New Year Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Workshop

New Year Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Workshop

Saturday 7th January 2017 – 6.45-8.45pm at Embody Wellness

Realign with your deepest self in this New Year workshop with Patricia Carlota and I – an evening of deep relaxation for both body and mind.

Yin Yoga is a deep, meditative practice that activates the parasympathetic nervous system (calming the body’s fight/flight response). Physically the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons and fascia – the cling-film-like ‘tissue’ which holds our muscles together) in areas such as the hips and spine and typically involves holding poses for three to five minutes.

This will prepare the body for a calming Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) practice – a guided meditation that will bring you to the edge of sleep, quietening the mind, reducing tension and promoting deep relaxation. We will invite the space to set our intentions (Sankalpa) during our Yoga Nidra practice, clarifying what we wish to cultivate in our lives for the year ahead, ready for a blissful Gong Bath.

A Gong Bath is a form of Sound Healing where the Gong and other related instruments are played to induce wellbeing. The term ‘bath’ signifies being bathed in sound waves. Participants are invited to lie down comfortably on a yoga mat, close their eyes, relax and be cocooned in a sonic immersion. The practice provides a space to re-generate, re-nourish, and re-set your whole being – mind, body, emotions, soul, and energy field.

To book your place please visit the Embody Wellness website here or call Embody on 020 7099 0048.

 

A Solstice Meditation for You

A Solstice Meditation for You

Simple Solstice Meditation for You

Visoka va Jyotismati – Sutra 1.36

Visoka – blissful
va – or
jyotismati – the supreme light

This month in the Northern Hemisphere is the Winter Solstice (Wednesday 21st December) – the shortest day and longest night of the year.

In many ways 2016 has been a tumultuous year around the world. In the midst of uncertain and darker times it can be easy to succumb to fear and forget the light within – the light which Sutra 1.36 reminds us we all possess – which allows us to spread goodness. If you feel unsettled, try this simple meditation to remind you of your inner light which is beyond all fear and worry:

– Take your awareness to your heart centre. Visualise a light there, glowing radiantly.

– Stay here, focusing on this inner light for as long as you can, even if it’s just a minute. Feel that light expanding, radiating throughout your body, until you are filled up with this light. Then feel your light expanding further, outwards into the space around you.

– Don’t be surprised to notice that your breathing has become slower and more steady – a good sign.

Solstice Blessings.

Namaste.

Winter Solstice Gong Bath & Yoga Nidra

Winter Solstice Gong Bath & Yoga Nidra

Sunday 18th December 2-4pm at reCentre Health, Balham

Join us for this special Winter Solstice workshop – an afternoon of soothing sounds and complete relaxation for the mind and body

The Winter Solstice marks the shortest day of the year as we transition from Autumn to Winter and is a time for reflection and rebalancing – acknowledging what no longer serves us, making space to welcome in the new.

In this special workshop we will invite the space to set our “solstice resolutions”or intentions (Sankalpa) with our Yoga Nidra practice (with Paula), clarifying what we wish to cultivate in our lives as we move forward.

Yoga Nidra (also known as ‘yogic sleep’) is a guided meditation that  will bring you to the edge of sleep, quietening the mind, reducing tension and promoting deep relaxation.

Following a short tea break, the second part of the workshop will commence with a glorious gong bath with Patricia Carlota.

A Gong Bath is a form of Sound Healing where the Gong and other related instruments are played to induce wellbeing. The term ‘bath’ signifies being bathed in sound waves. Participants are invited to lie down comfortably on a yoga mat, close their eyes, relax and be cocooned in a sonic immersion. The practice provides a space to re-generate, re-nourish, and re-set your whole being – mind, body, emotions, soul, and energy field.

Booking is essential as places are limited. Book your place here or call reCentre on 020 8672 4455.

Do You Struggle to Sleep? Try This

Do You Struggle to Sleep? Try This

Paula’s Yoga Nidra for Sleep – Audio Download available here

Do you struggle to get to sleep? Listen to this 12-minute Yoga Nidra practice I have recorded to help you drift off to sleep more easily.  This is best listened to in bed as this nidra does not wake you up at the end so allows you to remain asleep after the practice is complete.

You can find my Yoga Nidra for Sleep here.

Yoga Nidra is also known as ‘yogic sleep’.  This powerful practice is known to bring about total physical, emotional and mental relaxation. Just a few of the reported benefits include reduced stress, improved sleep and a greater sense of wellbeing but Yoga Nidra can also be used as a means to help heal emotional and physiological wounds.

Find more about Yoga Nidra and its benefits via my article, ‘Yoga Nidra – Dreaming of Yogic Sleep’ here.

Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Evening

Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Evening

NEW WORKSHOP at Embody Wellness – Saturday 19th November 6.30-8.30pm

Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath Workshop

Join Gong Practitioner Patricia Carlota and I for an evening of deep relaxation for both body and mind.

Yin Yoga is a deep, meditative practice that activates the parasympathetic nervous system (calming the body’s fight/flight response). Physically the focus is on moving deeper into the connective tissues of the body (ligaments, tendons and fascia – the cling-film-like ’tissue’ which holds our muscles together) in areas such as the hips and spine and typically involves holding poses for three to five minutes. This will prepare the body for a calming Yoga Nidra (‘yogic sleep’) practice – a guided meditation that will bring you to the edge of sleep, quieting the mind, reducing tension and promoting deep relaxation – ready for a blissful Gong Bath.

A Gong Bath is a form of Sound Healing where the Gong and other related instruments are played to induce wellbeing. The term ‘bath’ signifies being bathed in sound waves. Participants are invited to lie down comfortably on a yoga mat, close their eyes, relax and be cocooned in a sonic immersion. The practice provides a space to re-generate, re-nourish and re-set your whole being – mind, body, emotions, soul and energy field.

For full details and booking, please visit the Embody Wellness website here.

Yoga Nidra – Dreaming of Yogic Sleep

Yoga Nidra – Dreaming of Yogic Sleep

“Yoga Nidra can be understood as a total practice of yoga itself… a state of ‘awakened sleep’ … in this state (we encounter) auto-suggestive experience of the power of the unconscious mind and its linkage with the soul.” – Sri Ram Sharam Acharya.

What is Yoga Nidra?

The word ‘nidra’ translates as ‘sleep’, hence the term ‘yogic sleep’. Put simply, Yoga Nidra can be described as a form of meditation, though it is not so much a practice or technique as a state of being. It can be seen as an altered state of consciousness – neither being asleep or awake, but a state in-between. Sometimes, Yoga Nidra is referred to as ‘conscious sleep’ as the physical body is resting, but the mind remains awake and aware. Yoga Nidra brings about total physical, emotional and mental relaxation. Just a few of the reported benefits include reduced stress, improved sleep and a greater sense of wellbeing but Yoga Nidra can also be used as a means to help heal emotional and physiological wounds. For instance, the work of Richard Miller with US Army veterans with PTSD has produced impressive results. As one US Marine veteran comments on Richard Miller’s iRest (‘integrative-Restoration’ Yoga Nidra) website,

I truly believe that iRest helps to save my life every day. It has given me the hope and strength I needed to reconnect myself to the world again.” 

For my own personal experience of Yoga Nidra, it has helped (and continues to help) me find self-acceptance. As Rod Stryker (teacher, founder of ParaYoga and author of The Four Desires) describes, Yoga Nidra,  “…opens a doorway to a place where we can see ourselves and our lives in the most positive light.”

As a student I have experienced Yoga Nidras across a range of traditions – Himalayan, Satyananda and iRest (Richard Miller) – and experienced different benefits from all of them, and so when I wanted to deepen my studies in this area in order to share Yoga Nidra with more people, I trained with Uma Dinsmore-Tuli, Nirlipta Tuil and Ben Woolf in Total Yoga Nidra. Total Yoga Nidra delves into all these different lineages and shows us that there is no one ‘right way’.

How do I ‘do’ Yoga Nidra?

One of the great beauties of this is that you don’t have to do yoga or meditate in order to experience Yoga Nidra, making it accessible to almost anyone. As a practitioner, all that is required of you is to lie down (or sit) in a comfortable position, listen and be willing to become effortless, or in other words, enter an effortless state of being. Restorative Yoga poses such as a Basic Relaxation Pose (Supported Savasana) or Supported Reclining Pose are ideal positions for Yoga Nidra as the body is completely supported and comfortable, thus creating the conditions for both body and mind to let go more easily. If you have classes available in your area then it can be wonderful to experience live ‘in person’ Yoga Nidra, but you can also listen to recordings meaning that you can access Yoga Nidra whenever you need it at the times which work best for you.

I have recorded short 10-15 minute practices which are available through my website here. I will be regularly adding more Yoga Nidra and meditation recordings to this page. I have been asked by many people over the past couple of years for recordings, so I hope you will enjoy them.

If you are based in London I teach a weekly Friday Flow with Yoga Nidra class at Embody Wellness Vauxhall and a Flow & Restore with Yoga Nidra class at Create in Raynes Park. Each class has a 15 minute Yoga Nidra at the end. As I type, I have also have two upcoming workshops which each include 30-45 minute Yoga Nidras:

  • Saturday 19th NovemberYin Yoga, Yoga Nidra & Gong Bath – 6.30-8.30pm at Embody Wellness in Vauxhall
  • Sunday 18th DecemberWinter Solstice Gong Bath & Yoga Nidra – 2-4pm at reCentre Health in Balham.

On both of these workshops I will be collaborating with Gong Practitioner, Patricia Carlota. For full details of these workshops please click here.

And don’t forget, if you sign up to my mailing list through www.ucanyoga.co.uk you will receive a complimentary 15 minute Yoga Nidra too.