Yoga Nidra is a practice of deep relaxation, designed to offer you a direct experience with all layers of the Self. In this practice we explore Emotions and our relationship to them. You cannot control your emotions. Your emotions are very natural physiological responses to experience. To try to control emotion is to experience suffering. To accept emotion is to love what is - to experience the fullness of life and to be deeply in the present moment.
This Meditation, along with the Meditation Script below is offered free of charge by Caroline Stewart. To learn how to create your own Meditations and to become Certified as a Meditation Teacher, check out the 200hr Online Meditation Teacher Training http://inspiredme.ca/meditation-courses
Read the FULL Weekly Inspiration Post titled ‘What’s the Difference Between Yoga Nidra & Meditation’?
Yoga nidra embracing emotions - Guided Meditation Script by Caroline Stewart (45-60 mins)
Welcome to this Yoga Nidra practice exploring the acceptance of Emotions.
You cannot control your emotions. Your emotions are very natural physiological responses to experience. To try to control emotion is to experience suffering. To accept emotion is to love what is - to experience the fullness of life and to be deep in the present moment.
Let us begin by setting up the position of Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra is practiced laying down. Take care to set up comfort and support for your body. A pillow under your head, another under your knees, a blanket for warmth and perhaps an eye mask for complete internal focus are all helpful.
Yoga Nidra is practiced in stillness. And so we take our time now to really create comfort so that we may rest deeply. Find equal weight on both sides of your body. Move and shift your body into alignment. Tuck your shoulder blades under and allow your arms and hands to fall open beside you. Position your hips so that they are at equal height. If you have any discomfort in your hips or lower back, it can be helpful to use more pillows under your knees. Your legs are relaxed, feet hip width apart and the feet naturally falling open.
Yoga Nidra is a system of progressive relaxation, designed to offer you a direct experience with all layers of self. These layers are also known as koshas, or sheaths. You can think of these koshas as a set of nesting dolls, each layer contained within another.
There are 5 layers of self that we explore in Yoga Nidra from external to internal are - Anamaya Kosha (the physical layer, or food sheath), Pranamaya Kosha (vital energy layer, or breath sheath), Manomaya Kosha (sheath of the mind, or layer of thought perception), Vijnanomaya Kosha (layer of creative expression) and the innermost is Anandamaya Kosha (bliss, unity consciousness).
Typically, in our waking life we tend to engage primarily with the physical layer of self. And yet, as we will experience, this is only one limited aspect of our multi-layer, multi-dimensional self.
As you feel yourself settle into comfort, relaxation spreads throughout your body. If you need to make any last minute adjustments, now is the time to do so. Once complete I invite you to settle your body into stillness. When we maintain stillness throughout the practice, we are able to explore more fully the depths of our more inner layers of consciousness.
Yoga Nidra also offers us the opportunity to work with a Sankalpa, or personal resolve. This personal resolve is typically linked to a limiting belief that we are reworking in order to become a LIBERATING belief. A limiting belief is one that we hold that is no longer benefiting us. If you have a personal Sankalpa that you are working with, please do use this.
If you would like a suggestion, in keeping with the theme of this Meditation, I offer you the Sankalpa:
‘I accept and honour my emotions’
In the relaxed state of mind of Yoga Nidra, your sankalpa holds immense power. Moving easily past the layers of externalized Self, we are able to plant our resolve in the subconscious. This deep acceptance will translate into natural manifestation as your belief and reality align.
State your resolve, your Sankalpa, now 3 times to yourself with focused attention, meaning and clear awareness.
We now begin the practice of Yoga Nidra.
The Annamaya Kosha is the outermost layer of consciousness. It is the layer of Self that we tend to engage most often in our daily life - experiencing the world through our 5 senses.
The Annamaya Kosha is considered to be the gateway to our internal experience. The bridge between the outer, physical reality, and our inner, more energetic and spiritual reality.
Emotions are felt physically. They are the physiological response to a deeper experience.
In the Annamaya Kosha, we feel Emotions in different parts of the body based on the energetics and patterning of experience. In this Meditation, we will be exploring the Annamaya Kosha through progressive physical relaxation, pausing at each major Energy Centre and experiencing the felt emotions here.
Begin by settling your attention into the base of your spine, just above your perineum, your root chakra. Allow the light of your awareness to sense the physical experience of your lower pelvis, your legs, your feet, your toes.
In your root chakra, you experience emotions related to stability and security. As I name the following experiences, see if you can feel the emotion in the root area:
Now, draw your attention up to your upper pelvis, to your sacral chakra. Your awareness fills the area of your pelvis, including your sexual and reproductive organs.
Your sacral chakra houses the emotions of pleasure, sexuality and creation. As I name the following experiences, feel the emotion that comes up in the sacral area:
Next, we move up to the middle of your abdomen, just below your ribs - your solar plexus chakra. Your awareness fills your belly.
Your solar plexus chakra is the seat of your personal power and governs many primary emotions relating to your sense of self and personality. As I name the following experiences, feel the emotion that comes up in the solar plexus area:
Your attention draws further upward to the centre of your chest - your heart chakra. Awareness fills the entire chest.
Your Heart Chakra deals with love and emotional power. As I name the following experiences, feel the emotion that comes up in the heart area:
Draw your attention up now to your throat - your throat chakra. Awareness fills the throat, jaw and mouth.
Your Throat Chakra deals with communication. As I name the following experiences, feel the emotion that comes up in the throat area:
Sharing your truth
Now draw your attention up to your third eye chakra, located in the centre of your forehead slightly above your eyebrows. Awareness fills the forehead and into the centre of the brain.
Your Third Eye Chakra deals with spirituality and clear sight. As I name the following experiences, feel the emotion that comes up in the third eye:
And finally, you draw your attention up to the top of your head - to your crown chakra. Awareness fills the crown of the head, extending upwards and out in all directions.
Your Crown Chakra is associated with the energy of pure consciousness. As I name the following experiences, feel the emotion that comes up in the crown and surrounding energy body:
The Pranamaya Kosha is the layer of consciousness related to movement and flow of energy. Emotion is a form of energy. In fact, it can be thought of as E-MOTION - energy in motion.
Oftentimes, when we experience emotional suffering, it is because emotion has become trapped. Failing to flow freely. When we allow ourselves to fully feel our emotion, it naturally moves, carried on the energy of prana, of breath.
Draw attention now to your breath. Watch as your breath flows into your body, filing your lungs. And then witness this energy move into the pathways of your body, spreading to touch every part of your being.
Notice any area where this flow of energy seems to be stuck. Allow your attention to settle in this area. Now, breathe gently and deeply into this area. Feel the emotion coming up in the area. Witness the pranic energy of life meeting the emotion, breathing deeper into the experience.
Continue to breathe deeply until you feel the intensity of emotion dissipate. Witness the energy begin to flow once again in the area. Follow your breath as it releases the transmuted emotional energy, feeling a softening, an ease enter your body again.
You may repeat this practice in other areas that feel stuck. Drawing your awareness to the area, breathing deeply and allowing the E-MOTION to move through.
In Manomaya Kosha we have a direct experience with our mind and our mental processes. This layer is the first of the more subtle layers of consciousness.
The mind is the source of emotional response. Past associations, memories, and projections all cause emotion to be triggered.
When we engage with the mind and come to know the truth of experience via the mind, we realize that physical and emotional experience can be altered when we alter the experience of the mind.
In Yoga Nidra, we utilize the practice of opposite sensations - recalling intense physical and emotional experiences, allowing the experience to take its natural course, and then releasing the experience. We pair feelings that are often dualistic in nature - this helps to harmonize the brain and balances our understanding of reality. The practice of opposite sensations also helps to develop our experience of willpower, bringing about emotional relaxation.
Imagine the feeling of happiness. Feel happiness flood your body, bringing a smile to your face and softening the skin of your forehead. Imagine yourself free, joyful and content.
Now, feel sadness begin to enter your emotional experience. A gloom begins to settle over you as you feel the weight of sadness.
With sadness still present, begin to feel happiness also. Feel the gentle weight of sadness and at the same time, feel a lightness of contentedness, of gratitude and happiness entering your experience. Notice the power of your mind to hold seemingly opposing feelings. All is welcome. All emotions are valid.
Open to the feeling of anxiety. Recollect the experience of anxiety–intense anxiety and worry. Feel the stress that anxiety bringsto your mind and body. There is no need to concentrate on the source, but rather watch as the feeling of anxiety increases. Do not attach to the feeling, but rather observe it.
Now allow the feeling of complete calm towrap you in its arms. Remember the experience of calm. Allow the calm to envelop your completely. Feel the sensations of calm, relaxation, peace. You are completely calm.
Feel BOTH the sensations of anxiety and calm. Notice both the feelings and experiences of anxiety and calm as being present at the same time. Realise the power of your mind. Observe the experience as a reaction to thought and intention. Sit with your realisations and offer full acceptance and compassion to your patterned experiences.
As you open and expand your awareness and compassion of Self, you have the opportunity to dive further into your subconscious. Let’s explore the creative and psychic sheath next through visualization.
I will name different things and you will imagine them without thought–moving from image to image with ease and flow of movement. Visualize on all levels–feelings, awareness, emotion, imagination as best you are able. Experience without association. Simply create, and then allow your creation to dissipate.
Stone temple...red bird...warm ocean...blue clouds floating by...heavy rain...burningcandle...crackling fire...beautiful music...beautiful music...beautiful music..
Cross...ringing telephone...green circle...coffin beside a grave...full moon...the softestsand beach...softest sand beach...softest sand beach[long pause
We now move into the innermost layer of consciousness. Into the space of loving-kindness, acceptance, true unabiding compassion. In this space all is welcome. Rest here in the light of pure awareness.
Sankalpa. Sankalpa. Sankalpa. Remember the personal resolve you stated at the beginning of your practice. Return to this heartfelt desire and plant the seed of your creation deep within your conscious being.
The Sankalpa suggested is:
'I accept and honour my emotions’
Your mind is ready to receive your sankalpa. State your sankalpa again 3 times to yourself. Plant your resolve with focused attention, meaning and clear awareness
Bring your awareness now back into the body. Hear the breath, feel it’s warm touch in your nostrils as you exhale. Observe the natural movements of the body as your breath flows in and out…
Remember the position of your body on the mat. Feel the air temperature on your skin.
Remember where you are in space. Visualize the walls around you.
Take in the sounds of your external. Maintain stillness with external awareness.
Notice quiet. Feel relaxation.
Begin to make gentle movements of the body
The practice of Yoga Nidra is now complete.
Hari Om Tat Sat
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED 2019. Inspired Me Inc. I give you permission to offer this Meditation verbally, in a group or private setting. You may NOT record this Meditation, nor submit it for publication or claim it as your own