Are you feeling stressed, run down and overwhelmed? Is a vacation not a reality right now? Are you ready to experience a form of yoga that is restorative, nourishing and healing this new year? Grass Valley Yoga invites the community to come practice Yoga Nidra.
The literal definition of “yoga” is union or oneness, and “nidra” means sleep. Thus, Yoga Nidra is traditional yogic guided meditation that brings practitioners into a state of conscious deep relaxation. The body is asleep, but the mind is awake and becomes an active participant in the healing process.
Yoga Nidra dates back thousands of years. Since then, many different styles of Yoga Nidra have arisen. Clinical psychologist Richard C. Miller, founder of the Integrative Restoration Institute established in 2006 has done recent research in Veterans Affairs hospitals and military bases. He has researched the benefits of Yoga Nidra on veterans returning home experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Yoga Nidra has been shown to decrease symptoms among veterans, such as phobias, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, depression and fatigue. Other conditions, which benefit greatly from the regular practice of Yoga Nidra, are autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, cardiac disease, like hypertension and post-heart attack care, and chronic diseases, including lyme disease and fibromyalgia. Yoga Nidra is also excellent to manage stress accumulated from the fast pace of modern life.
Yoga Nidra brings total rest to the mind, brain, nervous system, senses and body. It is appropriate and beneficial for everyone — the young and the old, the weak and the strong, the physically fit and the physically challenged. It is not a physical practice like the majority of yoga practiced in the West. Instead, Yoga Nidra is performed by practitioners lying down in a comfortable posture throughout the entire session. Yoga Nidra focuses on going inward to heal the physical and emotional body.
Repressed emotions and traumas have the potential to come into awareness through this practice, and individuals have the opportunity to finally free themselves from these repressed emotions and traumas. Through the consistent practice of Yoga Nidra, one can become more relaxed, aware and at ease with the physical body, mind and emotions. The natural, healthy state of body and mind is restored.
I am a certified trainer of Yoga Nidra and will offer a class at Grass Valley Yoga from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 8. The cost is $15 per person; however, no one will be turned away for lack of funds. As this practice is performed lying on the back, please bring a pillow to ensure your comfort. Yoga mats and blankets are provided at the studio, but you are more than welcome to bring your own.
Trudy Collins is a yoga instructor at Grass Valley Yoga, 10052 Alta Sierra Dr. in Grass Valley. For information, call (530) 559-1357.