Yoga Nidra

Guiding Yoga Nidra: Where to Start

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I received an excellent question on where to begin on guiding Yoga Nidra.

I want to learn how to guide Yoga Nidra. Do you recommend a teacher?

To answer this question, Kamini Desai and Julie Lusk seem to be good teachers.  Their books include scripts.  Anyone can begin guiding Yoga Nidra as soon as they are ready:

I believe both Ms. Desai and Ms. Lusk offer Yoga Nidra Teacher Training; although, these trainings would not be required to begin guiding Yoga Nidra.

However, if you want to pay to attend trainings or yoga festivals, below are some good resources, but doing so is not required to begin guiding Yoga Nidra.

iRest Method

If you are looking to lead Yoga Nidra for individuals working through emotional trauma from PTSD, the iRest method by Richard Miller is wonderful.  I met Molly Birkholm in Sedona last year.  She is a sweet and wonderful person, and she has her own iRest training program.  According to her website, her next training is in Chicago, September 3-9, 2019.

I AM Method

Another great technique is the I AM method by Kamini Desai with the Amrit Institute in Florida.  This is a link to these upcoming trainings.   Ms. Desai has a really great book Yoga Nidra: The Art of Transformational Sleep.  It comes with a Yoga Nidra script.

Yoga Nidra Teacher Training in Yogaville by Julie Lusk

I am currently reading a book by Julie Lusk called Yoga Nidra for Complete Relaxation and Stress Relief.  So far it is WONDERFUL!  Ms. Lusk also includes a Yoga Nidra script and lots of great information.  Ms. Lusk offers Yoga Nidra trainings in Virginia.  This is the link to the details on her training: https://wholesomeresources.com/schedule-2/yoga-nidra-teacher-training/.

Sedona Yoga Festival

Finally, the Sedona Yoga Festival (SYF) is coming up in March.  If it is something that interests you, you could attend all Yoga Nidra workshops they offer; although, none of the workshops offer any type of certification (that I know of).  The festival could give you a really good taste of what is out there, and you might get to meet the leaders in their fields.  I attended the excellent PTSD training as well as the festival in 2018.  That is how I got to meet Ms. Desai and Ms. Birkholm.  I think the festival is every year around February or March.

My Journey

So far on my journey, I have learned that not all Yoga Nidra is the same.  There are different techniques.  All techniques are good and serve their purpose.  Personally, I learned about Yoga Nidra while going through yoga teacher training. The method I use is the 8-stage technique taught by Satyananda Saraswati, with the exception that I begin the rotation of consciousness on the right hand thumb instead of beginning at the third eye.  For some reason, this rotation method has been more effective for me, so that is why I use it when I guide Yoga Nidra.  His book is on Amazon at this link: Yoga Nidra.

My first Yoga Nidra experience was with this recording by Rod Stryker, who is with the Himalayan Institute.  It was great!  It was like time travel yoga!  The Himalayan Institute’s method is called Para Yoga.  I do not think the Himalayan Institute has Yoga Nidra trainings, but I could be wrong.  They might offer something once in a while.

I hope this information helps you.  If there is anything more I can do to help, please let me know.
Thank you for reading!
Namaste,
Diana

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Yoga Nidra

Excellent Yoga Nidra Meditation: “Yoga Nidra: The Art of Yogic Sleep” by George Stephen Renfrey

 

Whether you have been practicing Yoga Nidra for a while or if you are new to it, this is a wonderful guided meditation by GS Renfrey!

Yoga Nidra: The Art of Yogic Sleep

I have listened to GS Renfrey’s Yoga Nidra meditation many times, and I still have not heard all of it in the awakened beta-brainwave state.  However, what I have heard is so reassuring and calming and helps me get into the meditative state.  I highly recommend it for practitioners at any level.

If you have Insight Timer, you can find this meditation by searching for “George Stephen Renfrey.”

If you do not have Insight Timer, what are you waiting for?  It is the #1 Meditation App out there! It is free and an outstanding app for meditation!  If you have any questions about meditation or Insight Timer, I would be very honored to provide any information I know about it.  The following link is to their website, and they have the links to download it to your phone.

https://insighttimer.com/

Thank you for reading this blog, and I wish you many pleasant meditation experiences.

Namaste,

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Diana

 

Yoga Nidra

Waking up at 2 AM? Yoga Nidra can help you get back to sleep

Yoga Nidra is a powerful tool.  It is a guided meditation that helps your brainwaves change from Beta (alert/working state) to more relaxed states, Alpha, Theta, or Delta.

According to Scientific American, “Beta waves are characteristics of a strongly engaged mind.” Owlcation states, “Beta waves are the ‘normal’ state of brain waves.”

When we wake up in the middle of the night, sometimes our brains jump into the Beta state, making it difficult to fall back asleep.

When I first experienced Yoga Nidra, I was amazed by how quickly it led my brain to Alpha, Theta, or Delta states.  Here is a short list showing characteristics of each of these states:

  • Alpha – relaxed, calm, lucid, not thinking
  • Theta – deep relaxation, meditation, imagery
  • Delta – deep, dreamless sleep

Owlcation has a beautiful chart showing these brainwaves.

Yoga Nidra was effective for me even from the beginning.  The first practice I tried was a recorded meditation by Rod Stryker, which was almost 30 minutes long.  I felt like I had traveled through time.  The practice only felt like 5 minutes had passed.  I was hooked.

Practicing Yoga Nidra has made such a difference in my life that I have chosen to dedicate my time to learning more about it and to share Yoga Nidra with others.

Namaste,

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Diana

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The Promise – A Short and Effective Yoga Workout

 

If you want to start a daily yoga practice, this yoga workout is completely approachable.  My recording is less than 9 minutes, but once you have it memorized, it can actually be done in about 7 minutes.

I have noticed how it helps keep me toned, flexible, and strong.  If you do try it, give it about 6 weeks, and let me know how it works for you.

Namaste.

Diana

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Disclaimer: You should consult your physician or other health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. To reduce the risk of injury, before beginning this or any exercise program, please consult a healthcare provider for appropriate exercise prescription and safety precautions. The exercise instruction and advice presented are in no way intended as a substitute for medical consultation.

 

Recipes

What is Kitchari? A Delicious, Cleansing Ayurvedic Meal to Reset Sluggish Digestion

KitchariKitchari is food.  It is a cleansing Ayurvedic meal.  I eat it when my digestion needs a break.

The recipe shared here is a type of kitchari I made on New Year’s Day 2019.  I used sprouted mung beans because that is what I had on hand, but mung dahl beans (split yellow mung beans) are what I typically use and what I have seen in most recipes.

Serves: 2
Cooktime: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 1 cup of sprouted mung beans
  • 2 kale leaves
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash (from a frozen bag)
  • 2 tbsp green onions
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 tbs ghee

Spices:

  • 1/2 tsp of winter spice mix (from The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook)
  • 1/2 tsp of everyday savory spice mix (from the same book)
  • 1/4 tsp of coriander
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 tsp fennel
  • 1 pinch of hing (asafetida)

In a 3 quart saucepan, heat the ghee and stir in ginger.  Let the ginger simmer for about 30 seconds then add the dry spices.  Continue to stir until the spices become fragrant (about another 30 seconds).  Add the rice and mung beans.  Stir the rice and beans until they are coated with the seasonings.  Then add the water.

In a separate saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a boil and then reduce it to medium heat.

Now, back to the saucepan with the rice and beans: When the water comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium heat. Let the rice cook for 10-15 minutes, without stirring.  Then, once the rice begins to get larger, fold in the kale, butternut squash, carrots, and half of the green onions. When you stir or move the rice, do so gently. Continue to cook the rice for 15-20 more minutes, adding the vegetable broth as needed.  Adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of broth at a time as the rice gets drier will help keep the rice from sticking.

When serving, garnish with green onions.  Enjoy!

The ingredients for kitchari will need to change depending on the season. For example, in the summer you will want to garnish spicy meals with cilantro because of its cooling properties.

Resources

There are lots of great recipes for kitchari and lots of great information on it out there.  Here are a few awesome resources:

  • Banyan Botanicals – This website has a great article on kitchari.  They even share a video and a recipe at this link.
  • The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook: A Seasonal Guide to Eating and Living Well by Kate O’Donnell – A great book for Ayurvedic cooking and seasonal eating.
  • Joyful Belly – A very good website on the Ayurvedic diet.  They have an article on kitchari that says, “If your belly feels sluggish after too many treats, Kitchari is an easy way to cleanse your digestion and restore freshness.”

If you have any questions about my kitchari recipe, please feel free to ask.  Let me know how this turns out for you.

Namaste,

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Diana

 

Recipes

Turkey Barley Soup

Turkey Barley Soup

I am trying a new meal.  Turkey Barley Soup.  Ground turkey, that is.

Cook time:  90 minutes (because the barley takes a while to be ready)
Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 1 cup barley, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 ribs of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 quart of beef broth, low sodium
  • 1 quart of water
  • Ghee
  • 7 oz diced tomatoes (optional) (about half a can)

Spices:

  • 1/2 cube of vegetable bullion
  • 1/2 cube of beef bullion
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Everyday Savory Spice Mix from “The Everyday Ayurveda Cookbook” by Kate O’Donnell (If you don’t have this book, I highly recommend it!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Winter Spice Mix from the same book.
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Dill, to taste (optional)

Sauté the onions and celery in ghee.  When the onions start to become clear add the ground turkey.  Stir in all the dry seasonings (except the bullion, bay leaves, and dill) and let them cook until the turkey is browned.   Add the beef broth, Worcestershire, bay leaves, water, and bullion cubes.  Stir in the barley.

Bring to a boil, add bullion, then set to simmer.  Simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the carrots and tomatoes (optional) and continue to simmer for 30 more minutes.  When serving sprinkle dill on top to taste.

So, I like to look up recipes and then make them my own.  I was inspired by Beaker’s Vegetable Barley Soup recipe.

This one is pretty easy.  I was a little surprised by how long it took to cook the barley.  Now I know! What is posted here is how I made it.  I may end up changing a few ingredients and spices.

If you do try it, let me know how it turned out for you.

Enjoy!

Namaste,

Diana

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Announcements

Music for Meditation – Rebecca Reads

I just wanted announce that I am working on adding music to my existing meditations and creating new meditations with music.  Many have asked for this, and I hope it will help.

The composer I am working with is Rebecca Reads, owner of Rebecca Reads Records.  Rebecca is a therapeutic music composer & voice talent with 10+ years experience.  She produces music and records voice-overs for meditations, videos, yoga, film, and small business.  Her music is wonderful!

Rebecca started Rebecca Reads Recordings to provide affordable background music for therapy & healing practices to help them flourish and grow.  Her focus is on creating new sounds and styles of relaxation music so that her customers can find something that works for what they need.  She has met many wonderful people on this musical journey and hopes that she continues to create for as long as she is able.  To purchase her music, visit her fiverr website at https://www.fiverr.com/rebecca_reads.

You can listen to some of her music on SoundCloud at  https://soundcloud.com/readsmeditations

This is one of them called Waters of Mars.

Enjoy!  Namaste.

Diana