This Yoga Nidra meditation and visualisation practise can be used at any time to either replenish your energy or as a gentle sleep aid, helping you fall asleep into a deep, nourishing and healing sleep.
It has been said that 1 hour of Yoga Nidra equates to 4 hours of deep sleep. Using this systematic approach to full body and mind relaxation can help you connect with your higher self, internal wisdom, and your ability to heal and relieve stress.
In this Yoga Nidra, let me, your guide Claire, journey with you into a garden.
Yoga Nidra means deep yogic sleep, a practice that is about coming into a space of deep rest and relaxation, while staying lightly awake and aware.
This 45 minute meditation will nourish, replenish and revitalise every part of you, it is the ultimate relaxation technique for releasing stress and tension held in the body. This extended yoga Nidra will help you experience a deep level of relaxation and allow your body to restore and balance itself.
Yoga Nidra is practiced lying down. Please make yourself comfortable on your mat and a blanket over you to keep yourself warm.
Please remember to silence notifications on your device and switch auto play off so you won't be disturbed at the end of the video.
Om Shanti Claire x
GARDEN NIDRA - PREPARATION
Today we are going to journey into a garden through Yoga Nidra. The practice of yoga nidra connects you to your deepest ability to rest and rejuvenate yourself. You will be guided to the space that lies between being asleep and awake where you can most easily connect to the observer within you. The observer is that part of your consciousness that observes what happens in the body, mind and emotional state.
Turn off any distractions, choose a space where you will not be disturbed. Take a few moments to find yourself a relaxing position laying down, it may be on your yoga mat, floor or bed. For extra comfort place yoga bolsters or pillows under your knees or on-top of your hips/thighs.
Close your eyes. Slow down your breath.
Notice how the body feels as it makes contact with the floor below you. Bring your awareness to any tension or stress you may be feeling. Notice any tension, pain or discomfort in the body. If you find spaces of discomfort, tension or pain, direct your breath into those areas, inviting them to soften and release.
Inhale into the tense areas and as you exhale, imaging them softening and melting into the floor below you.
Connecting with your breath, allow your thoughts to soften. Allow your mind to soften. It is only natural that thoughts will come and go. When they arise simply do your best to bring your attention back on to the breath.
Quietening the mind for meditation is simple in theory, yet can at times be hard to implement in practice.
In our busy modern lives we are all struggling to stay focused, that's just part of the journey. However with time, patience and breath awareness you can learn to quieten the mind.
When your mind wanders, be gentle with yourself. Know that NO-ONE has zero thoughts throughout meditation. Even monks have to focus.
With practice you will naturally learn to reduce the amount of thoughts you have and lengthen the space of stillness between your thoughts.
So please don't feel discouraged if you aren't 100% focused on todays meditation.
It is only natural for your mind to get distracted with any little sound or thought.
The busy mind naturally wants to go EVERYWHERE and explore EVERY thought and idea. We must learn to train the mind by redirecting it back to the present moment - time and time again.
Practicing self-awareness will help you take control of your thoughts; You notice when you've fallen off track, and, instead of getting frustrated or continuing to stay distracted, you bring your attention back to the meditation, to your breath and to the present moment - without judgement,
It's important to know that it's the PROCESS of returning your awareness to the meditation and the breath which is important; It's not a destination of complete silence and peace.
Remind yourself you are the observer. The observer of your breath. The observer of your thoughts. The observer of this moment.
If you have pain, the observer observes how it affects the body without holding onto the pain. If you have mental stress, the observer watches how it ties you up in mental knots and circular thoughts. If you have intense emotions, the observer watches them arise and fall without judgement or blame.
Think of accessing the observer as a way to release pain, untie the knots, and stop the chattering of the mind, even if only temporarily.
Try to stay awake during meditation practice by listening to the instructions. Follow them as well as you can and if you drift off to sleep, do not worry. Simply return to the instructions and stay relaxed.
Take a few more moments now to deepen your level of relaxation. Sink into the sensations of the body as you rest on the floor. Feel the body being supported by the floor and notice where the body is touching the floor. Feel the breath flow in and out of your nose. Slowly breathe in and slowly breathe out. Can you feel the flow of the breath throughout the entire body? Listen to the subtle sounds around you as you are resting. You may hear noises from the areas that surround you. These sounds will not disturb your relaxation. Focus here for a few more moments.
Invite your intention to come forward. It could be an intention for peace or healing. It could be something you want to know or attract. Or maybe it is an intention for the well-being of another. Say it silently to yourself three times.
Now….Say to yourself “I am practicing yoga nidra, I am awake and relaxed.”
Together we will move through the body , we will do this by using our awareness to move from one area to another area. As I name the area of the body, please say the name silently
to yourself, and at the same time become aware of that part. Keep yourself alert but do not concentrate too intensely. The practice begins with the feet.
Feel the soles of both feet ... your heels ... your arches ... and all ten toes. Move awareness up to your ankles ... notice the joint at your ankles ... your calves ... shins ... front of your knee ... back of your knee ... inside of your knee ... outside of your knee ... front of your thighs ... inner thighs ... backs of your thighs ... outer thighs ... feel your hips ... buttocks ... groins ... your pelvic floor. Notice your lower belly ... sacrum ... your middle back ... sides of your waist and upper abdomen. Feel your ribcage and notice how much space it takes up in your torso. Feel the right side of your rib cage and the left side. Notice your sternum ... your entire spine ... the sides of your chest ... armpits ... joints of your shoulders. Feel your upper arms ... the inside of your upper arms ... your inner elbows ... your inner forearms ... inside of your wrists ... palms of your hands ... thumbs ... index fingers ... middle fingers ... ring fingers ... little fingers ... backs of your hands ... backs of your wrists ... outside of your forearms ... points of your elbows ... outside of your upper arms ... tops of your shoulders ... your collarbones ... right side of your neck ... left side of your neck ... front of your neck ... jaw ... chin ... lower lip ... upper lip ... space between the lips ... lower teeth ... tongue ... upper teeth ... right nostril ... left nostril ... entire nose ... right cheek ... left cheek ... right ear ... left ear ... inner ears ... ear lobes ... right eye ... left eye ... right eyelid ... left eyelid ... right eyebrow ... left eye brow ... space between the eyebrows ... right temple ... left temple ... forehead ... crown of the head. Feel the whole right side of the body ... the whole left side of the body ... the front of the body ... the back of the body ... the whole body. Feel your entire body all at once ... feel your entire body.
Remember you are practicing yoga nidra, you are awake and relaxed.
Draw your attention to the natural ingoing and outgoing breath. Feel the breath going in and out of your lungs. Do not try to change the rhythm, for your breath is natural, automatic...you are not doing it, there is no effort. Maintain awareness of your breath, ...have a complete awareness of your breath.
With each breath you take, notice the rise and fall of your belly.
Feel the expanding inhale and the releasing exhale
Imagine a beautiful flower located in your heart space. As you inhale, the flower blooms open, expanding. As you exhale the flower softly closes. Inhale bloom open, exhale softly close. Breathing in and breathing out.
AWARENESS OF DUALITIES
Heavy: Allow your breath to continue but do not concentrate on it. Awaken the feeling of heaviness in the body, the feeling of heaviness. Become aware of heaviness in every single part of the body. The arms heavy, the legs heavy, the head heavy, the whole body heavy. You are feeling so heavy that you sink into the floor like a dense heavy stone sitting on sand. The body is heavy...the whole body heavy as stone.
Light: Awaken the feeling of lightness in the body, the feeling of lightness. Create the sensation of lightness and weightlessness in all parts of the body. Your body feels light and free – it is floating away from the floor like a cloud. The body is light...the whole body is as light as a cloud rising toward the ceiling.
Return to the sensation of the body resting in peace and safety in Yoga Nidra.
Struggle: Remember a time when you felt struggle. Perhaps it was a physical struggle to lift a heavy object, or a mental struggle to analyze a problem. You might also visualize a small plant trying to grow in the cracks of the concrete pavement or a dormant tree over the winter months. Does struggle feel like difficulty or an opportunity for growth and change?
Thriving: Change the feeling of struggle to one of strength and ease. Remember a time when you felt strong in your body and capable in the mind. Visualize a thriving garden where all the plants are healthy, green and bearing fruit. Imagine a tree growing deeper roots as it takes on a spurt of new growth. Internalize the feeling of vitality and life. Does thriving feel like success or your birthright?
Make sure that you are not sleeping. Say to yourself “I am awake and aware.”
Project your mind into the space in front of your closed eyes. Imagine before you a transparent screen through which you can see infinite space...a space that extends as far as the eyes can see, as low or as high, and as wide as you can see. Watch the darkness that you see before you very carefully, be totally aware but not involved. Rest your mind in this warm and friendly darkness.
Become aware of any images that manifest within the dark space, as if you are watching a movie. If you see colours or patterns, simply notice these and continue with your awareness If thoughts occur, let them come and go but continue watching the dark space. There should be no effort, just awareness. Continue your awareness of this space but do not become involved, stay detached and relaxed.
RAPID IMAGE VISUALIZATION
On the screen in front of you begin to visualise:
- a flickering candle
- a puppy playing
- a blooming rose
- a cat sleeping
- a field of lavender
- a Japanese zen garden
- a koala in a tree
- A shooting star
- a full moon
- a white horse
- a cosy winter night
- ocean waves
- the sun rising
- an act of kindness
- the snow covered mountain
- a laughing buddha
- a kettle boiling
- a summers day
- a secret garden path
- a yellow flower
- your body lying on the floor
Together we are going to take a journey into a beautiful garden. Take a moment to visualize a beautiful garden. You are sitting in a garden with flowers all around you. You can feel the warm sun on your skin and hear the sounds of nature in the garden. Listen to the sounds of the birds chirping. Smell the fragrance of fresh flowers.
You get up and begin to walk down a garden path. Along the path you see butterflies, blue birds, and bumblebees. You see every colour of the rainbow; there are red poppies, orange lilies, yellow sunflowers, green leaves, blue irises and purple lotus flowers growing all around you. You see the clear blue sky above you and feel the path underneath your feet. A feeling of gratitude overcomes you and you take in the beauty of the scene.
Continue to walk on the garden path – walking deeper and deeper into the garden. There is a flower you wish to look at, move toward it. Notice the colour, shape of the petals, leaves and other parts of the plant. Is there a fragrance? Can you name the type of flower? Perhaps it is a flower that is very familiar to you, or something that only your imagination could dream up. Notice the various stages of blooming flowers on the plant you are observing. Some are fully open, and others are just small buds.
Find one of the closed flower buds and take a moment to appreciate the beauty, potential and lifeforce contained within the bud. As you watch the bud, you notice gentle movement as the bud begins to slowly open before you. Notice the outer leaves peel open to reveal the closely packed petals inside. As you continue to watch, the petals begin to loosen and peel open.
Admire its beauty. How many layers of petals are there? How big does your flower grow? As the petals fully bloom open, you notice a small object revealed inside of the flower. Do you recognize the object? Take it into your hand, perhaps there is some special significance to you. Hold the object that your flower has revealed and receive any messages from it. Does it represent an answer you are seeking guidance on or maybe something you are hoping to manifest? Ask the flower to reveal any messages or guidance you need to hear.
Bring your awareness back to your breath. Bring your awareness back to the intention you set at the beginning of todays meditation. Repeat the intention three times.
Bring your attention to your breath, the natural breath flowing in and out of your nose. Maintain your awareness of the breath and at the same time return your awareness to your body. Awareness of relaxation...and awareness of your physical existence.
Visualize the surrounding room, let your mind become part of your surrounds and this present moment...do not open your eyes. You are practicing yoga nidra. Lie quietly in the ocean of awareness.
Gently move your body, wiggle your fingers and toes ever so slowly, move your hands and feet slowly, turn your head left and right very slowly, please take your time, there is no hurry. When both the mind and body feel awake, open your eyes and allow the action of seeing to happen, do not focus on anything. Allow some time to gently settle into your surrounds and the present moment.
The practice of yoga nidra is now complete