Meditation - an experience of Yoga Nidra
Lying with the body in Savasana, ensure the back of the neck is comfortable and limbs are warm, we will be in the asana during the entire Yoga Nidra practice.
The aim of Yoga Nidra is to be conscious during the whole process, not to fall asleep, but to actively relax the body and following the guidance of the instructor. Whenever your mind drifts off just observe the thought, let it go and bring your awareness back to the sound of my voice. Lets begin by observing the body lying on the mat, take a deep inhale filling the abdomen and exhale audibly. ……
Now quietly bring your focus to the feet, the weight of the heels on the mat, inhaling deeply and visualize your feet becoming grains of sand and exhale as you feel the sand gently falling away to the ground, release the tension in the tops of the feet, ankles and joints. Moving along to the calf muscles, observe how gravity pulls the calves closer to earth. See the grains of sand over the whole calf from bottom slowly moving to the top as they fall away, exhale slowly melting fear away into the space beneath your body. Focus on the knee joints experience the weight and dissolve any pain and tension by imagining the sand falling away calmly. Scanning further along the legs now with the focus on the thighs, feel the heaviness of the muscles, exhale and gently release and descend the grains of sand to the earth. Inhale deeply and place your awareness on the muscles supporting the hip joints, exhale and see this whole area becoming lighter as the sand is soothingly encouraged down and out of the body. Inhale feel the region of the lower back connecting with the mat, exhale and lovingly separate all tension and heaviness from this area by visualizing the sand gradually falling back to where it came from.
Take your concentration to the hands, to the fingers, the palms and the backs of the hands. Experience the pressure of gravity planting the hands onto the mat, experience the sand dropping through and off all areas of the hands back to mother earth, releasing all stress and strain. Inhale moving along to the wrists and forearms, exhale and see the grains melting away all muscle tension. Inhale feeling the elbow and upper arms touching the mat, exhale and surrender the grains of sand away from your body. Now bring your awareness to the chest, the back of the ribs and the back of the shoulders, inhale and experience the heaviness of the torso on the mat, exhale release the grains of sand gradually and completely dissolving towards the ground beneath you. Focus on the back of the neck behind the throat and between the shoulder blades, observe the pressure on the mat and feel the releasing as you allow the grains of sand to remove all stiffness and unnecessary tightness. Inhale and move your concentration to the back of the head, all the muscles of the face, the ears, the forehead, the hair, inhale and acknowledge the heaviness of the whole head on the mat, exhale and slowly allow these parts of the head to soften and yield to the grains of sand falling continuously towards the soil below.
Take your focus to the thoughts and emotions that may have come up during this stage of the practice, watch them, listen to them, with the same technique allow the grains of sand to remove and return these thoughts and emotions back to the ground, use the help of gravity to encourage and draw the sand towards the earth, simultaneously relax and give into this flow of nature. Inhale deeply, feeling the lightness of your being, the peace and stillness of your mind, exhale deeply as you enjoy the physical body becoming one with mother earth.
Now we can move into the next stage of the Yoga Nidra, I invite you plant your seed of Sankalpa, which is your intention or affirmation for this practice. It may be a personal phrase of health or a physical goal you wish to achieve. Or it may come as a deeper spiritual quest for knowledge and understanding. In whatever form this resolve comes to you acknowledge the positive message and hold this in your mind to revisit at the end of the practice.
You are now lying on a tropical beach, the warm sand that has fallen away is now the support under your whole body. The early morning sun is lovingly warming your face, arms and legs, the crystal clear water is calm and peacefully washing over your toes and ankles. You begin to enquire as to your location along the deserted beach, you sit up and gaze at your surroundings. The beach is vast and the never-ending white sand flickers in the rays of sun. You inhale deeply, the warm salty air expands inside your lungs and the feeling of clarity gently spreads. The ocean breeze is light and soothing upon your face, you sit up and dig both your fingers and toes into the soft sand. Running the grains through your fingertips, drawing your presence into the peaceful surrounds. In the distance you spot a cliff against the ocean’s edge, there is a whisper of song on the breeze that is coming from the cliff top, intrigued by the sweet melody you effortlessly raise to your feet. Standing tall you feel a sense of lightness and release as you begin to take steps towards the direction of the hill. With each step you feel strength and connection to mother earth. As your travel takes you further to the other side of the beach you notice the palm trees on your right becoming greener and more alive with the vitality of this island. The wide vast ocean on your left is full of grace and stillness as it glows vibrant blue. You look down at the sand under each footprint and experience a sense of complete awe at the beauty present in life.
Your sight is once again attracted to the small hill that has now become a large cliff right in front of you. As you are filled with wonderment and intrigue you decide you would like to experience the world from the top of this elevated height. You spy a path in through the coconut palms and head in that direction to explore the access towards the top. The sun is getting higher in the sky and you welcome the shade under the palm leaves. The path is now very clearly marked by the soft sand stones calved into the ascending slope. As you use your hands to part the leaves and tropical shrubs out of your face you notice the sweet melody of the birds. These are the sounds that first called you to this spot and you are hearing them clearly for the first time. A rush of pure bliss covers your whole body as you experience a deep realization that you are on the right path, and mother earth will guide you. You begin to effortlessly climb the path through the green undergrowth, you notice a family of monkeys swinging through the treetops above your head, you see birds nesting and feeding their young. The vibrancy and vitality of your surrounds is clearly evident now and you take each step with a new sense of bliss and serenity. You inhale deeply filling your lungs with this new sensation of life; you feel the prana immerse your whole being with great rejuvenation. You continue to absorb the new light as each foot is taking a new step on the path upwards. As the path begins to level out you notice a clearing up ahead, as you take further steps you reach the small glade and realized it is bathed in brilliant golden sun light. As you discover the edge of the glade with your eyes you acknowledge its deep fertile soil, in between each toe are the most magnificent blades of green lush grass. You can feel the rejuvenation and life flowing from this space.
Filled with great acceptance you gentling lower yourself down onto your knees and hands. You slowly roll onto your back with your eyes facing out into the illuminated world in front of you. Your body feels the warmth and the nurture; your whole being is free of all blockages, all fears and all worries. You are completely held and loved by mother earth.
You deeply inhale the grace garnered by this place as you bring forth your Sankalpa. Recall your affirmation you made at the beginning of your journey to this abundant space of love, recite the words of your resolve. Visualise the golden prana that you have experienced in this fruitful glade imbibing your affirmation. See your Sankalpa materializing as you feed it with this new sense of life. Contemplate your achievement as you inhale deeply and experience the light strengthening your affirmation……..