World Mental Health Day is the 10th October 2020 - this week I'll be sharing a meditation recording everyday to support mental health and well-being using some of the tools from the iRest protocol, an evidence-based practice - iRest has been used by many public institutions in the US including the US military to treat stress, anxiety and PTSD.
One thing that we struggle with is the allowing of life to unfold with all its struggles and surprises without getting stuck in the illusion that we are always in control. The mind wants certainty, yet the soul wants spontaneity. Our emotions are constantly changing from moment to moment just like the weather.
Emotions are what make us human - use this meditation for radical acceptance of this fact - welcome the good and the bad.
This meditation starts with a quote from Lao Tzu on emotions that is interweaved throughout the practice.
“Everything under heaven is a sacred vessel and cannot be controlled. Trying to control leads to ruin. Trying to grasp, we lose. Allow your life to unfold naturally. Know that it too is a vessel of perfection. Just as you breathe in and breathe out, there is a time for being ahead and a time for being behind; a time for being in motion and a time for being at rest; a time for being vigorous and a time for being exhausted; a time for being safe and a time for being in danger.”
Yoga Nidra Instructions
Yoga nidra is best done lying down in pose called savasana. It can also be done seated or walking but most people prefer to receive the full benefits of yoga nidra meditation lying down. Lie on your back, have your palms facing upwards not touching any other part of your body and allow your feet to drop out to the side.
To make yourself comfortable you should lie on a mat or something else that supports you - a bed is ok if you are using this practice at night time or to sleep. You can have an eye mask or something to cover your eyes, small head pillow so your chin is lower than your forehead. Your temperature also drops during the practice so if you feel the cold, have something to cover yourself close by. Yoga nidra meditation mimics sleep but is much more than our regular night-time practice. We can quickly drop into deeper states of consciousness and brain-wave states that feels like sleep. If, however, you are extremely tired or exhausted you may drift in and out of awareness. Please do not drive immediately after this practice - perhaps leave a 10-15 minute gap or integration period and have some water or tea. Also please set an alarm if you have an important meeting afterwards. Yoga Nidra Meditation a great practice to do for a nap if you’re feeling tired and after a session you might find it easier to think outside the box, do something creative or problem solve because it mimics the same brain wave patterns we have during sleep.