So you have all heard me talk about Yoga Nidra right? Where you lie down, stay completely still and do what is sort of like an internal journey of yourself and your body? Sort of?? I love it and we are fortunate to have a great and inspiring teacher locally who teaches this type of yoga, Jennifer Piercy (Sacred Sleep Yoga).
What I find interesting is that so few people actually seek out this kind of yoga but almost everyone LOVES it when they actually do it. In general, we don’t look for stillness. It seems odd to pay to do nothing. But in Yoga Nidra you aren’t doing nothing. There is a lot going on even though it is at such a subtler level. Yoga Nidra is a powerful and full practice. Relaxation is merely a welcomed side effect. In Nidra we can “burn up unwanted Samskaras”…those deep habits or core beliefs we hold that are harmful to us.
When I first attended a Yoga Nidra class I realized how much of a relief it was to be given permission to relax and be still. So much of our culture is focused on doing things outwardly. Physical movement is thought to be good, and it is good.. but we are very rarely told to sink deep into pure awareness, letting go of our surface selves, our ego. When a teacher says “We are going to lie still” it is like a delightful rebellion against everything we have been taught about being a productive member of society. “Rebel Yogis” is how Jennifer described it today which really resonated with me. This is an area of yoga I am extremely interested in teaching. I think the potential of this practice being used in the mental health field is huge.
Below is a video interview with one of the western pioneers of using Yoga Nidra in a Psychology setting, Richard Miller. Apparently he does teacher trainings/certification in this practice which I would love to take some day if possible.