Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice originating from India. Its roots can be traced back to Sankhya philosophy (first written down around 700 BC but dating back to around 1000 BC through verbal teaching).
Yoga Nidra in it’s simplest form is a relaxation process, a guided meditation practiced in savasana - where you lay on your back fully relaxed. In Yogic tradition Yoga Nidra falls under ‘Pratyahara’ which is a withdrawing of the senses, allowing you to plug into your internal world, a whole other universe inside of you. Yoga Nidra shows you how to go inside and listen to your inner world.
In the Bihar lineage of Yoga Nidra you are guided through different layers of the body, which in Sanskrit (yogic texts) are called the Koshas. You are guided through each of these different layers in a systematic way which has a direct affect on the grey matter in your brain, which in turn creates coherence in your nervous system, which basically means you are creating alignment within yourself, allowing your body to move in to a state of peace and rest, which sends signals to your brain to release happy hormones, moving you away from scattered thinking/ high stress state, where you are releasing cortisol and adrenaline.
Moving from a state of doing into a state of being.
What are Koshas you may ask?
There are 5 Koshas
Annamaya Kosha - The FOOD BODY
You access this layer via the Body Scan. By systematically feeling different areas of your body, you are tapping in to different grey matter within your brain, which is creating coherence within your nervous system.
When you nervous system is coherent you are moving out of a state of stress and scattered thinking where you brain is releasing Cortisol and even Adrenalin and moving into a place or rest and restore, signalling to the brain that everything is ok, there is no threat and then the happy hormones begin to be released. You are moving from your para-sympathetic nervous system into your sympathetic nervous system, which is bringing you deeper in a state of relaxation.
Leaving that feeling of scattered thinking
Pranamaya Kosha - The Energy Body
I often guide through this layer with some gentle breath work and breath awareness. By now your body has slowly began to go to sleep and you are moving into the alpha/theta dream wave brain states. It is in this field your awareness of time begins to dissolve and you move into the quantum world of infinite possibilities. The analytical mind is switched off and you can slowly begin to awaken and delve deeper into your sub-conscious mind.
Manomaya Kosha - The Mental /Emotional Body
You are then guided through some pairs of opposites, where an emotion or feeling is named and you are invited to feel it fully, followed by feeling the polarity. This is a cognitive state where you are in a complete state of relaxation. You are invited to feel these different emotions in order to create new neural pathways within your brain, to avoid repressing any unpleasant or unwanted emotions and creating a safe space and a bridge in your brain to allow you to close this loop.
Cells that fire together, wire together, so for example by feeling fear and then by feeling faith you are creating a bond, a stronger pathway which is strengthening the positive polarity within your neurological pathways.
After a few sets of pairs you are then guided back to a state of ‘Wholeness’ where coherence is re-introduced.
Pranamaya Kosha - The Creative, Intuitive Body
This layer of the body is our visionary self, where we can manifest all of our dreams and desires, where we can find information from our sub-conscious mind.
You reach this layer through a guided visualization or through random rapid visualization.
Anandamaya Kosha - The Bliss Body
The Bliss body - remembering our true essential self.
A feeling and state of ‘oneness’, where we overcome all beliefs of ‘being separate/ an individual’ to know ‘oneness, god, universe, maker, source’.
A pure sweet experience of your true essence your true self.
It is from this place you ask for your Sankalpa and wait for it to be revealed.
A Sanakalpa is a positive I AM statement, a vow, often a counter statement to a self-limiting belief which is revealed to you from your heart, your soul. It’s the language of your heart. It is something that you will work with for a long period of time until that self-limiting belief dissipates. This seed /vow is planted so deep in your sub-conscious mind, when you are in a hypnagogic state, that is affecting the programming of your brain from the deepest layer, which is why it can rewire your core beliefs. An example of a Sankalpa could be : I am loved. I am lovable. I am Valid. I am healthy. I am respected. I am worthy.
In the same way you move through the above different layers of the body, you are also moving through different brainwave states. All 5 brainwave states (Beta, Alpha, Theta, Delta, Gamma) are active at the same time, however in Yoga Nidra the more dominant active states are alpha and theta which is the state you are in, before you fall asleep, but the sub-conscious mind is still awake and aware. It is from within this state deep healing can occur as well as random release of imagery or visualizations. Connection to spirit and source.
Negativity and Negative thinking patterns
Scattered mind / Exhaustion
Clarity of Mind
Better Focus & Concentration
Ability to remain present in the now
Overall ease in the body /oneself
I offer private sessions, group sessions and corporate lunchtime sessions.