Through this yoga studio life I also met yoga Nidra. I took a workshop with an excellent teacher to introduce me to the experience over two hours instead of the usual class time of 45-60 minutes. He had the ability to take students ‘to gentle place’ where one found spaces within that showed us that rest is accessible within us at all times. Nidra teaches restful awareness through the practice of subtle awareness of the body and breath, sort of experiments in observation without an expected outcome. You may feel you can’t still the constant chatter of your mind or a persistent negative self-narrative inner voice. The practice requires you to trust and allow and absolutely not ‘try and rest.’ Trying is not resting!
What is rest? The rest is feeling spacious. Rest is the time in your life when you are not trying to change anything. When you have let all else fade away and you are completely and wholly in the experience, like gazing at an awesome view on your walk for a moment (the rest of the time you may have been ruminating on your ‘to-do’ list while you walked) or like the times you get lost in an absorbing (especially if creative) task.
You are perfect as you are, and if you stop trying, you can experience the feeling of being rested through awareness. You are awareness itself. Rest will come and yoga Nidra finds you the opportunity to stop, listen, allow and enquire.
The Guest House by Rumi
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.