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(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

(c) 2010 Christiana Lambert

Sometimes you introduce something awesome to other people and they just run with it, leaving you wondering just what you are missing. But, hey, that’s not all bad, right?

I’m coming up on 10 years of doing yoga, mostly with the same instructor. One of the great things about my teacher is that her classes are not often predictable—she varies the styles of yoga and often introduces different tools. Only once during those 10 years did she do something called yoga nidra in my regular classes, but I never forgot that one class.

Let’s just say that I have control issues, so I don’t always get my mind to let go during my yoga classes—even after practicing yoga for all those years. One time when I really did let go was during that long ago yoga nidra class. Yoga nidra is a systematic guided relaxation technique—which can result in a waking sleep. When it works well it is almost indescribable—at least I can’t really get my words to explain to you just how freeing it is—you’re just going to have to try it yourself.

When my instructor recently offered a scheduled yoga nidra class, I signed up right away. And then I thought about my son who has been learning meditation techniques through his martial arts practice—and who has also been sidelined from most of his physical activities with his recent concussion. He’s been crawling out of his skin without being able to move in the ways he wants—here was a guy who needed to relax but who also was becoming more open to different relaxation techniques.

Last Saturday we both attended the class. I received many benefits from the session, but due to my lower back speaking to me way too loudly as the session continued, I eventually became more fixated on my physical state and less able to disassociate from the here and now.

Not my son—it seems he really experienced something closer to what I experienced the first time I did yoga nidra. Several days later he is still talking about it. The thing is I can also see the change in him. He’s been in a pretty irritable state since his head got injured, but in the last few days he’s starting to have more moments when he’s relaxed. And even before he got hit on the head, he wasn’t a very relaxed sort of person. (Hmm–where does that trait come from?)

Wouldn’t it be great if he finally found a tool that could help him to help himself? This is especially important right now when he can’t do so many of the things that usually calm him down.

Hey, maybe it will be catching and I can find some more calm myself—but first it seems I need to prepare my body in advance for lying still so long—turns out all those positioning pillows I need for good sleep might be necessary to get my body and its aches out of the picture long enough to let my mind go wherever it’s been needing to go.

But discovering where the mind can go when the body remains still—and quiet—is nothing short of miraculous.

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