One of the ways to heal the body is to give it complete and total rest. Not for days but for about an hour. Deep relaxation allows your parasympathetic nervous system to balance out, which in turn keeps your body in homeostasis.
Homeostasis in the body refers to it's ability to function normally with all engines running properly so to speak. Supporting the body with good, nutritious food is one way to bring balance. Exercise is another. Deep relaxation is yet another way to aid in healing and supporting your whole being.
Yoga Nidra is the perfect way to experience deep relaxation. Without going into a lot of detail, the practice of yoga nidra will bring you into a conscious deep sleep, allowing your body and brain to reset.
Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation into a conscious, yet deep sleep. You are guided by another person into this state which places your body in total relaxation.
Here's how it works:
You can attend a class in Yoga Nidra where the teacher will guide you while you are in supine position on your yoga mat. OR
You can purchase a Yoga Nidra CD, load it onto your mp3 or iPod and have this session guide you in the comfort of your own home. I have done this and it's a wonderful way to grab some rest time and chill.
The guide on the CD tells you to get comfortable on your back and to make sure that all parts of your body are comfortable. You can't do this wrong, but you need the guidance to get yourself into the most relaxing position possible.
You are guided through a series of breathing exercises and simple instructions. Some of these include visual imagery or a scan of the body, which occupies the mind and prevents it from becoming involved in the usual mind-chatter that absorbs our ordinary consciousness. The guide will go through your entire body and by the time he is done guiding you, your body and brain will be completely relaxed. The session lasts about 30-40 minutes depending on which CD you get or which class you go to.
I'll be honest, sometimes I actually fall asleep during a yoga nidra session. It depends on how tired I am. Usually, I remain concsious, but so relaxed that I feel asleep. The purpose is to remain conscious and to experience consciously a deep, relaxed state of mind and body.
When I attend Yoga Nidra in my yoga studio, our teacher first gives us a few warm up exercises. That way, we aren't entering into the session cold. When we are ready to go deep, we get super comfortable on our mats - placing blankets beneath and on top of our bodies. We may even use an eye pillow to keep the light out. Then she guides us into **bliss**.
Here are the benefits of yoga nidra:
-Relaxes the nervous system
-Reduces stress hormones
-Lowers blood pressure
-Heals psychological and emotional holding patterns
Yoga Nidra empowers you to go into deep states of relaxation, access the space of grace, and to resolve disruptive issues in the mind/body interface. It has the potential to heal past traumatic interpersonal relationships, empowering you to release your vital energy held hostage by blame, anger, guilt, jealousy, hatred, fear, and attachment.
You can find a yoga nidra class in your area by googling yoga nidra in your town.
You can also find a yoga nidra CD online at Amazon.com.
If you've never given yourself the gift of total relaxation in the comfort of your own home, you owe it to yourself to break free from the stress of life and try this technique.