualities such as openness, compassion and welcome. An open, compassionate heart needs to be supported by a strong back, also metaphorically speaking. It needs backbone to carry the soft front open! Otherwise our emotions might easily overwhelm us.
So the physical focus in this class looks like this: we strengthen our back, as we continue to open the front – we cultivate our inner “Spiritual Warrior”.
Warriors can open their beating heart to anything they encounter, after all self-limiting behaviours, attitudes and beliefs are defeated. Their strength comes from within! A warrior acts out of vidya, which describes the ability to see the true nature of things, rather than having one’s own perception blurred by personal dramas, resistances and storylines.
We learn to cultivate the wisdom and insight, the courage, fearlessness, determination and trust the Spiritual Warrior stands for, so that our compassion and open-heartedness become a source of strength. From that place true and deep connection can flourish.
Props: Yoga block
Connection – Skill, Art & Necessity
This course is based on the essay, which carries the same title. Take some time to read through it in order to find out if this is of interest for you!
In addition to that the introduction video below presents the tools, the 'Why' behind the 'How' on the quest of deepening our sense of connection and belonging; it also outlines the content of this program a little more in detail.
The whole course consists of four classes, each of which around 60 minutes in length, plus two Yoga Nidras of 15 minutes each. The first class of the series plus the Yoga Nidras are available for free, after payment you gain access to the whole course.
side note: I am aware that the audio deserves some improvement. The background noise is due to some indefinable trouble with the microphone and audio system; unfortunately nothing I could fix during the time I had available for production. I found it hard to accept myself (I personally struggle with the famous 80%). The only thing I can hope is that you find it good enough! Find out yourself with the free videos!