What if we could let go of the expectation that life should be other than what it is?
This question really peaked my interest as I sat + listened to one of the presenters at my iRest Yoga Nidra teacher training last summer. Acceptance has been one of the hardest life lessons for me to learn and I'm still very much a student!
I love the idea that one day I'll be able to fully accept the unpleasant things that come my way, welcome them + respond to them in the most appropriate + peaceful manner.
For now, I practice yoga nidra.
Yoga nidra is a state of mind in between being awake and sleeping.
I'm sure you've experienced this at least once in your life. That peaceful place where you're not fully awake yet but your mind is aware of whats happening around you.
During the practice of yoga nidra, we enter this in between state of mind and do different meditation exercises.
When the meditation ends, I feel a deeper sense of peace.
I know I have the ability to create a safe place in side myself where I can visit anytime my life gets too stressful.
It's true that we can create a lot of our own struggles just by not accepting what is happening in our lives. Things happen that we have zero control over + we bare the load of self doubt, shame, guilt, + resentments.
Over time this wears on the spirit.
We are not in control of ourselves + we become reactive instead of responsive.
We don't make loving choices + switch over to survival mode from all of the stress + overwhelm.
We begin to seek things outside of ourselves to offer us comfort.
Living in survival mode 24/7 taxes our physical bodies and wears us down. Choosing to live a life where we are thriving instead of just surviving day to day is much more fulfilling + we have the ability to make real changes for the better because we are thinking clearly + responding from a place of confidence.
Join me in my next iRest Yoga Nidra class or workshop.
Learn to respond to life on life's terms and see what positive changes you can make in your life.
iRest is different because it is an evidence based practice that has been studied and has shown to be very effective in supporting people living with PTSD, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, and people who are just wanting a deep connection in life and with themselves.
It is used in military settings to help traumatized men and women of service, homeless shelters, clinics, and healing / meditation centers.
Come experience iRest with me. I'm so honored and ready to introduce you to this guided meditation. I will be leading theses meditations at the two yoga studios listed below;
Divine Sight Healing Center. 1320 Griffin St. East Dallas, TX 75215-
Every Second Saturday from 3:30-4:30
Beach Mat Yoga, 324 W. Campbell Rd. Richardson, TX. 75080-
One to two Friday Evenings per month from 8-9 PM Dates TBA
The practice of yoga nidra is something that I've been drawn to for many years. WhenI finished my Yoga teacher training, I knew that yoga nidra was what I was suppose to teach.
My deep resonance with yogic philosophy and the realization that this world NEEDS peace and serenity inspired me to dive deeply in to researching yoga nidra. If you've never heard of it, yoga nidra is an ancient practice of deep relaxation and meditation, and there are various forms of this practice.
While it has the word yoga in the name, it's much different than anything you'd experience at your fitness class. Yoga nidra is sometimes referred to as yogic sleep or the sleep of the yogi.
During my research, I came across Richard Miller PhD. He has this fantastic company called the integrative restoration institute. Richard has developed his own protocol (iRest®) from his studies and experience with yoga nidra. I spent all last week working with the amazing trainers of iRest and even getting to hear Richard talk about his work. It was so rewarding.
iRest® teaches you how to live a contented life, free of anxiety, fear, depression, and suffering by opening your mind and body to its inner resource and ground of health and wholeness.
"There is something about you brighter than the sun and more mysterious than the night sky." ~Adyashanti.
Gaia Bodywork PLLC is the private massage practice of Hillary Arrieta LMT040051 and is located in Richardson, TX. Hillary offers the best massage services in the area for pain and stress management. Visit www.gaiabodywork.com for more information.
"He lives most life whoever breathes most air."-Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Breathing affects many systems in your body- not just the respiratory system but also the cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, neurological, and muscular systems. The lymphatic system, which is a part of the cardiovascular system, requires the breath and the movement of other muscles and joints to assist in lymphatic flow through out the body, as it has no pumping system of its own.
If you've ever watched a newborn breathe, you'll notice that they take deep belly breaths. This is our natural way of breathing. As we get older, we tend to hold our breath when we get upset or stressed out or breath shallow breaths that stem from our chests. This distorted way of breathing and our daily stresses can lead to anxiety and lack of energy, making us feel sluggish and burnt out on life or work.
But there's good news! We can cultivate a breathing practice to help us calm and recenter ourselves when we notice that our breath has become shallow, or we are experiencing uncomfortable tension. It sounds silly to create a breathing practice because this is an automatic function that our living bodies do, but if you take some time to check in with your personal breathing patterns, you may notice shallowness or tightness while you breathe.
Start checking in randomly and briefly- without altering it in any way. Ask yourself a few questions.
1. What does my breathing pattern feel like today?
Is it smooth? Does it feel labored? Just notice for a second and move on.
2. Where is my breath coming from?
Is it coming from the chest or the belly? Take note. See if you can bring your attention to your nostrils and feel the air enter and escape. Do your shoulders move? Do your ribs expand?
After you've become acquainted to your breathing with out altering it, take a few minuets and try this exercise.
1. Lay on the floor with your feet planted in to the earth. You can use a blanket or yoga mat, and make yourself comfortable. Your knees are at a 90 degree angle and your lower back is flattened and supported by the floor. Bring your chin down to a neutral position and allow your jaw to relax.
2. Breathe deeply in and out for half a minute and briefly check in with your current breathing pattern. Ask your self the questions above.
3. Place one hand on your belly and one hand on your chest. Without changing your breathing, notice which hand rises and falls with the breath.
4. Now change your breathing to only breathe in to the hand on your chest. Bring your awareness to how this feels and notice any thing of interest to you.
5. Switch your focus to the hand on your belly and begin breathing in to that hand and focusing all the breath there. Be aware and notice any sensations.
6. Now breathe in a wave like fashion. Start by breathing in to the hand one the chest and then filling the belly with air, allowing the hand on the belly to also rise. Allow the breath to exhale from the chest and then the belly.
Do this a few times and notice how you feel after the exercise.
I hope to add a yoga nidra class soon to my teaching schedule. Yoga nidra is a beautiful meditational practice that incorporates gentle yoga, breathing, and visualization exercises. Look for announcements hopefully sometime in the new year!
If you tried this exercise, leave me a comment below and tell me the outcome!
I love to hear your experiences and thoughts!
Gaia Bodywork PLLC is the private massage practice of Hillary Arrieta LMT040051 and is located in Richardson, TX. Hillary offers the best massage services in the area for pain and stress management. Visit Gaiabodywork.com for more information.
photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kukhahnyoga/4468074287/">Kukhahn Yoga</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">cc</a>
Around 7 or 8 years ago, I began taking yoga classes to help heal the repetitive strain injuries and tension in my wrists and shoulders from doing massage. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to reverse my wrist pain and *Bonus* re-focus and mellow out my over-active, worry wort of a mind :)
I've Been Studying Yoga Nidra or "Yogic Sleep" for the last Few Years. I think that I'm so drawn to it because the effects are very similar to the effects a good, relaxing massage. My mission is to bring my clients relaxation and peace & Yoga Nidra is the perfect style of Yoga to fulfill that mission!
There are several parts to a Yoga Nidra Practice.
It seems that yoga nidra is an active practice with all these steps, but during the hour and a half class, you slip in to a wonderful meditation that feels like a deep sleep that you are completely aware of. Unlike a normal nights sleep, Yogic sleep is done when you are completely conscious and aware of whats going on.
Why try a Yoga Nidra Class you ask???
Here's a list of benefits of a regular Yoga Nidra practice:
Would you be interested in coming to a Yoga Nidra Class at Gaia Bodywork PLLC?
Check out my Class Offerings