Explore deep relaxation and understanding through iRest® Yoga Nidra

iRest® Yoga Nidra is a form of meditative self enquiry that stems from the ancient teachings of yoga. Within each practice we learn to pay attention to the various feelings, sensations, emotions and thoughts that are constantly changing within our body and mind. This is a mindfulness practice which has a calming affect on the nervous system helping to release physical tension and quiet a busy mind. We learn too, that the sensations we experience are messengers providing us with information; when we listen, we may come to a deeper understanding about ourselves.

yoga-nidra

We learn through iRest to meet, greet and welcome all that arises in our awareness. As we practice acceptance, we learn to meet challenging feelings, emotions, thoughts and memories with a more relaxed response. As we practice acceptance, we don’t “get stuck” or fuse with our experience and therefore move beyond it. We learn to respond, rather than react to life.

iRest offers deep relaxation and can be helpful in managing stress, fear, depression, pain, insomnia and trauma. It is practiced in a comfortable position (usually lying down) and no previous yoga experience is required.

I have included a short iRest practice below. Allow 20 minutes where you will not be disturbed, find a comfortable seated or lying position using cushions and blankets as needed.

If you are interested in exploring iRest further, I run a regular 6 week online course.

Enjoy!

Opening to Clarity and Truth

vishuddhi chakra

The throat centre, vishuddhi chakra is the seat of verbal communication. When open and balanced, we give voice to our thoughts and feelings, our deepest hearts desire. We can speak with clarity and truth, expressing our wants and needs to others.

The colour associated with the throat centre is blue; a colour that brings peace and tranquility above everything else, promoting both physical and mental relaxation. It reduces stress, creating a sense of calmness, relaxation and order – we certainly feel a sense of calm if we lie on our backs and look into a bright blue cloudless sky. It helps regulate the metabolism.

Blue in Nature

  • ocean, water
  • fruit such as blueberries and blue plums
  • blue cheese
  • birds like bluejays, bluebirds, Blue Heron, robin’s egg
  • jewels like lapis lazuli, blue sapphire, blue topaz
  • flowers like forget-me-nots, cornflowers

Blue should be used with caution for those feeling sad, lonely or depressed, as it may increase these symptoms.

Here is a recording of a guided relaxation I used in class recently, connecting the colour blue and vishuddhi chakra.

Blessings

Auto Suggestion Relaxations

Here are two wonderful relaxation techniques that use auto suggestion in helping the body and mind to relax. They are especially beneficial to use in bed if you have difficulties getting to sleep. You may like to learn the sequence and repeat mentally to yourself or perhaps record yourself saying the sequence (it has been said that we relax best to the sound of our own voice!).

dog-savasana

Auto Suggestion Relaxation – Letting Go

Auto Suggestion on Exhale

Releasing muscle tension

For many people the stresses of daily life manifest in our physical bodies as muscular tension. We may hold fear, uncertainty, stress and anxiety in our bodies as tension. Over time this creates aches, pains and stiffness in the body leaving us feeling exhausted or even worse, leads to disorders and disease.  There is a wonderful technique called Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) where you create tension in a muscle, hold for 8-10 seconds and then release. This action causes the muscles to relax, which triggers the relaxation response; the heart rate slows, blood pressure decreases, normal blood flow returns to the belly and digestion improves. As the physical body relaxes, the mind soon follows.

Now that’s better…..

For those students that find it difficult to relax the body in savasana (especially at the beginning of a yoga class), this may be a welcome alternative to restlessness and frustration some find in stillness.

Here is an audio that draws on the PMR techniques to help relax the body prior to an asana session or as a stand alone practice.

Enjoy