I always practice meditation lying down.
Okay, that's inaccurate - I practice it when I'm seated, walking, standing, and curled into a ball. But I wish I was always practicing it lying down.
Which was one reason why yoga nidra - "yogic sleep" meditation - appealed to me. I believe that the practice found its way to me for that reason.
I truly believe we need to be in our most relaxed state to make any sort of unconscious change or alteration in our minds and habits. And for most, that is achieved lying down.
One of my favorite quotes, attributed to Albert Einstein, is:
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
When you enter a relaxed state, the space between wakefulness and sleep, your mind enters deep sleep brain waves. I was shocked when I practiced yoga nidra for the first time - these were the SAME relaxation techniques that I learned in yoga teacher training! I had found what was missing from my meditation practices, and what I needed when I craved a deeper practice.
What was even more magical than that connection was the experience that came from it.
I have been practicing yoga nidra for the past month, and every night that I do, it feels like I am taking a deep dive within myself. I feel that I'm taking care of myself, that I am exploring the depths of my emotions and struggles, and - on top of it - I'm resting.
I am more confident because of yoga nidra.
I am more embodied because of yoga nidra.
I am less anxious because of yoga nidra.
I can hear myself through yoga nidra. Here are a few phrases and feelings that have come up during my practice.
I am worthy of happiness.
I deserve to rest.
Be gentle with yourself.
Excitement for the future.
Intense feminine energy.
If you're interested in yoga nidra, I highly recommend Daring to Rest, the 40-day program written by Karen Brody for WOMEN. Karen makes the case that rest is what can clear emotional energy that is no longer serving us, and what will help us take back our lives.
If you've tried yoga nidra, I'd love to hear your experience and what you like best about it below. I cannot wait to incorporate yoga nidra into the service I bring to others, and your comments will help me do just that.
Until then, enlightened ones.