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Posts Tagged ‘yoga nidra’

A dear friend of mine in Mumbai had breast cancer several years ago. In fact, she is the one who took me to my first yoga class over 30 years ago. In 2007, when I was looking into yoga and cancer, I asked her about her own personal experience. It is hard to talk about intensely personal issues and I am truly grateful to her for sharing this experience.

Yoga really works! It was pranayama and practices involving visualisation that was most effective for me. Radiation (I did not have chemo) can be a frightening and wearying experience. Fear and fatigue dissolve through visualising while tuning in to the rhythm of the breath.

Humour helps! My friend told me to visualise the “rays” as Cupid’s arrows. As regards asanas, it was recommended that no body weight be taken on the arms (for example, downward dog pose) in the first month. But it is most important at the right time to do stretching and raising of the arms because the nerves and muscles feel numb in the area of surgery (and very stiff).

Yoga Nidra, the book Love Medicine & Miracles by Dr. Bernie Siegel, and Eckhart Tolle‘s The Power of Now are worth reading. But the greatest healing comes from letting go; I mean resolving old hurts through forgiveness, of others, and most importantly forgiving oneself. You have to do a mental turning away from old conditioning (ever so difficult), but the feeling of GRATITUDE for being alive and receiving so much kindness or abundance is the way to healing.

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Yoga Nidra is probably the most popular of all guided yoga meditation practices. The classic text  is Yoga Nidra by Swami Satyananda. He is the one who organized the ancient tantric system of nyasa into a whole system of mental yoga therapy that has been attracting Western psychologists and psychotherapists.

The system of Satyananda Yoga Nidra not only helps with stress and high blood pressure, asthma, Parkinsons, pain management, cancer patients, post traumatic stress disorder, but also improves memory and focus. Some equate it to a profound “power nap”. Swami Rama, founder of The Himalayan Institute, also  has his version of Yoga Nidra. Different types of Yoga Nidras are being used to treat veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghansitan.

Of all the meditations I teach, this system of guided meditation has been the most popular across all age groups. Some of the most loved Yoga Nidras from our past classes, based on the Satyananda format, are on the website http://mahasriyoga.com/meditation/tracks.html  as a set of four progressive tracks that form a complete whole.

Yoga Nidra is so popular because it is very easy to do and it heals deeply from within, even healing wounds that are deep within the subconscious. I have used it with women in a domestic abuse shelter as well as stressed out executives seeking relief and clear focus. It helps release layers of stress and hurt. Emotions are calmed for a clear and sharp focus. Stress, anxiety, hyepractive mental activity blur focus and perception. In Eastern Europe, Yoga Nidra has been used to teach children different langauges much faster than by traditional methods. The book gives details of many different studies.

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