My week got off to a good start because I took a relaxing Yoga Nidra class at the Legacy Foundation Chris-Town Family YMCA on Sunday.
I’ve been doing yoga for a long time, but this was my first time trying this type of practice. With the stress of the holidays not too far behind me and multiple other projects on my mind, I was ready to relax.
A warm, friendly teacher named Jill greeted us as we entered the large, open studio. She said practicing Yoga Nidra would be like getting four hours of sleep. Since I slept strangely the night before, waking up every few hours, I was eager to get started.
We began with breathing exercises and rocked back and forth on our backs before she led us through the meditation. I’ve listened to numerous yoga teachers in person and on DVDs guiding me through Savasana or corpse pose, but this was unlike any guided meditations I had experienced before.
The combination of Jill’s soothing, but firm voice, the images she asked us to envision and the vast room where we could hear only the lulling sounds of a few cars passing by outside, took me to a deep, relaxed state. I focused on walking through a beautiful park with flowers as I felt the fresh morning dew on my feet and watched a gorgeous sun starting to rise. I imagined feeling the calm warmth in a temple with intricate stained glass paintings and candles.
We were told to think about someone we loved and I pictured two people very important to me smiling, giggling, running around and hugging me. Jill said to then feel that love without picturing our loved ones specifically. It was easy to hold onto the comfort and joy I feel when I’m with them as I continued breathing deeply.
For the rest of the day I felt more present, focused and joyful. That night I slept peacefully, not waking up until the next morning. I can’t wait to try Yoga Nidra again and to deepen my practice. Namaste and sweet dreams!