These days, a lot is “yogi-style”: yogi lifestyle, yogi tea, yogi outfit, yogi everything.
Good news: there’s also “yogi sleep” and it’s called yoga nidra.
For those less aware of this technique, it does not involve any physical movement (asanas) as is typically assumed necessary in yoga practice, but it describes a deep and very restorative meditation practice. According to latest studies, 45 minutes of yoga nidra may have the same effect as 4 hours of deep sleep, but of course the impact is a very personal thing.
After trying out two sessions before in different contexts, I decided to go for a full-blown yoga nidra session with Gina, the newest addition to the Yoga Tribe teacher team. She just started teaching yoga nidra every Monday evening (perfect timing for the beginning of the week) in Yoga Tribe K3, and yes, this time I got the location right (see here my previous adventure) 🙂
The K3 studio is a very cozy location, and the perfect setting for this type of class and for our intimate group of 3 “nidra yogis”. Our group included the lovely Corinne (also a yoga teacher I wrote about here) and a beautiful sociable pug – scroll down for some adorable pics!
It’s no news that relaxation has a lot to do with the right setting, and Gina focused just on that: making us feel comfortable, safe, at ease. We used bolsters under the knees, a blanket under the head and another as a cover, and lavender infused eye masks (my favourite!). Still, best part was that I didn’t even have to change into yoga gear: first time I’m doing yoga in my work clothes, how practical is that?!
A yoga nidra session is practically a guided descent into our subconscious, a deep relaxation mechanism that will take you to the realm between awareness and sleep. That is, if you don’t fall asleep – which by the way, is perfectly fine 🙂
There’s various techniques to enter that state, from progressive awareness of each body part to visualisation methods and imaginary journeys. Gina encouraged us that evening to travel to our favourite place in the world, and imagine the sensations available in this magical location – from the feet touching the ground, to the sun touching our face. To me, that’s the beauty of such a session: each of us will have a unique experience, and the mental trip will awaken or unlock different emotions.
After Gina brought us back with sound bowls and verbal cues, we discussed what we experienced in the class, which ranged from vague recollection to strong sensations and unleashed memories. I personally felt safe, relaxed, released, aware… oh, and for a moment thought my arms are tree branches. Yeah, I guess that happens 🙂
As mentioned, there’s many techniques to practice yoga nidra and Gina will set a different theme for each class (see FB event series). Also, every last Monday of the month there will be a CBD infused yoga nidra session, and I’m in for 26 August!
So who wants to take a nidra journey? It’s like a “Glücksreise” in German: you never know where you’ll go until you get there 😉 <3