As many of you know, I’ve taken a full week to immerse myself into the Advanced Studies of Yoga through the Asheville Yoga Center.
My Yoga practice began over 26 years ago, initially just as a supplement to my already rigorous fitness routine.
It provided me with a “stretch” that I felt my body needed. It was nothing more than that for many years.
I primarily practiced from home, as back then, yoga studios weren’t as numerous as they are today.
Then I found Hot Yoga (aka Bikram Yoga) over 10 years ago. I loved the detox effect I got from it and I knew it was what my body needed.
Running and weight training turned into Pilates and Yoga because.
These forms of exercise were better suited for my autoimmune condition.
I found a way to balance my exercise regimen to get enough cardio, strength, and of course flexibility.
Fast forward to today, we now offer Yoga Teacher Training at the 200 hr level.
With our increasing number of graduates, it was time to take the next step to offer the 500 hr training.
In order to do this, I needed to gain more knowledge about various aspects of Yoga.
I searched for the best program and unfortunately, I didn’t find one that I resonated with locally so I had to look outside of Georgia.
Training in California or Boston was ideal, but it was not practical for me to do so.
I did however find everything that I was looking for at the Asheville Yoga Center.
So I did my Yoga Nidra Intensive for 5 days (first of 11 modules of trainings I must attend).
This was an immersion training with Indu Arora, who is considered a Yoga Guru with a Degree in Doctor of Medicine in Alternative Medicine.
You can find more information about her here.
Healing Requires Release of Past Trauma
I’ve dabbled in learning about various different Alternative healing methods such as Qi Gong, Ayurveda, TCM, meditation, and energy medicine, but due to the lack concrete scientific data, I always pulled back.
I’m in my 20th year of clinical practice and the one thing that I do know that most patients have in common is trauma and stress.
In various clinical education courses such as Visceral Mobilization and Cranisosacral Therapy, we learned that our bodies at the cellular level hold onto memories and trauma.
Unless such memories in the cells are released or dissolved, we create unnecessary negative energy within.
This effect can have biochemical implications in our bodies to trigger and perpetuate various pain and disease patterns.
My close family and friends know I am highly “type A”. I can become obsessed with something so much so that I drive myself to sickness.
Lately, no matter how hard I tried, I could not get a grasp on myself.
I felt my mind becoming crazed and fragmented with ever growing to-do lists so much so that I knew I needed a strong reset.
To add to this, recently I’ve had several clinical cases where I could clearly see that the events which triggered my patients’ disease were the stressful events in their lives.
These events included death in the family, divorce, moving, changing jobs, past trauma, etc.
I can easily tell my patients to go seek a counselor and/or try to apply the Function Medicine modalities, however, I knew I was missing something.
Attending this intensive training was the best thing I could do for myself as well as for all our patients and clients.
Discovering Your True Self
Most of us live our lives frazzled and fragmented with so much information and entertainment fighting for our attention that we forget who we are.
Even in identifying ourselves, we do so by saying we’re someone’s wife, mom, husband, daughter, or son.
Most of us don’t take the time to really get to know our true selves. We live day to day, fulfilling our duties as who we are to others.
This being said, I realized many of my patients struggle with unresolved emotional traumas that continue to wreak havoc in their lives and health.
Unless we bring awareness to who we truly are, we never “resolve” this inner conflict that creates so much negative vibration and ultimately causes stress that of course can lead to disease.
Remember, stress has biochemical consequences in our bodies and health.
But what I learned last week is that we can create physiological, emotional, and spiritual resolutions by practicing Yoga Nidra.
Struggling with Meditation
For years, I’ve toyed with meditation. But my crazy and busy mind is constantly out of control, creating unnecessary realities so much so that I’ve given up on meditation.
Then I tried various apps like Calm and Headspace but I realized I didn’t want another person’s voice supplicating my mind.
I should be able to do this and master my own mind.
What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra according to Wikipedia is “ a yogic sleep, or the state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the “going-to-sleep” stage.
It is a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions.”
It’s hard to describe what something is without going into depth about the roots of Yoga Nidra.
In the practice of Yoga there are three types of bodies:
- Physical body: Our body of organs and muscles
- Subtle body: Our body of chakras, or energies
- Causal Body: Our body of karma, thoughts and emotions
Yoga is a progression of asanas (poses), with a focus on the physical body, then moving into the subtle body through breath with movement, and then finally to the causal body to create a state of dissolution into the state of Yoga Nidra.
I think many of us realize that we are crazed in our minds.
Our minds are so fragmented and can create so much unnecessary worry, drama, and false perceptions that in some cases, we can create disease.
Yoga Nidra allows us to tune inward and quiet our minds to enter a state of zen. It’s considered a bridge between meditation and samadhi.
Samadhi is a state of ultimate realization, a state of oneness and complete absorption.
It’s the final state of Yoga.
Our Perceptions Create Our Reality
Too many of us live our lives going through the motions everyday without being “present” in the moment.
We constantly create false perceptions of our world and our minds. We try to place brackets around just about everything in our lives.
For example, during Yoga Nidra training, many of us wanted to know how to teach the exact modality of Yoga Nidra to our students.
Our teacher said everyone tries to place a bracket around Yoga Nidra and wants the exact “technique” on the “how”.
Instead, we should let things play out and share our own experiences.
When we consider ourselves the “teacher”, we immediately place a bracket around ourselves that results in perceiving our “students” as those who are learning what we have to teach.
Truth is, students are great teachers and teachers are great students.
It’s not about this or that. Right or wrong.
It’s about being in the moment and allowing for the full “experience”.
We are here, but not here. I can attest to this fact as frequently, when my younger son fights for my attention, my mind is somewhere far although my physical body is with my son.
He knows of my absence and frankly he deserves more than that from me.
Being present and mindful is an abstract concept. Too often I don’t think we think through the implications of our footprint in this world.
Lack of Mindfulness Creates Imbalance
Our bodies crave homeostasis and are constantly working on our behalf to create balance within.
When our minds are busy and fragmented, our vibrational frequencies are erratic.
This causes a negative biochemical cascade in our bodies that disturbs this very balance.
We should be aligned with our body and mind so much so that everything is in balance, Body, Mind, and Spirit.
Yoga is Not an Exercise, It’s a Way of Life
Yoga has become heavily physical here in the United States.
So much emphasis on body contortion in our Yoga practice causes our bodies to be out of sync physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
We must move with breath and bring awareness and mindfulness to our practice.
Also, we must translate our experience on the mat into all aspects of our lives off the mat.
The practice of Yoga when taken to heart will empower your body, mind, and soul to be in full alignment so much so that you’ll radiate healing vibrations.
This healing vibration is so powerful as our bodies inherently are much more intelligent than the most intelligent human being.
Key is to tune in.
More on Yoga Nidra Soon
I will be “sharing” this sacred practice of Yoga Nidra with you at Alkaline Wellness Center.
There will also be more information about it on our online platforms for those who are not local.
I believe this will be the healing practice that you’ve been waiting for. To me, it’s much better than psychotherapy.
I was fortunate enough to experience the benefits. I plan to continue to further my trainings to bring healing and joy to you going forward.
Thanks so much, I’ll be sharing more in the coming weeks.
Also follow us on Instagram! @alkalinewellness and @lupusrebel
I’ll see you next week.