I recently attended a yoga retreat and training, specifically in Yoga Nidra. It was amazing. I really didn’t know much about Yoga Nidra before I went. I knew it had inspired iRest, which was described to me as “mindfulness on steroids.” It peaked my interest! When I saw the training at Yogaville, I knew I needed to be there. The retreat took place the first two and a half days. We did a few sessions each day. I was taken into the “yogic sleep” through a guided meditation. I didn’t “know” what was happening, which was nice so that I couldn’t control or force the experience. Each of those session left me thinking at first that I had taken a nap. I couldn’t recall what she had said, even though I remembered her talking. Each time she’d ring the bell at the end I’d come right back, feeling fully refreshed and completely relaxed. I later realized I was not asleep, but between awake and asleep.
In the midst of it, I was invited to choose a “Sankalpa,” a personal resolve. I was invited to listen in to something I want in my life, within me or around me, and what I’d need to “be” to allow it. With lots of ideas and internal calls to provide more as a therapist, and wanting to let it happen, I found myself saying “I am brave.” I was calm, which was a surprise because “brave” has been a trigger word for me. I’ve gotten so sick of hearing “be brave” as if it’s a choice, something you just do. Yet I was calm. In this relaxed state it felt true.
I continued to thoroughly enjoy these “naps” and the creativity that followed. I love Yoga Nidra and feel like it is a missing piece in my work, a new tool for unwriting old stories and creating new ones. Creating new neuropathways.
Yoga NidraI was invited to listen in to something I want in my life, within me or around me, and what I’d need to “be” to allow it.
The retreat ended and half of our group went home. Thirteen of us remained for training in this form of meditation. We continued to discuss and learn and practice. We explored the why and the how of this deep relaxation. The next day I was surprised when some emotion bubbled up regarding a close relationship that I’d put on the back burner for years. I’ve felt the weight of it in me, but I’ve done all the work on it in my mind that I felt I could. So I didn’t know what to do with it. The sadness of it surfaced along with lots of tears, which is rare for me. Along with the sadness came feelings of love, compassion, grief and acceptance. I found myself inspired with ways I could honor this relationship, serve it, even though it’s not one I can resolve or fix. I left this week feeling lighter, more whole, and of course, more brave. I’m so excited to share this lovely practice with others to help them release useless habits and beliefs and adopt new ways forward.
I also left the weekend with a set of descriptions for a new offering, Restore & Explore, which will be delivered in both a 6 week series and retreat. Stay tuned.