The Transforming Power of Yoga Nidra

Have you ever attended a yoga class that finished up with an awesome final relaxation pose making you feel totally at peace? If so, then you have experienced a form of Yoga Nidra.

Yoga Nidra is defined as “yogic sleep” but it’s really the state that hovers between wakefulness and sleep.

Richard Miller describes it wonderfully by saying, “In yoga nidra, we restore our body, senses, and mind to their natural function and awaken a seventh sense that allows us to feel no separation, that only sees wholeness, tranquility, and well-being.”

That sounds too good to be true and not that easy to attain, right?

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The Chakras in a Nutshell

Last May, I began my monthly zoom class series called Yoga & the Chakras. I invited my dear friend Kayo Malik (Chinese doctor/acupuncturist) to join me and for the past six months we have been blending our healing systems to achieve one synergistic presentation of the chakra energy model.

It has been very educational to discover that, although the system of Yoga was practiced a continent away from China, each culture developed a subtle body concept that was identical at its core. Just goes to show you that when something is authentic, it is eventually known by all.

I have enjoyed our journey immensely. And, now that we will be culminating with the crown chakra this month, I have decided to give a synopsis of the progression we’ve made through the energetic body – highlighting our two perspectives.

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The Heart: Deep Cuts

This month we have been exploring all of the basic aspects of the heart: the feelings, emotions and connections that it provides as well as the subtle energies of the heart chakra. But, there are still lesser known and deeper layers of the heart that Ayurveda and Yoga describe to us. These “deep cuts” speak to the expansive quality of the heart chakra as it relates to its element – air.

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Put Some Fire into Your Yoga Practice

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“The wider practice of yoga is not about arranging our life so that it is perfect and easy and non-challenging. Rather it is about using the discipline we find in asana practice to be able to remain easy in the midst of difficulty. That is the true measure of freedom…” – Judith Lasater

As we continue our discussion about the 3rd chakra – the solar plexus chakra, I would be remiss to not include the concept of tapas. Tapas is often defined as heat. Yet it’s more ancient Sanskrit roots explain tapas has having the ability to remove impurities. In fact, the word tapas is used to define the process of heating alloyed gold until the debris is burnt off, revealing only the purest product.

Through the practice of yoga we can also use heat to burn away the nonsense and expose our true power. This does not just apply to intensive ashtanga, hot or vinyasa yoga forms. Any type of asana, pranayama or meditation can generate tapas.

This week choose a portion of your practice where you feel you need to apply more will power.

If you can’t sustain downward dog without stressing your shoulders, approach the posture through child’s pose and gradually build on the time you remain in downward dog until you feel stronger.

Maybe you can’t relax in savasana for more than 5 minutes. Use a timer to add one minute to each practice until you relish a full 10 or even 20 minute savasana.

By bringing more self-disipline into your practice, you will receive more confidence. This “I can do it” attitude leads to greater contentment. Ultimately you will find that when you persevere in your practice (and your life), you feel more balanced, purposeful and joyful. A little work will release your attachments and free up your consciousness for higher realizations.

If you are interested in learning more about the concept of tapas, click on this previous post: “Tap Into Your Strength.”

Be the Light!

Namasté, Kim 🕉

How to Nourish Energetically

Whether or not we allow them to, sometimes our desires dominate us. We think we need stuff – material possessions or status to feel good about ourselves. But the satisfaction is fleeting and we are still left for wanting more.

Instead, what we really need is to come home to ourselves. When you are feeling like you’re unfulfilled and life has no meaning, you may be needing to nourish yourself.

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