The Benefits of Yoga Nidra
Allison is extremely passionate about Yoga Nidra and not only sees the benefits her students experience, but in herself as she maintains a regular practice.
Yoga Nidra is a deep form of relaxation and self-discovery, which can be described as a form of guided meditation. It is a practice that takes place reclining on the floor, in which you are guided to the threshold between waking and sleep. Focusing our mind on one area of the body at a time, we create awareness of any physical tensions and subconscious thought patterns that we are holding onto. By being attuned to our awareness, we can begin to relax physical tensions, change undesirable thoughts and behaviours and allow ourselves to experience the true nature of our being.
Yoga nidra compels us to let go of intellectual knowledge and replace it with experiential understanding. That is, to understand things not just conceptually, but as embodied experience, because it is only through experience that we can truly know. In the words of Buddha, “To know and not to do, is to not yet know.” Living our embodied experiences allows us to let go of anxiety, fear and doubt, replacing them with mental and emotional stability, calmness and balance.
During yoga nidra, we learn to disconnect ourselves from distracting sensory stimulation and behaviours. Like the sound of a ticking clock in a room, when you are open to hearing the sound without fighting it, you allow yourself to naturally transcend the sound. The clock may remain, but it no longer disturbs you. In this same way, yoga nidra helps restore the mind and senses, bringing back their innate ability to see and resolve stressful situations or difficult emotions, thoughts and feelings.
Yoga nidra teaches us to welcome and accept negative emotions or feelings rather than resisting them. When we no longer fear being afraid or insecure, when we give ourselves permission to be open and vulnerable, then letting go happens naturally. In this way, we learn to deal with whatever puts us ill at ease so we can begin the process of healing and allow the true nature of our being to shine.