with Lauren Hutchings
INWARD: Yoga Nidra Series
September 14 – October 12 (5 weeks)
Tuesdays from 7:15 pm – 8:30 pm
$75 for 5-wks or $17 drop-in
To register, go to www.laurenhutchings.com
For inquiries, please email Lauren at email@example.com
What is Yoga Nidra:
The practice of Yoga Nidra originated from an ancient tantric exercise of Nyasa, where one accesses the layers of the subconscious and repressed memories of the mind in a waking state. This concept was later evolved by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, while noting that he could retain full mantras while fast asleep on the job as a night Janitor in a boy’s ashram. Here, he concluded that there is a part of us that is always awake and internally retaining information from our external world. In sanskrit, yoga translates to union and nidra can be translated to sleep. Hence, Yoga Nidra is a fully guided practice done in a relaxed supine posture of Savasana, shifting from a heightened awake beta brain state to a relaxed and aware alpha brain state. The practice itself takes you through the layers of the koshas (energetic sheaths) from dense to subtle through a detailed body scan, guided breathing exercise, and both rapid and lengthy visualizations. Today, this is predominantly intended to relax the hyper-analytical mind, attune to the experience and sensations of the body and soften mental, emotional and physical tension. Yoga Nidra is also used to access deeply rooted belief systems, through the use of a Sankalpa (intention or invocation) that is mentally repeated at the beginning and end of the practice. This is aimed to help intimately experience the layers of the Self, reshape problematic habits, enhance self-confidence and self-agency, in addition to the health and integrity of interpersonal relationships.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra:
- You cannot do this practice incorrectly. If you can lay yourself to bed at night, you can practice Yoga Nidra ☺. The single and most common effort lies in the committed practice of remaining awake and aware while allowing your physical body to fully relax.
- Studies have shown that 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to 2-4 hours of deep sleep.
- Helps with the health of our nervous system in reducing hyper-arousal and/or shutdown, toning the neocortex, and enhancing self-regulation.
- Helps to enhance focus and information retention. Within the alpha and even more so theta brain states, the speed thoughts are considerably reduced which creates more space for information to be retained. This can be referred to as the super learning state.
- Opportunity for self-discovery. Yoga Nidra fosters a passive, non-reactive and non-judgemental way of accessing the layers of the subconscious mind, and inquiring into the validity of operating limiting beliefs (samskaras) and long held emotions that may no longer be of service.
- Each practice will, at minimum, leave you feeling physically rested and relaxed.
- Seated meditation
- Gentle physical movement to help relax and prepare the physical body for rest and prime the mind for mindful introspection. This may consist of gentle asana (yoga postures) where modifications will be given where necessary.
- Yoga Nidra practice (Approx. 45 minutes)
- Journaling and quiet self-reflection