Relaxing in savasana is the favorite part of class for many students. But for some, it’s the most difficult part. Lie down, relax, boom, it just doesn’t happen for many people (just like sleep doesn’t always come when you want it!). A guided practice of Yoga Nidra (yoga sleep) is a wonderful way to train your body to relax. I always lead a short guided practice at the end of my classes, but lately have offered longer practice in certain classes.
I’ll guide you systematically through different parts of the body, and you will try to dispassionately observe the mind as well. “Observation with judgment is the highest form of spiritual practice” is one of my favorite guidelines from Swami Kripalu. You’ll notice without judging as you try a session of Yoga Nidra. You might fall asleep or you might trigger the relaxation response. Either way, you’ll enjoy some quality time with yourself.
Yoga Nidra is my favorite practice when done in its longer form. I’ll teach it in an upcoming class, but in the meantime, you can also do your own practice by using my recorded Yoga Nidra. It’s said that 20 minutes of Yoga Nidra equals 3 hours of sleep. Try it! All our YouTube videos are offered freely, so everyone can participate without cost.
Even if I can’t get to Kripalu and that chair – my favorite for meditation – I try to imagine myself there in my daily meditation practice. It’s that daily repetition that creates healthy habits and ultimately, a wonderful sense of well-being that follows you through your entire day.
After class the other day, someone asked how many days it takes to create a healthy habit. The typical answer is 21 – but that doesn’t mean you have to come for a class every day (as much as we’d love to see you!). It means that every day there’s at least a moment where you follow your breath, or you wake up and remember to do shoulder rolls, or you get down and do a few dog/cat tilts and maybe one down dog before you go to work or go wake up your kids.
It’s just having at least a moment of awareness that carries over into what you choose to eat for breakfast, whether you take that morning walk, and how you interact with your entire day.
Fall for me is always the time to recommit to very specific habits – in my case, attending the 8:45 am Saturday (3 weeks in a row, I’m trying to keep the streak going!) and adding at least one other class. This week I was lucky enough to attend both Laura’s 5:45 pm After-Work Flow (a lovely, extremely gentle Kripalu class) and Michele’s new Beginner’s, where it was wonderful to see so many brave souls trying Yoga for the first time or returning after a long hiatus.
For the full schedule, including new classes and continuing ones, keep reading here …