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The Sleep of the Yogi: Yoga Nidra
a blog by Beth and Tami of Pulling Down the Moon
On Sundays I teach a yoga class where nobody moves and by about 15 minutes into class, the room is filled with the sound of deep breathing and the occasional soft snore. The class is called Yoga Nidra, which means “sleep of the yogi.” It’s an ancient technique of guided meditation that works not only on a physical level but also penetrates into our unconscious mind to release deeply held negative beliefs about ourselves and our world.
The technique has been used clinical trials at Walter Reed Hospital with U.S. soldiers returning from the Iraq War with symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as with patients suffering with chronic pain, depression and even the homeless population. In all of these groups, the initial clinical research is promising. Patients using Yoga Nidra demonstrate a reduction in symptoms of stress, a greater sense of self-efficacy and improved quality of life.
Yoga Nidra is practiced laying down, snuggled under a blanket and while the instructor speaks for most of the session the student is encouraged to relax and even drift into a semi-sleeping state.
As we know, the process of infertility can leave deep emotional scars and moments of traumatic stress. Yoga Nidra is a wonderful way to release these negative experiences and begin to hold a positive expectation for the future. There are some great Yoga Nidra CDs available, Rod Stryker’s Relax into Greatness and Richard Miller’s Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga. I encourage you to give one a try.
Be present, be positive . . . be still and rest a bit