Yoga Nidra at Heartswell: A Holistic Approach

yoga nidra group

Expanding Mindfulness with Yoga Nidra

About 5 years ago I was looking for training to improve my mindfulness. When I put feelers out someone mentioned that they had heard that iRest (an adaptation of Yoga Nidra) was powerful, like “mindfulness on steroids.” Not knowing much more, I signed up for a retreat and training at Yogaville. 

It was transformational

Nonverbal modalities are becoming more and more prevalent in psychotherapy. They include EMDR, hypnotherapy, art therapy, and somatic modalities. When we talk we are using our pre-frontal cortex. But nonverbal modalities access experiences deeper in our subconscious, parts that are out of our cognitive awareness. Yoga Nidra is a practice that can be learned and practiced in an independent setting but goes beyond what most meditation modalities can. When done properly, it systematically puts the physical and cognitive processes to rest, giving access to the subconscious mind. In this state, powerful changes can take place. 

A Holistic Approach to Healing

My experiential learning Yoga Nidra took place over a week. I didn’t “know” what was happening, which was a gift because it freed me from trying to manage or direct my experience. Each of those sessions left me thinking at first that I had taken a nap. I couldn’t recall what was said, even though I remembered talking. Each time the bell rang 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.

I was surprised when one day 3 or 4 I found myself crying off and on throughout the day. At the time my dad was nearing the end of a 10-year battle with cancer. I was carrying resentment over challenges in our relationship. While I cannot explain what happened cognitively, the resentment shifted to compassion and grief. I let something go. I released a burden that wasn’t mine. I felt free. 

Psychotherapy is essential to making sense of our life experiences. When we integrate body-oriented practices like yoga and non-verbal practices, our work begins to alchemize. We can experience a more holistic approach to healing. 

In addition to promoting mental and emotional healing, Yoga Nidra reduces anxiety and stress by decreasing sympathetic activity (nervous system activation) and engages parasympathetic activity (relaxation response). This helps to improve digestion, sleep, and reduce muscle tension. This practice can also help improve memory, cognition, and creativity. The benefits are endless.

Join Us to Practice

In our Yoga Nidra mini-retreats you will experience two sessions of Yoga Nidra. You’ll lie down and get comfortable with props including a yoga mat, bolster, eye pillow, and head cushion. All supplies are available, but participants may wish to bring their own yoga mat, pillow, blanket, and eye pillow. Once, comfortable you just relax and listen as you are blissfully guided to deep rest. 

Heartswell is Different

Many therapy services address only your thinking and often miss the breadth of your pain and the fullness of your being. At Heartswell, our practice integrates yoga, meditation, and mindfulness to heal the mind, body, heart, and soul. We are accepting new clients for virtual appointments or in-person at our offices in the Arlington, Virginia area. Schedule your free consultation today.

from the journal...

yoga nidra group
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