RESTORATIVE YOGA AND YOGA NIDRA
To restore harmony in a body, mind or life that has swung out of balance, the practices of restorative yoga are invaluable.
Just as we have night and day, yin and yang, we have yoga practices that nourish and enrich us in a more passive, juicy way (yin) and those who energise us in a more active, fiery way (yang).
Restorative yoga is slow, supported, relaxing and restful. It is usually practiced with props like bolsters, blocks and rugs - the poses held for extended periods of time. It helps the body to drop down out of the rat race and into a nurturing pace. It calms the nervous system and the adrenals and helps to sooth stress and relax the body and mind. It is deeply healing, especially to anyone who is sick, imbalanced, grieving or fatigued. It can help soothe you when life is rough. It really does help you journey through hard times - whatever they may be.
I truly believe that these Deep Rest practices hold the key for finding balance and healing in the modern world. I am so happy to share them with you - Chaitanya
Supported, restorative yoga postures and deep rest yoga nidra are fantastic practices to maintain and regain pelvic wellbeing. They can be worked with daily or a few times a week for maximum benefit. Optimal times to practice in alignment with the body's energy cycles are between11-1pm and 3-7pm. Of course - any time will do!
RESTING ON YOUR PERIOD
As you begin to bleed you enter a deep yin time of your cycle - your energy is naturally trying to draw inwards towards your deep reserves. This is the PERFECT time to practice restorative yoga and deep rest, enabling your body to truly drop deeply into its own natural restorative phase as it releases the blood and emotional debris from the last cycle.
If you have any menstrual or reproductive imbalances, or any health problem at all, making dedicated time for restoration in the early days of the period is very powerful and should be prioritised. At this time the body is attempting somewhat of a system reboot, but if we maintain our everyday pace and outward focus we miss out on the opportunity.
DEEP REST YOGA NIDRA
Yoga Nidra or Yogic Sleep is a powerful deep rest practice, done lying down, that has to be felt to be believed.
It works by bringing our focus and breath to a series of points and regions of the body - encouraging the energy to gather, and then withdraw one by one, simply by holding the attention at each point.
Usually a lot of our energy is focused outwards into the world. Not just in our eyes and sense organs, but at various energetic juntion points (like joints) in the body. In a yoga nidra practice, the energies are unlocked from their external focus and you are free to then sink into the deep restorative presence within.
This simple practice has a powerful effect, with a half an hour session giving you an equivalent of 3 hours deep sleep. It is really great for anyone journeying through cronic fatigue, adrenal fatigue or any health issue.
Yoga nidra is usually associated with the Satyananda lineage of Yoga, but the series of points Chaitanya shares differ to give a deeper withdrawl and were shared by Dr David Frawley in his Advanced Yoga, Mantra and Ayurveda course.
You can download or listen to Chaitanya's Deep Rest Yoga Nidra practice here.