How rested do you feel right now?
Our modern and busy lives are putting high demands on our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing; our opportunities to rest and our essential window for sleep seem to be ever diminishing.
Whilst our physical bodies need time to digest food to rest and repair themselves, our minds need time to digest information and experiences. With sleep deficit/exhaustion affecting our everyday physical and cognitive functioning, as well as being linked to many health issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, anxiety. A decent night’s sleep and feeling rested is essential to boost our immune system and will support the overall improvement of our wellbeing.
When we are stressed, we release an abundance of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which keep us alert and prepare us to freeze, fight or flee. The problem with chronic stress, such as many of us experience in the western world is that we struggle to switch it off. Think about the responsibilities and all you get done in one day…..your job, relationship situation, families and all their responsibilities, money worries, use of technology/social media, pets’ bills and managing our physical/mental wellbeing. Those are enough to send anyone into a sleepless night!
Many of us choose to manage the relentlessness of these experiences by blocking out or managing through the intake of high fat/sugary food, caffeine, alcohol, illegal and over the counter drugs, excessive exercise or lack of exercise, epic box sets binges or being attached 24/7 to social media. These activities leave us feeling exhausted and our sleep being fundamentally affected.
Yoga Nidra is a fantastic way to support our modern lives. Meaning ‘yogic sleep’, this supportive meditation has seen a recent reoccurrence in popularity. This practice has the ability to help you improve sleep, lower anxiety/stress levels and invite a powerful, welcome state of deep rest.
The guided practice includes focused attention of the physical body, breath awareness, and connection with your thoughts, emotion and creative potential of your mind. During the practice the thinking mind is kept busy and aware as the body is able to deeply and profoundly rest. The result is a calmed nervous system, a feeling of rejuvenation and profound stillness.
Yoga Nidra practiced on a regular practice, can be a perfect place to reflect and invite an opening for deep change.
As the popularity grows for Yoga Nidra in the UK, so grows our need as practitioners to ensure those that are leading it have the skills and training to take you in a deeply rested state. For some clients this state can easily switch to a place of vulnerability through a few misplaced words or unintended actions by the teacher. Therefore it is imperative you as the practitioner ask your teacher what training they have in Yoga Nidra and who they studied the practice with. In this digital age going onto YouTube or other streaming sites can present us with lots of Yoga Nidra practices, many of which are not vetted before publication. Should you use these ensure you listen to in a consciously state before settling down to your rest. Note the Yoga Nidra Network has over 200 free Yoga Nidra’s which can be streamed. All recordings on the site are by trained and vetted Yoga Nidra Network qualified teachers. You can listen to my recording here.
My recommendation would be to practice with professionals who are trained and qualified to teach Yoga Nidra with the following schools or those who have been practicing Yoga Nidra under their teacher’s guidance and expertise for at least a few years. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher’s experience before committing to a practice as it is integral for your safety and growth they are the right person to lead you into a deep state of rest and inward enquiry.
Recommended Schools for Yoga Nidra
- www.yoganidranetwork.org Dr Uma Dinsmore Tuli and Nirlipta Tuli
- www.irest.org Dr Richard Millar
- www.parayoga.com Rod Stryker
About Daniel Groom
Daniel Groom who hosts Yoga Nidra in his weekly classes and regular workshops has the fortune to have trained with all of the above in this practice and offers you to join the “rested revolution” at the Leigh on Sea, Essex studio for an opportunity to delve into this practice in a safe and welcoming environment.