Students are often amazed about the deep sense of calm and peace they feel after a yoga nidra class. In yoga nidra, the student is guided to a deep relaxation, where the body lets go of stress. With a relaxed body and mind, the student is guided into the meditative state between sleeping and wakefulness – going from thinking and doing to feeling and being. It is in this place that healing can take place. It is in this place that we start to feel our being selves and value who we are. Spending time in this meditative state can shift your relationship with yourself. You can start to see yourself with more acceptance and less judgment. This new relationship with yourself also shifts your relationships with others. In yoga nidra we are invited to allow. It is a practice of letting go of struggles and the drama.
Just like yoga, there are many styles and teachers of yoga nidra. Some teachers have studied it for specific purposes and then trademarked their practices. Richard Miller concentrated on the healing aspects and often takes his iRest® practice to veterans and the military. Amrit Desai concentrated on the spiritual practices and offers his I AM Yoga Nidra™ at yoga retreats. My teacher was Jeremy Wolf in Denver, CO. He received formal training in the Satyananda method of yoga nidra, the Swami Rama method of yoga nidra, the Amrit Method of Yoga Nidra, and Richard Miller’s iRest Yoga Nidra. Jeremy is a presenter at the International Yoga Nidra Conference 2019.
The yoga nidra that I offer includes aspects of the different styles, with an emphasis of the Satyananda method. Swami Satyananda Sawaswati wrote the book Yoga Nidra in 1976. A feature of the Satyananda yoga nidra is the resolve or “sankalpa.” In the Hindu Sanskrit language, “san” is an idea formed in the heart, and “kalpa” is an idea to be followed above all other others. The student creates their own personal sankalpa to interrupt unwanted habits and create a new direction for their life.
Yoga nidra can be transformative, with calm and peace readily available for all. I found the practice of yoga nidra to be very helpful as I was dealing with my strong emotions of grief. There was healing at a non-conceptual level. I appreciated that I did not have to verbalize or relive my pain and sorrow directly in order to experience healing. I have seen it work for myself and I am so pleased to be able to share the healing of yoga nidra with others.