A simple, relaxing meditation

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This is a very simple meditation I have been practicing lately that I absolutely love! I have read about it and heard about it in many books and meditation apps, but I just started practicing it lately. It’s a present moment awareness meditation similar to the ‘noting’ meditations, but this time just focusing on positive thoughts and sensations, and then labelling them. Our brains have a negative bias, which means we usually spend more time and energy focusing on negative experiences than on positive. Sometimes this can be useful, and it can be part of our defense system; however, sometimes it is nice to just pause for a few minutes each day and focus only on the positives. Doing so can be a very relaxing experience.

Just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Next, begin to note any positive sensations or thoughts that arise at the moment. Describe them to yourself in simple, positive one-word labels like ‘calm’, ‘bliss’, ‘relaxed’, ‘quiet’, ‘softness’… whatever it may be that you notice in the moment, that is positive. There is no wrong answer here. When you notice negative thoughts arising, or that your mind has wandered off to the past or future, simply and gently tell yourslef ‘let it go’, or ‘release’, or ‘hey, don’t go anywhere’ (the latter is my personal favorite, and it is from a relaxation meditation from Emma Mills). Then, just come back to your postive words. Do this for as long as you’d like. When you are done, simply stop noting the words, take a few deep breaths, and then open your eyes.

“No more words. In the name of this place we drink in with our breathing, stay quiet like a flower.
So the nightbirds will start singing. “

-Rumi

Anahata

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Anahata is the Heart Chakra, and it is governed by the Air element. This is the centre of unconditional love, compassion, kindness, forgiveness. This chakra governs the circulatory system, respiratory system and thymus. Healing the heart chakra can help let go of negativity and fear. The predominant sense for this chakra is the sense of touch.

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This morning’s massage oil was warm Argan oil with pure rose essential oil. I used two pink rose quartz heart crystals to massage the warm oil, paying extra attention to the heart area. I lit up a rose and tuberose candle, and played soothing music in the background  (ila’s Heart of the Earth…yes, I have an obsession with ila spa…they have the most amazing products and rituals, and they are completely ethical, plus the founder, Denise Leicester, is a true inspiration). During the massage, I focused on gratitude and love for my body. You can also practice positive affirmations, like: “My heart is free of unnecessary burdens”, or “My spirit is as boundless and free as the air”, or anything else that may resonate with you.

Excerpt from ila’s Heart of the Earth

Yoga followed. Again, Shiva Rea’s Anahata Chakra vinyasa, which focused on breath and a lot of chest openers. The meditation focused on the heart-fire. (LOVE)
Pranayama (the breathing practice) for Anahata is inhalation, inhalation retention, viloma pranayama. This breathing practice is very simple, and can be done by almost anyone, sitting or lying down. My favorite way to practice this is lying down on my yoga mat, with a bolster under my knees, and two cotton pads soaked in rose water placed over my eyes. The breath goes like this: you inhale for 2-3 seconds, then you pause for 2-3 seconds (hold your breath, don’t exhale, don’t let the diaphragm loose), then you continue to inhale for 2-3 more seconds, then pause again for 2-3 seconds, then inhale for 2-3 more seconds, hold for 2-3 seconds…keep doing this until your lungs are full, and then fully exhale the whole breath out, slowly. Repeat this breath for 5-10 minutes.

After yoga, I had a relaxing candlelit bath, with ila’s pink himalayan salts (rose, sandalwood, jasmine). I applied a face mask on that I made myself. I used 1 tsp manuka honey, with a little bit of rose water and a couple of drops of rose and sandalwood essential oil. I placed 2 cotton pads soaked in rose water over my eyes and relaxed in bliss for 20 minutes. After the bath, I rinsed my mask off and gave myself a face massage. Then I applied ila’s aroma oil for glowing radiance on my pulse points.

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After reading Dr. Pratima Raichur’s Radiant Beauty book, I have been making my own face oil, using organic argan and rosehip oil, with pure rose and sandalwood essential oil. I always ALWAYS give myself a pressure point/marma massage with the oil…every day. No matter how tired I may be, this massage really makes my skin glow and my face looks radiant and completely awake. I described this here

In the evening, I complete my Anahata practice with a loving-kindness meditation, inhaling and exhaling through the heart, focusing on feelings of love and gratitude.

‘Beauty is not in the face. Beauty is a light in the heart” – Kahlil Gibran

PS: You will notice I use a lot of rose oil. According to Ayurveda, Rose and Sandalwood are very good at balancing Pitta dosha (fire nature), which is my predominant dosha.( I go to an Ayurvedic doctor- I LOVE everything about Ayurveda). Pitta skin has a lot of redness and sensitivity, as well as dehydration from too much internal heat. So for me, I use these oils in all my beauty products on a daily basis. It so happens that rose essential oil is also one of the best oils for balancing the heart chakra, as well as balancing hormones. Sandalwood essential oil is also used to balance hormones.

PPS: If you are going to follow any of these tips, please be mindful, and consult with a doctor first if you have any medical conditions.

The Shining Jewel – Manipura

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Fire. Transformation. Metabolism. Energy. Vitality. Joy. Vibrant. Happy. Self-esteem. Radiance.

Manipura chakra (located in the solar plexus region) means ‘shining jewel’ in Sanskrit. It is the body’s centre for our inner fire, ruled by the sun. It is the fire with which we transform and digest our food, emotions and relationships with the world around us. This is the center of radiant health and vitality, self-esteem, self-worth and power.
The body oil I used for my massage was ila’s Vital Energy oil, which is very stimulating, with Juniper, Geranium, lavender and lemongrass.
My yoga practice started with kapalabhati,, or breath of fire, to heat up the body and especially the abdominal area. It is a very energizing, stimulating and detoxifying breath, which brings a lot of heat as well as strengthens the abdominal area. My yoga practice was Shiva Rea’s solar Manipura Chakra vinyasa practice, which focuses on sun salutations, arm balances and core strengthening exercises. Seated forward bend and twists are also great for activating this chakra. The practice ends with a solar meditation gazing at a fire (the one on the screen, or a fireplace, or even a candle will work) and reflecting on its transformative power. Savasana was long, grounding and relaxing.

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After yoga, I made my own sugar scrub, using brown sugar, argan oil, and essential oils of lemongrass, lavender and geranium. I massaged my entire body with this stimulating, energizing scrub and then hopped in the shower. I always make my own body scrubs, because this way I can always change the scent depending on what I want to achieve, using pure essential oils (I have quite the collection). I prefer using sugar instead of salt in my scrubs, because salt is quite drying, whereas sugar is a humectant (attracts moisture). The combination of sugar and oil (you can use any base oil you want…almond, olive, coconut, jojoba, apricot..) leaves your skin really soft, and you don’t even really need to moisturize after.
To keep the internal fire going, I nourished my body with warming foods and spices…ginger, chai tea, warm, stewed apples with cinnamon for breakfast, hot veggie soup with warming spices for lunch….
Throughout the day, it is important to smile, laugh, and keep it light…avoiding over-stimulation.
It is also important to balance our internal fire with relaxation and grounding practices as well, so we don’t “burn out”. In the afternoon, I practiced 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra, which is the most healing and restful practice for me. I described this wonderful practice here.
“May you feel the power of life manifesting through you and rise up in the fullness of your strength, stamina and joy for life.” – (Quote from Shiva Rea’s Chakra Vinyasa course)

Swadisthana

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Swadistana Chakra. Water, fluidity, flexible, flow, pleasure, fun, contentment…’savouring the feeling’, enjoying the senses…touching different textures, listening to beautiful music, enjoying a beautiful nature scenery or some art, tasting different delicious foods . Balancing the second chakra is to connect with life’s flow, be happy, experience the pleasures life has to offer. The colour of this chakra is Orange.
The Essential guide to chakras offers many wonderful tips on balancing this chakra…from lifestyle tips, to yoga, to meditation. I also followed Shiva Rea’s Chakra Vinyasa course to complement my practice for today.
For my morning massage, I used warm Monoi oil, which is coconut oil with frangipani oil.
My yoga practice was fluid and playful, almost like a dance, honouring the water element. At the end of my yoga practice, I had a mineral bath. I love these Alkabath salts, because they use crushed agate, carneol, citrine, chrysoprase, onyx, rock crystal, sapphire and chalcedony, so it is packed with minerals! You could also use pink himalayan salt, which is also high in minerals. I also added pure essential oils of rose, jasmine and sandalwood. These are great to balance Swadistana. I lit up candles, played some soothing music, and had the most relaxing candlelit bath for 30 minutes. There is one tip I learned a long time ago that I find extremely relaxing. When I am having a bath, I submerge my whole body and head under water, except for my face.(I have a big tub 🙂 ) Since my ears are under water, all the sounds are muted, and all I can hear is my breath and a very faint sound of soft music. There is also a sense of floating and extra fluidity. There is just something so therapeutic for me to have my head in the water…the water enveloping my entire head feels so peaceful, so soothing… It is extremely relaxing!
After my bath, I massaged my skin with pure argan oil and applied ila’s aroma oil on, which has rose, tuberose and vetivert. Today is about getting pleasure through all the senses!
My meals today were delicious, full of flavour, lots of fruit and veggies. (think sweet and juicy:) )
Today is also the perfect day to go for a walk in nature, and to also enjoy art like this:


My meditation this evening will be following Shiva Rea ❤ Again, I always begin with alternate nostril breathing. The breathing practice for the second chakra is full abdominal breathing, followed by a flowing seated meditation, which feels almost like dance, and you begin to feel fluid, like water.

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Please consult with your doctor if you have any medical conditions and would like to try any of these practices.

A good Night’s Sleep

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A good night’s sleep can do wonders for our health and wellbeing. During the day we are in a metabolic phase, when our cells require and burn energy. While we sleep, we go into an anabolic  state, where our bodies repair and rejuvenate. After a good night’s sleep, we wake up with more energy, a clearer mind and usually a better mood.
There are a few steps we can take in order to get a deeper, more restful sleep. I have read quite a few books and articles about this, and watched quite a few documentaries. Here are some things I have learned:

  • Spend as much time as possible in natural daylight during the day. Go for a little walk outside after lunch if possible, and soak up some sunshine and some fresh air.
  • Avoid over-stimulating the mind in the evening with caffeine and technology. If you must be on your phone or laptop, install a blue-light filter. This filters the blue light emitted by your screen after sunset and applies a pleasant soft red filter (think of the way it looks outside when the sun is setting). The filter intensity is gradually adjusted to the sun cycle based on your location.
  • Don’t overnap during the day. If you feel tired, try practicing yoga NIdra instead (I talked about this in a previous post), try meditating or do something relaxing . Afternoons are the time when physically we tend to hit an energy slump, but it is a great time to do something that rests the body but keeps the mind engaged. Things like reading a book or painting are great options.
  • Have an early, light dinner. This is because a big meal, or a meal too high in sugar will spike your blood sugar and boost your metabolism which will keep you up for longer.
  • Don’t perform any strenuous physical activities. Instead, a 20 minute walk outise after dinner or some gentle yoga or stretches, followed by breathing meditation will help the body and mind unwind after the day.
  • Create a relaxing bed-time ritual. Maybe turn off your phone or TV an hour before bed and read a book instead. Meditate. Write in your journal. Sip on some herbal tea like chamomile, hops, lavender or peppermint.
  • Have a 20-minute bath before bed. I once watched a documentary where they explained that it is the steep drop in our body temperature after a hot bath that puts us in a deeper sleep. With my two children who also love baths and only one bathtub in the house, I don’t get to have a bath as often as I would like to (every night), but when I do get the chance (once a week), I make it luxurious…candlelight, luxurious oils, soothing music, herbal tea, eye pads soaked in rose water, my favorite face mask…and finish with a really nice self-massage with body balm with rose, tuberose and vetivert or a body oil with jasmine and sandalwood and acupressure facial massage with my favorite rose face oil. So maybe it is not as often as I would like, but when I do get the time, I make sure it’s pure bliss
  • Your bedroom should be aired out, cool and dark. Using aromatherapy like lavender, basil and jasmine can help you relax even more. I put a few drops of lavender or jasmine on a handkerchief and place it in my pillowcase.
  • Try going to bed around the same time every evening….ideally at around 10-10:30 pm.
  • When you are in bed, use a relaxation technique to help the body relax. For me, I cover my eyes with a silk eye pillow, filled with flax, peppermint and lavender. I absolutely love the gentle coolness of the silk, the weight of the pillow gently helping relax tension around my eyes and the aromatherapy of lavender and peppermint. It even helps relieve tension when I get a headache. I used to use a silk eye mask, but I personally find the heaviness of the eye pillow much more relaxing. I can feel the tension of the muscles around my eyes just melt away. I also use the Intelligent Nutrients Destress Express elixir on my pressure points. It has peppermint, spearmint, ravintsara, cardamom, cinnamon, chamomile, lime, vanilla and red raspberry, and it is a personal favorite of mine, but you can use any other aromatherapy you may prefer. Lavender and jasmine are also known for their relaxing, sleep-inducing effects. I practice some deep breathing and then a full body relaxation or body scan. I usually fall asleep before I complete it.

Here is a really delicious dinner recipe I learned to make from the Neom Guide to Sleep book for a good night’s sleep:

 

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And here is a body scan – relaxation technique:

Begin by laying down and taking 10 slow, deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Feel your mind and body slow down and begin to unwind. Feel the tension start to release.

The next part is a visualization to help relax your body. As you inhale, you visualize a warm, healing bright light enveloping the part of the body you are focusing on. As you exhale, you release it. Feel that body part energized, healed and relaxed. I think of this almost like a very relaxing, healing massage with pure, white light.

Begin with moving your attention to your toes. As you inhale, visualize a warm, bright white light travelling through your toes. As you exhale, let this light energize, heal and relax your toes.

Move your attention to your ankles. As you inhale, visualize a warm, bright white light enveloping your ankles. As you exhale, feel this light energize, heal and relax your ankles.

Keep repeating this for the following body parts: middle of your calves, your knees, middle of your thighs, your sacrum, your hips, your pelvis, your navel, your heart, your lower back, your entire spine, vertebra by vertebra, your shoulders, your fingertips, your palms, your wrists, your forearms, your elbows,  your upper arms, your neck, your face: your chin, jaw, lips, tongue, throat, your nostrils, your cheeks, muscles around your eyes, eyes, eyelids, eyebrows, area between the eyebrows, forehead, temples, ears, the back of your head, the crown of your head.

Once the whole body is relaxed, focus on this healing energy enveloping your entire body. Feel your whole body fully relaxed and healed. Take 10 deep, slow breaths, in silence.

If you are not sleeping already, or if you are doing this in the afternoon, you can begin to wiggle your fingers and toes, rub your palms together and gently place them over your eyes. Then, slowly sit up, still with your eyes closed. When you are ready, open your eyes.

Top image found on Google images.

Body Brushing

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This post goes hand in hand with my post from a few days ago on Facial Lymphatic Drainage massage, only this is for the body. The epic flu I experienced recently made me more determined than ever to get my lymph circulation a boost, hence the post a few days ago, and now this one.

Once upon a time, (in a galaxy far away), I used to body brush every single day. Fast forward 10 years, and two children later, and body brushing has become a treat for when I actually remember to do it. But it shouldn’t be that way. It really only takes 5 minutes, and it has such great benefits. It increases circulation, exfoliates the skin and it helps lymphatic circulation and drainage. So I decided, since the last 2 weeks have been quite sedentary for me, fighting one of the worst colds I have probably ever had, it is now time for me to get rid of all the junk that was left behind after my amazing immune system did its thing. Time to help drain and clean up the mess left behind:) Starting today, my plan is to body brush again every single day, for just 5 minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with this, here is how it’s done:

You will need a natural bristle body brush for this. ( I got mine at the health food store and it’s lasted me YEARS! with proper care). Do this on dry skin, preferably first thing in the morning, and ideally followed by a shower or bath. The movements are light and brisk and each stroke should be repeated about 7 times. On the abdomen and decolletage, the pressure is a little bit lighter than on the rest of the body.

Starting with the soles of the feet, brush from toes to heel. Then moving to the outside of the foot, brush around the ankles in circular motions.Follow with the top of the foot. Continue up the leg, brushing in sweeping movements up, starting with the inner side of the leg and moving outwards . Keep moving up the leg towards the hips. When you reach the lower back, brush as high as you can reach, moving from the spine outwards on both sides, in upward, sweeping movements. Brush the sides of the waist upwards as well, towards the armpits. Continue by brushing the upper back , by placing the brush in the middle of the spine horizontal to the base of the shoulder blades and move the brush in sweeping strokes towards the armpits, moving up the spine, towards the neck. Do this on both sides. Brush around each shoulder from the neck towards the armpit.Now move to the hands and brush upwards from fingertips towards the wrist, then keep moving up the arm, from wrist to shoulder, moving from the inside towards the outside of the arm. Next, brush the abdomen moving in a circular clockwise movement. On the torso, sweep up towards the collarbone and armpit. You can use the diagram at the top of my post for reference. (Image found on Pinterest)

Follow with a shower or epsom salt bath for extra detoxification. Make sure you also drink lots of water.

Happy brushing!:)

Foot Reflexology

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Image source: Yon-Ka Paris

We are on our feet so much, and we often take them for granted. We have so many bones and muscles and nerve endings in our feet. A foot massage can be very therapeutic. Here is a diagram I made for a short diy-foot reflexology treatment to release some tension and promote relaxation. I like using essential oils, but this can be done with absolutely no products. You just need your two hands:D I like to begin and end with a bit of a foot rub, just to loosen everything up. Happy massaging!:) (PS: I ran out of room so I had to make the font smaller towards the end)

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Please note: Some of the ankle reflexology points should be avoided during pregnancy. Always consult with a medical practitioner if you have any medical conditions or concerns.

Lymphatic Drainage Facial Massage

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Have you ever wondered why you wake up in the morning and your face is puffy? Why your body feels extra stiff? Why after a long time of sitting down your body starts to feel stiff? One of the big factors in all these has to do with the lymphatic system. I won’t get into too much anatomy here, but our lymphatic system is part of our circulatory system, but unlike our cardiovascular system, the lymphatic system does not have a pump. Putting it very simply, in order for lymph to keep moving well, our bodies also have to be moving. This is why when we sit down or lie down for long periods of time, we get stiff or puffy. It is lymph stagnation. One of the best ways to increase lymph flow and help lymph drain are through movement and massage. Jumping on a trampoline is the best way to get the lymph going. 10 minutes on my mini trampoline first thing in the morning is sometimes the best, quickest way to de-puff and de-stiffen (I am aware that is not an actual word). The next best thing is walking. Walking, NOT running. Running can actually restrict lymphatic flow.

Body brushing and manual lymphatic drainage massage can also be very effective. This is what I am actually going to write about today. What can you do when you have a bit of a sinus congestion or wake up with a puffy face, or just looking tired and you don’t have time to exercise or jump on a trampoline for 10 minutes or do a little bit of yoga? The easiest way is lymphatic drainage massage.

The pressure in lymphatic drainage massage is very light. Think of it as the same pressure you would use to push a coin across a table. As a general rule of thumb, on the face, the movements are from the center outwards, and down.

To begin, place both middle fingers at eyebrow level, on each side of the midline of the forhead. Draw fingers outwards, and pause at the temples. Press very gently at the temples, trying to mimic a  pumping movement, then continue drawing the fingers downthe sides of the face, in front of the ears and down each side of the neck. When you reach the hollows above the clavicle, pause again and lightly pump 3 times in this spot. This pumping action done at these major lymph nodes helps to create a sort of vacuum/suction that will help the lymph drain better. Repeat the whole thing 3 times, and then gradually move up the forehead. (Make sure after each movement on the forehead, you do the pumping and draining on the sides of the face/neck).

Next, apply pressure at the point below the eyebrows (where the nose meets the eyes) and hold for 5 deep breaths. Draw the middle fingers out and then down the sides of the face and then down the sides of the neck. Again, when you reach the hollows above the collarbone, “pump” lightly 3 times. Repeat 3 times.

Next, begin at the top of the nose, middle fingers on each side of the nose. Apply gentle pressure on each point for about 5 seconds, then draw the fingers out towards the sides of the face and then down the neck. Repeat 3 times, then gradually move down the nose till you reach the sides of the nostrils. At the nostrils, apply a bit of pressure for 5 seconds, then draw outward and then down the neck again. Repeat 3 times.

Next, apply your middle fingers above the centre of the lip, below the nose. Move outward in very small circular movements. When you reach the corners of the mouth, draw your fingers sligtly upwards and out towards your ears, then glide the fingers down each side of the neck, pumping at the collarbone. Repeat 3 times.

Next, place your fingers in the middle of your chin and draw out along the jawline, towards your ears, then sweep down each side of the neck. Repeat 3 times.

Next, starting at the base of the neck, starting on either side of the midline, sweep the fingers outwards, moving up. Repeat 3 times. Then work back down the neck by gently massaging the sides in  downward, circular movements.

I hope this makes some sort of sense. I was inspired to write this thanks to the epic cold I am just getting over. I find that when I have sinus congestion, other than whatever medicine the doctor may give me, steaming my face over a bowl of really hot water with a towel over my head, then doing a saline sinus rinse and then doing this simple lymphatic drainage massage (I also add some essential oils), can really help!

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Acupressure for relieving stress

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I am a huge fan of acupuncture. I find that it really helps me, it relaxes me and it is extremely healing. Now to be completely honest, the first time I tried acupuncture, I had an awful experience (I won’t bother going into details), and I didn’t go back for a few years. One day, I decided to give it another try, and just looked for a different acupuncturist. I am so glad I did that! I found the most amazing doctor, and I found how truly healing acupuncture can be!

I am always so amazed at how my doctor can tell so much about me, without me saying a word. How could she tell I woke up in the middle of the night at around 3am? How could she tell I have trouble eating VERY specific foods? How could she tell when I ate cold or raw food? How could she tell I slept with the window open?  It is amazing how much our bodies can tell about us!

We really are a mirror reflection of our actions, our emotions and our thoughts. The body responds to life, and when something is non-nourishing, it usually lets us know. Sometimes, the signals we get are faint…like a soft whisper…and we don’t listen until these whispers become loud screams…screams that we’ve abused our bodies too much….that we tried to silence it when it is always speaking to us. When we are mindful and paying attention to our bodies and to our thoughts, we can usually tell a lot easier if something is out of balance.

I am definitely not trained in acupuncture, but a few years ago, I took a 3 month course on reflexology and Gua-Sha . Reflexology works with pressure points, and it can be very relaxing. Here are a few things you can do at home when you need (Please note: if you have any medical conditions or are pregnant, consult with your doctor before trying these):

  • to get calm: Find the pressure point in the web between the thumb and index finger. (looking at the top of your hand, holding your hand flat and thumb in, there is a bump where your thumb meets the rest of your hand) Spread and relax your fingers, and then apply pressure to this point. Take deep breaths while you do this. It can be quite sore. Just breathe through it.
  • to relieve stress and tension: The point on the wrist in the area on the little finger side. Apply pressure and breathe.
  • to let go of negative emotions: About three fingers down from the outer edge of your collarbone, moving in from the armpit. This area is usually tender. Breathe deeply and exhale through your mouth. Imagine with every exhale you are letting go of whatever it is that is bothering you.
  • to reduce anxiety, headaches and mental strain, or insomnia: Massage the point between the eyebrows, in light, slow, circular motions.
  • for overall wellbeing: Massaging the feet before bed can be really beneficial. We have a lot of nerve endings on our feet (hands and head), and even if you don’t actually know reflexology, giving your feet a good rub can be very relaxing at the end of the day. Use oil like coconut with a few drops of peppermint or lavender, and start massaging your toes, between each toe, the top of the foot, the sole of the foot, the arch, the heel, the ankle (both sides and top). Use firm, slow, circular movements. Breathe deeply and focus on areas where you feel you are holding a lot of tension.

I hope these little tips can bring a little bit more wellbeing into your life!:)

 

 

Yoga Nidra

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Yoga Nidra is a beautiful, profound practice that completely relaxes the body while awakening deeper layers of  consciousness. Practicing 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is said to be the equivalent of 3-4 hours of deep sleep. It is actually my all-time favorite practice that I have been doing at least weekly, and many times daily, for the last 9 years.
I have very fond memories of the time when I discovered this practice. It was when I just had my first daughter (in 2007). I was a new mom, and I was tired… I came across Shiva Rea’s Yoga Nidra practice from her Drops of Nectar CD. It changed my life! It was the only thing that kept me going through the day. I would practice it while my daughter napped, and after 20 minutes of practice, I would feel awake and alert and fully rested. I kept up with it and practiced with many yoga teachers throughout the years. I still practice it to this day, and in fact I just did 30 minutes of it this afternoon.
If you find yourself in need of some deep relaxation, or haven’t had a good night’s sleep, or feel tired, or have a hard time falling asleep, or are in need of some healing, I STRONGLY recommend it. It is easy to do, and OH, SO POWERFUL!
I will write out the basics of a Yoga Nidra Practice, but I recommend, if you are new to the practice, you should get a guided practice. There are many available. My personal favorites are Shiva Rea – Drops of Nectar (MY FAVORITE- it also has a few other beautiful, simple meditations and a tennis ball shiatsu self-massage/meditation practice that is amazing!), Rod Stryker (an amazing teacher as well, he has a Yoga Nidra practice for free on https://yogainternational.com/article/view/yoga-nidra-practice ) and Anandi, aka “The Sleep Guru” (she has a beautiful and VERY VERY relaxing Yoga Nidra Practice CD). These are my favorite for guided Yoga Nidra practices, but there are many others out there as well. There are other great written guides online as well, but I personally prefer listening to someone guiding me through the practice.
Here are the basic steps of a Yoga Nidra practice (I put this together from all the practices I have done, from Shiva Rea, Rod Stryker, Anandi).
The goal is to remain alert and awake while your body deeply relaxes. Falling asleep or drifting off is natural in the beginning. I still fall asleep during Yoga Nidra if I practice it in bed before I go to sleep. Eventually, you will develop your capacity to stay conscious during the practice of Yoga Nidra. I find it is easier to manage this if I practice in the afternoon, on the floor (not in bed). After my practice, I feel like I just had a very restful nap!:)
To begin the practice of Yoga Nidra, you should be lying on your back. Make sure you are completely comfortable, as it important to remain completely still during your practice. Use pillows under your neck and knees for support if you need to, as well as a blanket to keep you warm. I also like a silk eye pillow on my eyes.
Close your eyes.
Become aware of your surroundings. Any sounds you hear in the distance. Just observe.Try not to concentrate. Move your awareness to the sounds in the building. Again, just notice. Move your attention to the sounds in the room you are in. Now try to visualize the room you are in. Keep your eyes closed. Visualize the walls, the floor, the ceiling, etc. Visualize your body lying on the floor (or bed), visualize yourself like a mirror reflection… the clothes you are wearing, the position your body is in, the blanket that is covering you… Completely relax into the floor.
Become aware of your breath. Don’t concentrate on it, just observe your breath…the effortless, coolness of your inhale, the effortless, warmth of your exhale, soft, gentle…no strain, nothing forced. Calm, long, slow breathing.
Next part is your resolve (SANKALPA). This is a short, positive statement that you would like to achieve or see take place in the next 6-8 months. Repeat it to yourself 3 times. Visualize this as it has already happened.
Next, comes a rotation of consciousness. This is where you begin to move your awareness around different parts of your body. Feel each of these parts, but do not move. Remain still and alert. The practice begins on the right side.
Right hand thumb … 2nd finger … 3rd finger … 4th finger … 5th finger … palm of the hand … back of the hand …wrist … forearm … elbow … upper arm … shoulder … armpit … waist … hip … thigh … knee … calf … ankle … heel …sole of the foot … top of the foot … right big toe … 2nd toe … 3rd toe … 4th toe … 5th toe.
Left hand thumb … 2nd finger … 3rd finger … 4th finger … 5th finger … palm of the hand … back of the hand … wrist… forearm … elbow … upper arm … shoulder … armpit … waist … hip … thigh … knee … calf … ankle … heel … sole of the foot … top of the foot … left big toe … 2nd toe … 3rd toe … 4th toe … 5th toe.
Next, the back of the body … right heel … left heel … right calf … left calf … right thigh … left thigh … right buttock … left buttock … lower back … middle back … upper back … right shoulder blade … left shoulder blade … back of the neck … back of the head.
Top of the head … forehead … right temple … left temple … right ear … left ear … right eyebrow … left eyebrow …middle of the eyebrows … right eye … left eye … right nostril … left nostril … right cheek … left cheek … upper lip …lower lip … both lip together … chin … jaw … throat … right collarbone … left collarbone … right side of the chest …left side of the chest … upper abdomen … navel … lower abdomen … right groin … left groin … the pelvis
The whole right leg (from hip to toes) … whole left leg (hip to toes) … whole right arm (shoulder to fingers) … whole left arm(shoulder to fingers) … the whole face … the whole head … the whole torso … the whole body.
Now go back to your breath. Visualize the breath moving through you, through your whole body. Don’t strain.
Next, move your awareness to opposite sensations:
Imagine your body feels extremely light, like a balloon, Feel like you are floating, like your whole body is empty, light
Next, imagine your body is really heavy. Feel it sinking into the floor.
Invoke the sensation of extremely cold. Think back of a time when you were really cold. Feel it in your body.
Now think of a time when you felt extremely hot. Experience that sensation.
Next comes visualization.  Visualize yourself in nature. Think mountains, ocean, moon, sun…any place that is relaxing to you. Visualize it in detail, the scenery, the smells, the physical sensations,what emotions they brings up (comfort, peace, relaxation, love, happiness, freedom, joy, confidence, safety etc. ) Stay here for a little while.
Next, it is the time to repeat your resolve (sankalpa). Only once this time.
Now  come back to the to your breath, bring back your awareness to your physical body, to the floor, to the room you are in. Start to wiggle your fingers, your toes, wake your body up. Do it slowly.
Get up slowly and open your eyes. Sit for a few moments in stillness.
I hope you give Yoga Nidra a try (if you don’t practice it already) and find more calm and relaxation into your lives!:)