I’ve become more and more dedicated to the inner practice of Yoga Nidra, something I had been interested in years ago through connection with Swami Rama. When I saw that the YWCA in Vancouver, an unlikely spot for inner yoga work, was featuring a class on Tuesday afternoons on Yoga Nidra, I was very excited and have been a regular attendee. The gym is filled with people lying down in savasana, covered in blankets, perfectly still and practicing Yoga Nidra.
Innerly, the process is extremely useful and can be a very high meditation. It also gives equillibrium, great peace of mind, stress relief and profound relaxation. The instructor for the class is very knowledgeable and gives clear, direct and no-bullshit instructions. There is no overlay of the kind of so-called spiritual advice, but rather a direct guidance to the straight goods, for you to find out for yourself.
After taking the class regularly, I interviewed Yogachaitanya, the instructor, for the project I was working on at the time, Open Source Spirit (this site is now in transition.) I’d include a video here, but wordpress.com won’t let me post it. You can find a link and CDs of the instructions for this Yoga Nidra, here at his site.
This practice of Yoga Nidra has been particularly helpful to me in the past few months, when my mother was so ill, and I was travelling back and forth, visiting her at the hospital and then at the hospice, and then after her passing. I just followed the instructions on my ipod and there was immediate relaxation and peace of mind that persisted within me through the days during one of the most stressful and intense times of my life. Using these instructions from the CD was a godsend, and kept me in the spirit of the process at its most meaningful, and the practice has remained helpful to me to this day.
Normally, I am not a fan of guided meditations, which I feel are more a form of hypnosis than training, and there comes to be a reliance on them, rather than self-aware involvement that is your own. In this situation however, I was very grateful for the assistance, and the leading of my conscious awareness into the openings of spirit.