We are told to "pay attention" but never actually taught how. Same goes for doing nothing.
However we are taught that we should be busy doing something-we are practically groomed for it. This shits' exhausting.
We look for options because we know something is off.
What if I told you...
Yoga Nidra is one of the least known and most under-appreciated practices of Yoga, yet its potential reach is immense. In our modern society, many of us are accustomed to doing more to get more. Even when we want to relax, we ask "How do I do that?" Relaxation doesn't happen by doing more, it is about doing less. Yoga Nidra is about releasing the struggling and striving to get somewhere. It is the art and practice of doing nothing to arrive exactly where you want to be. -Kamini Desai
A practice established thousands of years ago is promising me the moon and stars. I would tempted to call bullshit if there wasn't mountains of scientific research to back it up. Like the practice of Meditation and Mindfulness, this sounds like magic. But meditation is the focus on one thing-the present moment. Yoga Nidra is the focus of several things in a specific format. You are taken on an adventure of the Self, through the Self.
That's what Yoga Nidra is. It is the mental equivalent to 8 hours of restful sleep.
When was the last time restful and sleep applied to you? Exactly.
Nidra was first mentioned in the Upanishads and lucky for us Satyananada Saraswati carried this practice into the modern world. Thank you Sir.
Best done right after waking or right before bed, this practice will rest and restore you. The set-up is quite fantastic: Find a quiet space and lay down. Make yourself as comfortable as possible so during the ride your physical body doesn't become a distraction. Done as a guided meditation lasting anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour-the journey takes you through different states of awareness starting with curating your Sankalpa.
Sankalpa is your heart felt vow to yourself. It is a deep-seeded intention you take with you into your Nidra and is planted within your consciousness. This is your silent mover and shaker to take you where you most want to be in your life.
The guide continues into an awareness of the body, awareness of the breath, and visualization cues. It's absolutely okay if you zone out. There is always a part of you listening.
Each guide puts their own spin on Yoga Nidra in terms of words, cues, visualizations etc. But the sequence remains the same:
Plant your Sankalpa
Awareness of body
Awareness of breath
Awareness of sensations
Slow ending of the practice, back into the body
Thoughts behind Doing Nothing
Increased Dopamine levels? Yes.Please.
Also a release from stress and anxieties. Better quality of sleep. Your actively participating in the growth of your self-awareness and sense of freedom. Those places in the body where we hold our emotions i.e. the shoulders, jaw, hips... slowly begin to untie and dissolve.
Our sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) begins to regulate and kicks on our parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest).
This is leveling up our mental/emotional health and well-being.
This is why I added Yoga Nidra to the Tired as a Mother class. Climbing the road to mastery of doing nothing is essential to those that do all the things for everyone. The givers, deep-feelers, providers need a port to come in to and recharge. Swim in your divinity for a moment-you will not regret it.