I have been teaching this luxurious class here in Whitehorse, Yukon on Monday evenings called SomaYoga Nidra. It is a blissful combination of somatic movement re-education (moving meditation) followed by a deeply restful guided Yoga Nidra practice. It really is an intelligent combination to support nervous system recharge.
As we mentioned in our last blog post Six Ingredients to Optimal Healing – we must counteract chronic nervous system over-stimulation and the effects of stress in order to stay healthy.
Turning our Attention Inward
Last week’s class was on clearing the external clutter and excessive sensory stimulation that occupies our minds that leads to agitation, tension and pain in our somas. We practiced shifting our sensory awareness from external to internal.
As we practice turning our attention inward, sensing and feeling, (known as Pratyahara in yoga) we begin to release the accumulated sensory impressions that show up in our somas. This process results in a quieting of the mind, a calming of the nervous system and a release of muscular tension that keeps our brain’s racing with agitation and dis-ease.
The first half of the class involves somatic movement re-education, known as Neuromuscular Re-education. The practices re-ignite communication between the brain and the muscles. The practice involves gentle, small and intentional movements into and out of areas of holding in the trunk of the body, using the technique of Pandiculation.
You can learn more about this technique in our blog post: The Secret Way to Release Tight Back Muscles.
As we connect our attention to and stimulate a release response in the muscles that have been held short, tight or stuck as a result of our experiences in life, these experiences can then be shed and released. As this happens space arises, quietness and ease settles into your being. This moving meditation supports nervous system recharge.
Class participants then get completely comfortable supporting their knees with a bolster, covering their bodies with cozy blankets and eye pillows. Their only responsibility now is to rest in stillness and follow the guidance and instruction as they move on a journey of sensing and feeling all the parts of their body.
As each body part falls heavier into rest, as the breath quiets, and the mind settles further into stillness the practitioner has the distinct opportunity to experience more fully their essential being, or highest self. In this space they have the opportunity to reconnect with joy, calm and peace. The labels, obligations, and unconscious impressions that distract them from their own healing process, dissolve and anything is possible.
If you are a skeptic, then from a purely physiological perspective the benefits of the combined practices of Somatic Movement Therapy and Yoga Nidra include:
Deepens breathing improving oxygen exchange to the cells
Reduces blood pressure and heart rate
Improves the brain-gut reducing irritation to the digestive tract and brain fog
Increases mood and overall well-being
Boosts the immune system and decreases blood sugar
Support full body healing function
Nervous system recharge
Check out our Video on Demand site to experience SomaYoga Nidra for yourself.
Spend some time on our website. You won’t be disappointed.