Friday, 18 June 2010
I've been regularly attending a Hatha Yoga class for about two years. It lasts one and a half hours but many participants arrive early so they can lie around the floor for a while. We're then rudely interrupted by gentle-ish postures for about an hour before we return to the purpose of the evening, as I see it anyway,a relaxing lie again, this time for twenty minutes practice of Yoga Nidra.
According to a BBC webpage Yoga Nidra, also called yogic sleep is a point between waking and sleep, practised in a totally relaxed state. In this state contact with the subconscious and unconscious dimensions can occur spontaneously which leaves the mind very sensitive to suggestion. The aim of the practice is to release physical, emotional and emotional tension and it is said that an hour of Yoga Nidra equates to four hours of conventional sleep.
During the practice begins, a 'sankalpa' is repeated three times which is a short, positive resolution. This is intended to reshape your personality and direction in life along positive lines, acting on auto-suggestion. Apparently once chosen the exact wording of the sankalpa should not be fiddled with each time that Yoga Nidra is practised and should only be changed when the desired outcomes have been achieved, Mine, rather surprisingly, given my desire to sleep in class, is 'I shall be energised in all areas of my life'. Not working yet love, you may think!
So, blissfully we're instructed to lie on the floor and get as comfortable as possible. With my cosy cushions, faux fur blanket and soft fleecy hoody at the ready, I'm happy to comply completely with this request. But then we're asked to close our eyes, stay as still as possible, but remain alert. And this is where the problem starts. Easy-peasy in theory but in practice at 8:30pm in the evening after a full day's work et al. it's not the piece of cake it deserves to be. I mostly end up sleeping lightly and to be honest feel a bit aggrieved if I'm cheated of this chance to kip. However, one memorable and embarrassing evening I had to be physically roused from undoubtedly snore addled sleep by our lovely teacher, Kathy. On the one occasion I stayed fully aware I was so amazed that I truly felt that I must have achieved enlightenment.
But this need and desire to sleep when I should stay awake has helped me to question whether this could be a wake up call to myself. Perhaps I need to set aside more time devoted to proper rest and relaxation. With the help of my very own Yoga Nidra CD I'm exploring the effect that this practice has when extended into everyday life. And if my sankalpa works look out for the highly energised Lovelygrey who, in future, will be a formidable match for the Duracell Bunny.