Do you want to become a yoga teacher? Or are you interested in learning yoga for yourself?

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The yoga teacher training course is a life changing experience. If you are sure you want to take a yoga teacher training course, the best place to start is with the Basic 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course. This is an intensive course that requires your physical and emotional efforts. But be careful, as such a course can transform you and your lifestyle.

Choosing the perfect yoga teacher training course for you can be tiresome and confusing. So, we are here to help you decide you will never regret.

When choosing a yoga teacher training program, consider the following points:

  1. Be clear about your yoga goal

Clarity is essential in life. When it comes to achieving your goals, be sure to define your intentions before moving on.

If you are interested in teaching yoga, then look for schools that follow teaching methodology. If you are not interested in teaching yoga, look for schools that specialize in topics that interest you. It is important to set the right goal, and then work towards its achievement.

 

  1. What will you do with the acquired knowledge after finishing the yoga instructor course?

It is important to clarify how you will use yoga knowledge in the future, and then look for a suitable yoga teacher training school.

 

If you want to teach in a yoga studio, look for yoga teacher training courses that offer a Yoga Alliance certification upon graduation. And if you want to change your lifestyle, for example, want to include pranayama, meditation, yoga philosophy in your life, then choose yoga teacher training accordingly.

 

  1. Determine the type of yoga

Different yoga schools offer different courses for different styles of yoga. If you want to practice a particular type of yoga, look for yoga schools that offer the same approach.

 

Some yoga training centers offer unique programs for different types of yoga. Hatha Yoga is the most popular and foundational yoga style included in the 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Program. All other styles are born from hatha yoga. Explore the various styles in detail to see which one is perfect for you.

 

  1. Choose the right learning style

Everyone has their own unique learning style; choose what suits you BETTER!

 

Here you have two options. First, you can go through intensive immersion programs during which you disconnect from the rest of the world and immerse yourself in a deeper understanding of yoga. And the second option is to choose yoga training without leaving home, that is, online yoga teacher training. It’s up to you what you prefer.

  1. The perfect place to learn yoga

Choose India for the best yoga training experience, an experience you will never forget.

There are many reasons why India is the best place to study yoga.

 

  • The birthplace of yoga
  • Authentic yoga training
  • Experienced teachers and yoga gurus
  • Affordable prices
  • Yogic food

Since it will take a month to learn yoga, choose a place where you feel comfortable and where you would like to start your yoga journey. Look at the various yoga schools in India that offer courses that interest you.

 

 

  1. Think about the cost

 

Cost is an important factor, but not overly important. If you choose India for yoga teacher training, yoga training will be fun yet affordable.

  1. Listen to the experiences of others

By listening and learning from others, you will easily plan!

 

After hearing the opinions of people in the same profession, you will be able to decide about Yoga TTC. If you admire any yoga teacher, just ask him where he/she was trained and how was his/her whole experience of study yoga.

 

In the end, the decision should be yours, because everyone is unique and there is no universal course that would suit everyone.

  1. Choose a place that resonates with you

 

Yoga training can be physically and mentally challenging. So, choose a place where you feel at home. And then check off your favorite yoga teacher training schools, visit them, attend a few classes, and then decide.

 

Training is a significant investment for a yoga teacher, so it must be productive. Make sure you like your teacher trainers and the way they teach.

 

We hope these points will help you choose the perfect yoga teacher training course. A good course can affect your entire life. So be wise in your decisions as some decisions cannot be undone.

 

If you choose India for yoga teacher training, choose Akshi Yogashala yoga school in Rishikesh. We offer 100, 200, 300 and 500 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh. This is an opportunity to learn yoga in the bosom of nature and on the Ganges. The vibrations of this place are fantastic and embrace you with positive energy.

Happy yoga journey with Akshi Yogashala !

My 200 Hours Yoga TTC in Rishikesh – Shaun M. Leonard

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My journey into Yoga and way to my 200 hours Yoga TTC

I was first introduced to yoga during physical therapy for a dislocated ankle and fractured fibula I suffered playing college football. From that point forward, I began supplementing my strength and conditioning program with yoga to improve joint flexibility, mobility, and stability. Following my college career, I decided to take a step back from weight training. And I began to attend yoga classes a few times per week to maintain my fitness.

 

One day during a Vinyasa Flow class, I unintentionally entered a state of meditation. When I realized what I  experienced, it made me wonder if there could be more to yoga than just physical exercise. It was that moment, that created a desire for me to seek a deeper understanding of the history of yoga. And that search is what lead me to one of Rishikesh’s top yoga schools: Akshi Yogashala.

My experience about learning yoga in India

As soon as I arrived at the campus, I knew I am exactly where I supposed to be. And I am doing exactly what I supposed to be doing. The entire Akshi family – from reception to facilities management, from dining services to the gurus (yoga teachers) themselves – immediately embraced your presence. And they humbly welcomed you into their community. During orientation day management of the course clearly outlined the structure of the program. They met expectations and requirements. And the start of our journey as students and teachers celebrated with a fire ceremony.

 

The 200-hour yoga teacher training course itself was immersive and demanding. But at the same time, it was fulfilling and manageable. Words can’t really explain the experience in its entirety – it is simply something one has to live on their own to truly understand and appreciate. However, after the first day of class, I realized something. That yoga is more than physical fitness. In fact, I realized that I had never practiced yoga before. What I have done before is called practicing asanas. Moreover, yoga isn’t about handstands and impressive backbends. Yoga is an approach to life; a way of living based on thousands upon thousands of years of lived experience.

My realizations about YTTC in Rishikesh

My 200 hours teacher training course was a success. But, not because I achieved an advanced asana, passed a written examination, successfully led my own class, and received a Yoga Alliance certification. My 200 hours  yoga TTC was a success. Because it made me realize that as a teacher, I will always be a student first, and a guide second. And that piece of knowledge gained directly from the wisdom shared at Akshi Yogashala.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My 200 Hours (Testimonial)

Shaun M. Leonard, RYT 200

Boston, MA, U.S.A.

Yoga in periods/menstruation – Why and How?

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Yoga in periods is extremely effective. Especially, when it comes to curing irregular periods, heavy blood flow and ease and comfort the cramps and pain. Therefore, yoga asanas and pranayama are the best medicine. And even it cures all menstruation-related problems.

For example, briefly, here’s how:

1. First, it stimulates the reproductive organs and leads to them better functioning.
2. Second, it decreases stress and completely relaxes your mind and body.
3. Third, it boosts your metabolism, therefore helps you to maintain your ideal weight.
4. Finally, it works on your hormones effectively and balances them.

The practice of yoga asanas provides a holistic journey towards physical healing. Within the cycle of our daily life, we experience specific times when we must make some modifications to the poses. For women, one of these times is the periods of menstruation, for sure.

Mindful yoga practice in periods

Menstruation can be a challenging time. It can be symptoms like cramps, heavy bleeding, back pain, pelvic discomforts and also emotional ups and downs. By exploring the correct and beneficial options for some yoga poses, women may find that deliberate yoga practice can help relieve these symptoms.

But just as some key poses are therapeutic for menstrual cycles. Indeed other yoga postures can aggravate menstrual symptoms and should be avoided. Of particular importance, inversions and deep twisting should not be performed during menstruation.

During the menstrual period, the pelvic vascular bed becomes more saturated with blood than at other times of the cycle. The uterine blood supply enters the uterus from the right and left sides of the pelvis via the uterine arteries. The uterine arteries have thick, muscular walls. And its located within broad ligaments that suspend the uterus from the pelvis structure.

Unlike the uterine arteries, the uterine veins are thin-walled. The thinness of the uterine veins makes them susceptible to collapse when excessive pressure is applied to them.

Read More: 200 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh


What yoga practices better to avoid during moon days?

During inversions, the uterus is drawn downwards by gravity resulting in a pulling motion on the broad ligaments containing the uterine arteries and veins. This pulling or stretching motion of these delicate ligaments can also act on the uterine veins potentially leading to partial collapse or occlusions. Since the uterine arteries contain thick, muscular walls, they can resist collapse and continue to send blood flow into the uterus.

In conclusion, without a proper exit of blood out of the uterine veins, vascular pressure arises leading to an increase in menstrual bleeding.

Inversions and Twisting’s To Avoid:

  • Adho Mukha Vriksasana (Handstand or Downward Facing Tree Pose)
  • Bakasana (Crow Pose)
  • Salamba Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand Pose)
  • Halasana (Plow Pose)
  • Vrschikasana (Scorpion Pose)
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana (Full Wheel Pose)

Do’s and and don’ts for yoga in periods


Don’ts: During menstruation, energy and physical strength can already be at low levels. Even performing physically challenging flows with low energy levels may result in poor execution and a loss of integrity. Performing balancing and standing poses with depleted energy can also result in loss of balance and stability.

Therefore, don’t practice bandhas and some pranayamas, like bhastrika and kapalabhati. Also should be avoided any practices involving work on core muscles.

 

Do’s: We recommend practicing yoga poses that encourage a state of grounding to alleviate the mental and emotional heaviness of menstrual symptoms. In addition, we also recommend that you use these modified practices. And then you can explore more gentle, restorative or supported variations of poses and flows.

These poses apply a kind massage to the pelvic and abdominal region.  Similarly, this massaging effect can ease heavy bleeding and cramps.

  • Upavisthakonasana (Seated Wide Leg Forward Bend Pose)
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose)
  • Gomukasana (Cow’s Face Pose)
  • Balasana (Child’s Pose)
  • Janu Sirsasana (One Leg, Head to Knee Pose) Skip it for the first 2 days.
  • Marjaryasana – Bitilasana (Cat cow pose)

Twisting Poses:

It helps to relieve backache and cramps.

Lying Two Knee Twist
Seated Twists (in Sukhasana)

Supported Back Bends:


Ease pelvic discomfort while generating a relaxed state.
Setu Bandhasana (Spinal Lift or Bridge pose) with support (block placed under the sacrum and crest of the hips).

Read More: 300 hour yoga teacher training in Rishikesh

 Baddha konasana (Butterfly Pose)

 

 Shavasana (Corpse Pose):

Relaxes and calms the nervous system and balances emotions.

8 Yoga poses to strengthen lower back

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8 Yoga poses to strengthen lower back

In our daily life, we accumulate certain tensions during the day. It happens due to routine postures that we conscientiously or unconsciously repeat. And lead us to accumulate energy in some areas in our body and make us eventually feel discomfort or even pain. Lower back pain is very frequent because is the base that gives support to the rest of the torso. So some yoga poses can help us to strengthen lower back and be free from pain.

Most of the jobs in current society, either in the city or in the countryside demand activities where we repeat the same postures with our bodies many times. These are the cases of being sitting for several hours onto a chair front of a desk, holding big amounts of weight every day, being in a standing position the whole day, bending forward continuously, etc. 

On the other hand, every person was born with a different physical constitution and also structural malfunctions as well as acquiring bad postural habits that within the time become degenerative.

Herein relies on the importance of being alert about us and find out through certain activities such as Yoga Asana to become aware of the real condition of our physical body as well as the possible adjustments that might help our body to stay healthy and free of tensions.

Manifestation in our emotions in daily life

According to ancient knowledge from Yogic tradition, vital energy in our body is originated in the tail bone or coccyx. The second energetic center in our body is located in the hip and lumbar area and is the responsibility for our emotional life, creativity, and vital force. This energetic center is related also to sexuality, social life, jealousy, relationships, openness to change and movements in life.

Indeed, it is important to get to know ourselves in order to pay more attention to this area. Since physical pain is only the result of the unbalance on the emotional body. 

And some of the emotional symptoms that manifest within us as a disharmony in this energetic center are hypersensitivity, fear, low self- esteem, low livid, shame, anxiety, depression, difficulty to express our feelings.

Read More: 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

Some ways to enlighten this second chakra 

To heal this energetic area in our body, we must first, be the witness of the self. To bring to the conscious level what is going on with our physical body to be able to identify certain unbalance within our emotional and physical sides.

In addition, yoga gives us the option of certain asanas or poses to help to free tensions in the area of the hips and lower back:

Baddha Konasana (Butterfly pose)

Paschimotanasana (seated forward bend pose)

Ananda Balasana (Happy baby pose)

Uttanansana (standing forward bend pose)

Halasana (plough pose)

Upavistakonasana (seated angle pose) 

suptagarbhāsana (embryo pose)

pavanamuktāsana (wind releasing pose)

And all these yoga poses can help to strengthen lower back.

Benefits

  • Free tensions in the lower back
  • Flex and strengthen hip zone and growing muscles.
  •  Stimulates pelvic area and abdomen 
  • Improves blood circulation  
  • Calms down the mind 
  • Decreases anxiety and depression 

Indeed a balanced physical body from feet to head is the result of rejoicing of a happier and conscious life. 

What is Yoga

What is Yoga and Niyamas? – Meaning of it, Meditation Or Exercise

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What is Yoga?

Every day in the morning, women in traditional India use rice flour to create patterns known as kolam or rangoli on the floor just outside their house. Woman is joining dots with lines, reminding us how connecting stars to create constellations helps us understand the sky. Likewise, connecting data creates the whole, and joining the limited helps us explore the limitless. This household ritual is a metaphor for yoga. So what is yoga? And did you hear about “yamas” and “niyamas”?
The simplest meaning of yoga is alignment. Indeed this alignment could be between two body parts, two objects or two concepts.
In Indian astrology or Jyotish-Shastra, for example, when stars and planets are aligned in a particular way to create a beneficial pattern. We call it “yoga” as well. The same word we are using in social contexts for the coming together of seemingly unaligned things to bring about success.

Types of yoga

Depending on the context, yoga has come to have different meanings; alignment of the mind with the body, or simply between different body parts. In addition it could be harmony between the front and the back, the left and the right sides, or the upper and lower parts of the body.
Some might say it is the connection of an individual with society; others, the connection between two human beings, whether husband and wife, parent and child, teacher and student, or friends.
Therefore in a religious context, one can say it is the connection between the devotee and the deity.
We now use various adjectives to describe how this connection is achieved. For example, “karma yoga” deals with connecting through action, where we connect our individual activities to a larger social goal; “bhakti yoga” deals with connecting through emotions, with a person or a personal deity; “Gyan yoga” is more intellectual; “hatha yoga” more physical; “tantra yoga” favors rituals and symbols.

Yoga is not only about the Asana practice

In fact “Asanas” comes third in the eight-limbed path of Yoga as described by Patanjali after “Yamas” or abstinence and “Niyamas” or observances.

We will explore the second limb of yoga; Niyama.

Yogic philosophy and teaching as part of the path of yoga recommended Niyama as the Sanskrit term for duty or observance.  Even in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, he outlines five niyamas as part of the second limb of yoga.
These niyamas are all practices that can be considered inner observances. They are a way of applying the ethical codes of yoga to the student’s own mind, body and spirit, helping to create a positive environment internally.
Practicing the niyamas is giving the yogi the inner strength, clarity, and discipline that he/she needs in order to progress on his/her spiritual journey.

The five yoga niyamas are listed as follows:

  1. Saucha: purification, cleanliness, and clarity of mind, communication, and physical body. This recognizes that the yogi’s external environment affects his/her inner purity. Practices such as meditation can help to cultivate the cleanliness of the mind specified by saucha.
  2. Santosha: contentment and acceptance of the world, oneself and circumstances exactly as they are. Therefore, this means letting go of cravings for what one doesn’t have. Doing this end one’s suffering.
  3. Tapas: asceticism or intense self-discipline and willpower, even through discomfort. This recognizes the need to sometimes do what is difficult or unpleasant in order to have a positive effect on one’s life and existence.
  4. Svadhyaha: study of the self, and the practice of self-reflection. Again this may include using the scriptures or sacred texts as a tool for introspection. It means seeing who one is in the moment as well as exploring one’s connection with the Divine.
  5. Ishvara Pranidhana: surrender to and contemplation of the Divine or Supreme Being. So this includes dedicating and devoting one’s work to a higher power and dissolving ego-focused desires.
Vrischikasana

Vrischikasana or Scorpion pose. How to perform

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Vrischikasana, scorpion and history

Vrischikasana or scorpion pose. Once upon a time, there was a sage who was bathing in a river. When he stepped on the river bank, he found a scorpion trapped between two rocks, desperately struggling to escape. The sage freed the scorpion by moving the rocks. As soon as it was free, the scorpion stung the sage with its poisonous tail before scampering away. An onlooker laughed and told the sage that it served him tight to save a scorpion. To which the sage replied, “ I behave as per my nature and it behaved as per its own.” What is the connection between Vrischikasana and scorpion?

We must each live our lives as per our nature. Other people should not influence. The story draws on a very important yogic philosophy – swabhav or our inner personality. Do we live our lives true to our nature or do we constantly adapt or pretend to adapt to the environment around us that knots our minds, knots that can only be removed through yogic practices?

Vrischikasana according Hindu methodology

Hindu methodology associate scorpion with the goddess Chamunda. People also know her as the scorpion-bellied goddess. She is depicted as a gaunt, emaciated goddess with many arms, who is associated with crematoriums and battlefields. She is surrounded by corpses and ghosts and feeds on the entrails of the dead. Therefore, her concave stomach displays a scorpion which adds to her ferocity. She is a frightening goddess.
This image, in non-Hindu mythology, gods and goddesses take various forms, some romantic, some lovable, some delightful and some frightening. They express all human emotions.
Thus, for Hindus, this is the form of the goddess. Even the crematorium, ghosts and goblins are part of the divine scheme of things.
In tantric traditions, by meditating on this inauspicious, frightening and undesirable things that we can see the true nature of the world and attain wisdom.

How to perform Vrischikasana or Scorpion pose

This posture resembles the curled tail of a scorpion ready to strike its prey. And incorporates the challenge of a backbend into an already tricky inverted position. A common problem that students face while practicing this asana is the floor. In the sense that their face touched the floor when they get up into the inversion. This is caused by an initial fear response which compels the practitioner to bring their shoulders as far forward as possible. When, in fact, the ideal position for the shoulders is directly above the elbows.
This orientation offers the most ground clearance for the head, and by stacking the upper arms bones vertically, the balance is then reliant on bone support instead of pure muscular exertion.
You can learn  asana Vrischikasana and more others yoga poses in our Yoga Teacher Training Course.
Yoga Benefits Your Mental Health

How yoga benefits your mental health

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A healthy mind is a state of well being

Do we all not know people who are suffering from mental health problems like depression? With changing lifestyles and food habits, mental health concerns are escalating globally, with stress, anxiety, and depression becoming common diseases.

A healthy mind is a state of well being where the mind is able to cope with the normal stresses of life and it can work productively even when placed under pressure.

Researches show that Yoga practices help increase heart rate variability, an indicator of the body’s ability to respond to stress more flexibly. Along with physical, it increases our mental flexibility.

As Patanjali describes in the Yoga Sutras, the purpose of Yoga is to still the turbulence of the mind. Apart from its numerous health benefits like removing constipation and improving bone health, Yoga can treat neurological disorders and improve mental health. When you shift focus from your body to your breath, anxiety is released and physical tension eased.

How Yoga Benefits Mental Health:

1. Clams Your Nervous System: Yoga helps us move from the sympathetic to the parasympathetic nervous system or from fight-to-flight state to rest-and-digest.
Our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) helps us to relax and when we activate our PNS through Yoga. We reside in the PNS state for a longer duration. That is because breathing deeply relaxes our senses, muscles and lowers our blood pressure.

2. Improves Self Worth and Confidence:
 Breathing practices (Pranayama) in Yoga increase the supply of oxygen in our brain thus helping us to focus better, improving our concentration and memory.

As we become more and more aware and confident in our abilities. We build a healthy ego as we do not need to prove anything to anyone. Thus, Yoga helps boost the positive energy of individuals suffering from depression. Practicing asanas daily teaches us to focus better. Yoga also increases our awareness of our bodies. When we are focused on our efficiency level increase, our confidence is boosted.

3. Makes You Happy: The brain releases happy hormones like Dopamine, Oxytocin, and Serotonin after a yoga session. These hormones are responsible for reducing stress and increasing energy levels and creativity.

4. Yoga Leads to Better and Deep Sleep: Restorative Yoga poses before sleeping act as an excellent tool to induce sleep. Certain yogic breathing practices relax the mind and aid in sound sleep.

Practicing yoga daily not only helps people who are suffering from mental health disorders, but prevent them in the first place. Psychotherapists globally are gradually accepting yogic asanas and breathing as one of the effective and natural ways to heal patients with mental health issues.

Read more:200 Hour Hatha and Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

Yoga teacher training in india

Benefits of 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in India

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Attend 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training (TTC) in India or not?

Whether you want to become a yoga teacher or you want to strengthen your personal practice, deciding on a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training in India can be a difficult task. With new schools opening up all across the world, choosing where to enroll has never been more confusing. The birthplace of yoga – India – has been a popular destination for TTCs. But, is it right for you?

Tradition

Across the Western world, yoga has become popular because it is a valuable form of physical exercise. However, in Indian traditions, the foundation of yoga is the human spirit. Discovered in ancient Sanskrit philosophical texts, yoga has been revered as a holistic approach to life for thousands of years. As a result, these traditions have become firmly established in the basis of Indian culture. Students who choose a Yoga TTC in India get to experience this cultural authenticity first hand.

Rishikesh is Yoga capital of the World

Rishikesh is located in the foothills of the Himalayas in northern India. Many travelers and yoga seekers regard Rishikesh as the world capital of yoga. Brought to the attention of Westerners by a visit from The Beatles in the late 1960s, Rishikesh has served as a center for learning and practicing yoga long before the iconic rock band studied Transcendental Meditation under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. In fact, Indians seeking yogic education, solace, and even spiritual enlightenment have journeyed to Rishikesh for ages. Located on the banks of the Ganga River, it is home to the most reputable ashrams and schools in the world.

Affordability of Yoga Teacher Training in India

Yoga TTC’s and retreats can be expensive. It is not uncommon for students to pay upwards of $5000USD to complete a month-long program. Since foreign currencies – in particular, the Euro and Dollar – have a favorable exchange rate. Courses in India quite often provide a considerable financial advantage. Additionally, Tourist Visa’s are reasonably priced and relatively easy to secure when the purpose of your travel is to learn and practice yoga.

The Deciding Factor

When it comes time to make your final decision the most important factor is: You. You have to be honest with yourself and what you want to gain from your TTC experience. On one hand, a culturally immersive program in India is intense and requires commitment. On the other hand, the opportunity to study and practice in the land where yoga originated is definitely worthy of your consideration. While you research your options remember one thing: no matter where you choose to study, your journey into yoga will be well worth your efforts.
yoga teacher training in rishikesh

Yoga is for everyone at any age or stage in Life

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Yoga pants, yoga mats, yoga this, that. These days yoga is fashionably popular and the market value of the global industry is in the $Billions (USD). As the presence of yoga spreads internationally it makes you wonder: is this ever-increasing interest just another trend that will pass with time? So can we say that yoga is for everyone at any age or stage in Life? Or is there something drawing people to yoga that lies beyond targeted advertisement and healthy consumerism?

The Age of Social Media and yoga

Truth be told, yoga has been popular for quite some time. However, over the last decade visibility and accessibility to yoga have increased dramatically. It happened due to social media and the instantaneous flow of information it has created. In all regions of the world, enter the term “yoga” in a search engine and you will yield unending results. But, is an Instagram selfie of your favorite celeb with their private yoga instructor really enough to keep you going back to yoga class?

What is Yoga?

Trends depict yoga as a form of exercise that is used to strengthen and relax the body but there is far more to it.
Based on the Sanskrit term yuj (to unite or integrate), yoga is an ancient wealth of knowledge. And that systemically creates harmony in the mind, body, and spirit through practical philosophy, breathing techniques (Pranayama), physical postures (Asanas), and meditation practices. Is it possible then that 1000 of years ago this discipline was intentionally designed to keep you coming back for more?

Benefits of Yoga

Scientists and medical researchers have concluded that regular yoga practitioners experience:
  • improved brain function,
  • enhanced immune systems,
  • better sleeping habits,
  • reduced anxiety,
  • increased ability to tolerate stress.

With all of these proven benefits, it seems living a healthier, happier life is what actually brings people back to their mats. After all, health is wealth.

Here to Stay

Taking all that has been said under consideration, it is fair to say that yoga isn’t going anywhere. Unlike most contemporary crazes, yoga is built on a foundation of wisdom and truth that date back well before the common era. So this so-called fad is no fad at all. Keep calm and practice yoga.
To know more about traditional yoga please join our course 200 Hour Hatha and Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh India
Yoga Nidra

Learn Yoga Nidra in Simple Steps | Yoga for Relaxation

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Learn Yoga Nidra in 10 Simple Steps | Yoga for Relaxation

Yoga Nidra has come from the tantric texts of Yoga. And is a way to learn conscious relaxation via specific cognitive and somatic control.  It is a quiet and internal form of yogic practice where the practitioner usually lays down in corpse pose (shavasana) and carries out a series of mental visualizations with regulated breathing to achieve a state of deep relaxation with the mind awake and alert, while the body relaxes completely. Best looked at as a state of “body sleeping mind awake” where complete emotional, mental and physical relaxation is achieved far beyond the value of regular sleep. Yoga Nidra could be regarded as a super charged state of relaxation. That invigorates the entirety of your being in a relatively short space of time.

There have been numerous studies carried out on the benefits of Yoga Nidra, and in particular this yogic practice has been shown to:

  • Lower stress levels (salivary cortisol) effectively.
  • Increase the immune response due to lowered cortisol levels.
  • Activate alpha brain waves responsible for increased cognitive function (creative and logical).
  • Be of particular benefit to people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In a rapidly expanding world of technology, opportunities and stimulus it takes discipline to actually say “no” and to let the mind and body relax, rest and regenerate. The modern lifestyle that promotes al always “up” approach to work, personal life and even holidays is not only impossible to maintain; as with any natural system there are always ebbs and flows; it is dangerous to your health and sanity. By utilizing the methods of Yoga and in particular the internal practices of Yoga Nidra (among other extremely applicable techniques), you will have the internalized knowledge of how to maintain calmness in the midst of chaos. And respond to the external environment more effectively and efficiently with salient mind, relaxed and ready to adapt to anything life throws in your direction.

This being said, the techniques need to be learned and then practiced in a regular way. The positive for this is that as you go to sleep you can set aside thirty to forty minutes to practice and enhance the actual sleep you will have afterwards. You may even find that you begin waking up earlier in the morning, and with more energy, mental clarity, and motivation.

Check: 200 Hours Yoga Teacher Training in Rishikesh

So here are some basics for you to begin your Yoga Nidra initiation:

1) Allow 30-40mins for the practice.

2) Set yourself up in a quiet space and create an intention for your practice. Be it to feel more calm, have more energy, release emotional baggage or just to de-stress. It can be as specific or as broad as you like.

3) State mentally to yourself where you feel the safe “zone” in your body, where your maximum strength and resilience lay. And use this as a reference point on your Yoga Nidra practice map, so that you may return here whenever you need to restore a feeling of strength and peace to your body and mind. If you don’t feel like you have this place, then just use your attention to follow the peaceful and slow breathing you will engage in during the practice. There is no expectation of a result in the practice, just the action or karma of the practice.

4) Lay down on either a yoga mat or a mattress so that you’re comfortable.

5) Ensure the room is dimmed and not too bright for allowing the mind to relax more easily.

6) Lay on your back, spine lengthened, palms facing upwards, chin gently tucked inwards.

7) Close your eyes and let go of the tension in your hands first.

8) Now move your attention from the hands to the arms, relaxing each muscle in a wave.

9) Let your shoulders and neck muscles go heavy and relax down towards the floor.

10) Begin to notice how each breath relaxes you even deeper, heavier and with more content.

11) Now move your attention to the muscles of the face, letting the cheeks and jaw relax.

12) Breathing slowly and moving your attention when you’re ready down, to the chest and relax.

13) Let all the muscles of your chest and abdominals go heavy and relax fully.

14) Notice with each out breath how the body relaxes and relaxes fully down.

15) Now notice your hips, letting them drop towards the earth heavily and easily.

16) Breathing long and slow, you relax more fully and easily.

17) Notice your legs dropping down towards the earth easily and relaxing fully.

18) All the way down towards your feet and toes you relate and relax easily and freely.

19) Now just continue breathing gently and deeply, enjoying this sense of deep relaxation.

20) Notice the breath fall and rise, there is a still point in this flow at both ends of the breath. Let your mind take rest here in the stillness at the end of each breath.

21) Let yourself flow with the breath and any thoughts or cognitions that come through the body or mind are just clouds in the open sky. The same goes for feelings and emotions. Just observe them like the sun shining its rays of light through the atmosphere and down onto the earth.

22) Continue to notice the joy of just being still and wholly alive in each temporal moment.

23) Notice any and all sensations that flow through consciousness as a part of the temporal and transient movement of karma.

24) Let your body and breath become aligned as you just observe without any comment, the goings on here.

25) Continue to observe the breath, the stillness, the movement of mind and emotions. Notice everything like you were just the sun shining down on yourself and all these temporal moments, with open loving awareness.

26) Continue for as long as you like or are able to contuse the observational practice.

27) When you are ready, very slowly, begin to wriggle your fingers and then your toes. Then move slowly to the hands and feet, clenching and spreading the joints, muscles and tendons, feeling the movements with full awareness.

28) Move the feet and hands slowly in circles, first in one direction, then the other. And enjoy observing how awake your body and mind are becoming as one unified relaxed whole.

29) Bring your awareness to the hips and abdomen. And slowly rock and roll your pelvis and lower back in circles or figure eights on the floor. Feeling and observing and enjoying each subtle motion.

30) When you are feeling ready slowly raise your hands together and rub them to create some warmth, then place them over the eyes and enjoy the sensations of warmth there, while continuing to observe the breath slowly coming in and going out.

31) As you feel more and more awake and energized, gently roll to one side by bending the knees and rocking towards your preferred side. Support your head on a pillow, blanket or your arm folded beneath.

32) Now smile and keeping your awareness on the original intention for this practice just observe how your body feels. Thank your body and mind for engaging so thoroughly in this practice. And thank your highest self, the universal and limitless consciousness for the opportunity to enjoy this deep tantric practice of relaxation.

There are many online sources for videos and audios that are excellent for assisting the progression into Yoga Nidra. As a state it is the wakeful and aware sleep of uniting all of yourself with the higher and all-encompassing part of yourself. You only need to engage a slight effort in the practice. Not too much as a militant, and not too little as a sloth that may fall from its tree and get eaten by the jaguar. The balance of attention and relaxation is what we are seeking in the practice. And ultimately it is better to err on the side of relaxation than adding more stress to yourself.

Enjoy the practice and Om Mani Padme Hum – May all beings be free and happy!

Namaste !!

By Thomas Clayden Eckersley B.H.Sc

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