If you are my client, I have most likely encouraged you to meditate on a regular basis. Here is a piece I wrote on the best meditation app I’ve found and use every day myself:
However, my absolute favourite meditation practice of all time is Yoga Nidra which I’ve written about previously:
Since I wrote that, I have received countless “thank you’s” from clients and readers who tried it out for themselves and said that Yoga Nidra has been a real game-changer for them. In this article, I want to share the powerful mental health benefits of doing a regular Yoga Nidra practise, as well as a couple of other Yoga Nidra gems.
Yoga Nidra Helps to Release Long-Held Emotions
From an article entitled, The Five Benefits of Yoga Nidra:
Some people crave the profound relaxation that this practice instills, while other practitioners use the non-judgmental and secure atmosphere that yoga nidra provides as a window into themselves. Yoga nidra offers a space to explore what you need in the moment, as well as an opportunity to work on releasing long-held emotions. During yoga nidra you are able to experience an emotion and come “face to face” with what you want to overcome, without “diving into it” completely—meaning without feeling the emotion so completely that you become overwhelmed. Over time you continue to experience the emotion and associated feelings, moving deeper into the practice.
Yoga nidra offers a space to explore what you need in the moment, as well as an opportunity to work on releasing long-held emotions.
Yoga nidra can serve as a pathway to freedom without creating bodily stress. A samskara (mental groove) is formed by a repetitive thought or habit that is deepened in the mind and body, creating a mental impression (groove) over time. These impressions can cause negative reactions and emotions which prevent a unification of the five layers (koshas) of one’s self. If these negative emotions continue to plague you, the mental/emotional layer of the self is unable to integrate with the other layers: physical, energetic, higher wisdom, and bliss body. This is where yoga nidra can be especially helpful.
A Sleep Aid with No Negative Side Effects
I am guessing that many of you probably struggle with sleep, especially considering all of the extra stresses we have collectively endured over the past year and a half. One of my clients was having trouble sleeping and told me about an excellent Yoga Nidra practise called Yoga Nidra for Sleep she found that helped her immensely. The creator of this beautiful practise is Jennifer Piercy and it turns out that she lives in Victoria BC where I am too!
Here is a snippet about Jennifer’s work:
I create visceral, direct experience sonic sleep tonic in the form of guided Yoga Nidra, as well as other liminal space meditations and invocations that are designed to be a portal to imagination, and a healthy downward/inward spiral that offers an embodied experience of liberation – like “trust falls” with the universe.
My rest and sleep tracks are the #1 played on the popular world-wide community meditation app, Insight Timer.
I specialize in inviting magic from ‘down’ states and different flavors of tired, helping people widen their rest and sleep horizons, restoring their place in natural rhythms, honoring tired-ness and exhaustion as a sacred doorway into depth and love.
All my work re-connects individuals to that power, and offers potent, quiet gateways into the receptive genius that comes uniquely through turning on regenerative rest-and-digest powers.
Helping humans slow down and feel not just permission to rest, but whole-hearted celebration and integration of rest – is one of the things I am most devoted to.
I tried this Yoga Nidra meditation and went into a much deeper state of rest and relaxation than I’ve experienced with many others and I’ve tried MANY of them. Try her wonderful Yoga Nidra for Sleep practise here:
My Other Favourite Yoga Nidra Meditation
This one comes from Jennifer Raye, another Vancouver Island based yoga teacher. Here is a snippet from Jennifer’s bio:
I am a licensed Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner (acupuncturist / herbalist), published author, holistic nutritionist, and experienced mindfulness, yoga, and movement teacher.
I’m passionate about medicine and movement that brings together modern and traditional wisdom. This effective and integrative health care can help us take deep care of ourselves, the planet, and those around us.
I’ve spent the last 17+ years steeped in evidence based natural medicine, embodiment practices, & therapeutic movement. These systems have long and established histories, and they can help you get healthy and stay deeply well.
In my medical practice, writing, and teaching I love sharing my knowledge and helping you be your own health advocate.
Try her wonderful Yoga Nidra practise here: