The beauty of yoga is there is something for everyone.
This weekend, I was honored to be enlightened by another yoga teacher who shared her yoga experience with me. She took my class and then told me she teaches yoga to veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We shared with each other our story and I was so happy that she is helping others in such an amazing way. I truly believe that if people are open to alternative ways of healing, the path to a healthier life is totally within their own grasp.
There is a study being done right now with the National Institute of Health on the healing benefits of Restorative Guided Meditation or Yoga Nidra. I have taken a level one Teacher Training at East Meets West Yoga Center last year and I was fascinated at the science behind this ancient practice. This guided meditation can lead a participant from their consciousness to subconsciousness to the unconsciousness, in order to remove the emotional scars that they may have. The intention that one set, allows them to take a mindful commitment to themselves to achieve what they really want.
I walked into the training with no experience of ever having done Yoga Nidra before. Two senior teachers I have worked with told me to take it whenever I had the opportunity. So I was expecting a guided practice in Savasana. I did get that but I wasn’t sure I was doing it right because I was drifting off to sleep. I couldn’t remember everything the instructor was saying. That evening after the practice, I was wide awake and alert. I was not able to sleep until 2 am and I had to be back at the training at 9am. Again, we did another practice and I felt myself restless. I had to ask the instructor what is wrong with me! Bless her heart, she told me, “There’s nothing wrong with you. Your body needs rest. Listen to it and it will guide you. You did the practice right.” I was confused, then happy that I could fall asleep in class and basically get an A for effort! Where was this class when I was in high school and college?
I’ve practiced a few times on my own in the next few months and things from the past started to surface. Rather than the usual way I deal with pain – stuffing it down, I talked about it. I came to the realization that I have lived my life in a lot of fear. My lie that I am not good enough to be loved comes from self-sabotage to a point where I create so much drama, that I force the people in my life out. Sometimes, I don’t even know I am doing it. From these experiences, I am now open to staying more committed in my own personal journey to a more open and healthier mental life.
So I’m sure some of you are asking, How long did it take you to come to this conclusion? In the span of 2 months and about 5 Yoga Nidra practices…as they say, I saw a light at the end of tunnel.
I have been teaching Yoga Nidra at the end of some of my 90 minutes classes. A few of my students have came up to me a few days after and told me they were a lot more patient and calm for the rest of the day. For me, I was able to focus a lot more on whatever tasks I was doing after a Yoga Nidra class. In that same day, I also walked in to the studio to teach an evening class from a place of peace. As an instructor, I have felt the benefit of leading classes because I am more accepting of my students and where they are in their practice.
I’ve just started a weekly class at Yoga Bliss in Gaithersburg on Sunday afternoons and I will be teaching a Monday night class at Mind Your Body Oasis in Crystal City. Yoga Nidra is a powerful practice that I believe can heal your deepest wounds. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to see you on the mat soon.