If you have followed my blogs about the Yoga Nidra workshop led by Gurudev Shri Amritji (Yogi Amrit Desai), I’m sure you are probably wondering what the Yoga Nidra experience was like. How did it feel to enter the zero-stress zone? Is this a trip I should take?
All I could say to myself directly following my first Yoga Nidra session was, OMG what an amazing experience!
The session started off with Gurudev taking the class through a few yoga postures on the floor. We started with Paschimottanasana (seated forward bend) and spent a great deal of time in this pose. In a calm, soothing voice, Gurudev walked us through the pose and encouraged us to lose the fear, breathe, and go deeper into the pose. It worked because I have never had my hands so close to me feet.
Next, we lay back on our mats, and, again, Gurudev provided verbal instruction on what to do. His voice was soothing and steady and I have to admit, it was hard to stay awake during the journey to the zero-stress zone. In fact, I heard many people breathing heavily and lightly snoring during the session.
I know this is going to sound crazy, but here are some of the steps Gurudev took us through.
The prerequisite deep breathing in and out.
Covering our ears with our hands and making a buzzing sound like a bee.
Palming our face with our hands.
Breathing through our nose and then exhaling through the mouth like we were blowing through a straw.
To be honest, I can’t remember everything we did, as I entered a fully relaxed state. Along the journey at several times, I felt a sharp jolt in a part of my body, as if the stress was jumping right out of my body. My tight muscles in my back and neck were relaxing as I focused on breathing into them.
And then it happened, at several points I left my body. I could still hear Gurudev leading us along, but I was floating above my body, with bright-yellow lights dancing around before my eyes…and it felt amazing! I had entered a state of non-being. Dorothy we’re not in Kansas any more—welcome to the zero-stress zone!
When we finished the session, Gurudev asked us how long we thought we had been in the Yoga Nidra session. I thought to myself ten, maybe fifteen minutes. When he told us it had been more than fifty minutes, my mouth dropped. I had truly turned off my mind, let everything go, and fully relaxed.
We finished the day off with another yoga session, and when I left the workshop, my body and mind were tingling, and my mind was clear. I can’t remember the last time I felt so fully relaxed and at peace, and I kept this feeling with me for several days.
Gurudev encouraged us to practice Yoga Nidra twice a day—once in the morning and once before we go to bed. I know I will never be able to practice twice a day, but I have set a goal for myself to practice Yoga Nidra three times per week.
I encourage you to try Yoga Nidra. I purchased the Shavayatra: 61 Point Yoga Nidra CD, which provides a 23-minute introduction by Gurudev, followed by a 40-minute guided Yoga Nidra experience. You will love it! If you need something quicker, they have several other options available at the Amrit Yoga website.
I’m wound really tight, and I have to admit, I was a little concerned that I wouldn’t be able to catch the train to the zero-stress zone. But I’m here to tell you, if I can make the journey—so can you, and the trip is definitely worth taking!