Seven Seeds and Yoga Nidra

Posted by: on June 3, 2012

Experience the magic of stillness. Do you want to know more about Yoga Nidra?

What is Yoga Nidra?

A Practice of “Being”

Yoga Nidra is an ancient Tantric yogic practice of deeply relaxed meditation. It is a  systematic approach that essentially massages the brain by taking a guided  journey through different body parts. This induces  a profound state of receptive relaxation.  It is typically practiced lying down. Within this deep state of effortlessness, your innate “knowing” or intelligence reveals solutions, revelations and resolutions that you are seeking (consciously or subconsciously)- so that you can address the issues, questions and conundrums of your daily life. With a regular Yoga Nidra Practice, it is common for spontaneous physical, psychological and interpersonal transformational shifts to occur.

How long is a Yoga Nidra Practice?

At Seven Seeds, Sheila Cullen typically settles you into the room with some breath work and gentle movement before lying down into the Yoga Nidra Practice. The actual Yoga Nidra practice is 35-40 minutes.

What is the difference between Yoga Nidra and sitting meditation?

Yoga Nidra means “To sleep with awareness” or the “Yogi’s Sleep”

In sitting meditation we are using focused concentration.

In Yoga Nidra we are completely letting go while remaining aware.

What if I fall asleep?

The first step of Yoga Nidra is to assert an intention to give your practice your whole hearted attention. This intention sets the stage for your mind to remain focused and undistracted.

Most of us live a very busy, overbooked, multi-tasking lifestyle. In short, we are very depleted. Scientific evidence has shown that we are losing our cognitive skills(reasoning, focus,processing speed, short and long term memory) due to the overstimulation of the digital age and urban lifestyles.  It is not unusual to fall asleep when you first come to the practice of Yoga Nidra. There does come a point, with regular practice that you begin to discern when you are fading into sleep. At this point you consciously choose to stay awake and present or if you are really depleted- to fall asleep. You will still obtain some benefits of the practice because on a subconscious level you are still hearing the guiding voice of Sheila Cullen.

With a regular Yoga Nidra practice you will actually feel more energized and focused-

How often should I practice Yoga Nidra?

To receive the full benefits of the practice, You should be doing Yoga Nidra 2-3 times per week. There are many resources available for recorded practices to guide you and Sheila Cullen has  recorded a  Yoga Nidra practice CD that is available  for purchase.

A weekly group practice is very powerful and highly recommended.

(Yoga Nidra  is available at  Spirit Loft  weekly on Fridays from 6:15-7:15pm- Workshops available several times a year)

Please check Workshop Page for dates of Yin/Yoga Nidra workshops.
Sheila is also available for private session or small group session in your home. Please contact her for more info.

Why does it feel as though I am doing “nothing”?

Because in a way you are! When the body is in a state of physical effortlessness, the breath begins to slow down  and we let go of “Doing”. This is when the state of “Being” moves into the foreground and it is within that “being” state that the healing and powerful effects become apparent. This is where your True Self- your authentic voice resides.

What is Sankalpa?

Sankalpa Is your heartfelt intention.

San= an idea that is formed in the heart

Kalpa= “This is the rule I will follow above all other rules”

In Yoga Nidra we work with Sankalpa (intention or prayer) We enter and close the practice with our sankalpa. These may be intentions for healing, gratitude, love, health or enlightenment. You welcome sankalpa into the foreground of your conscious mind. When you are in the relaxed “being” state, you can harness the power of sankalpa to bring about the spontaneous fulfillment of your desire.  The Ancient Yogic text of the Upanishads state “You are your deepest desire” [sankalpa]. 
We don’t hold Sankalpa as a future possibility, but instead plant the seed in a present tense statement as an existing reality. For example :

Instead of- I hope to heal,(quit smoking, find love, find work, etc) we would use the sankalpa “I am whole, healed and healthy( I have everything I need- time, love, finances.etc.)

Other examples might be:

  • I am energetic
  • I am the embodiment of inner peace
  • I receive and accept help when I need it.
  • I am successful in all that I undertake
  • I am financially free
  • i am loving and loved

Sankalpa’s are individual personal intentions and are typically worked with one at a time over 3-12 months.

(Sheila Cullen holds workshops to help you create your individual heartfelt sankalpa)

What are the overall benefits of Yoga Nidra?

There are many benefits to this wonderful and seemingly magical but very accessible practice.

Yoga Nidra cultivates:

  • Deep relaxation in body and mind (which decreases stress, increases immunity, healing for chronic illness, improved memory and focus)
  • Clarification and manifestation of your deepest purpose
  • Alleviation of insomnia
  • Resolution of personal and interpersonal problems
  • Neutralization and alleviation of anxiety, fear, anger, depression

“As is your desire so is your intention. As is your intention so is your will. As is your will so is your deed. As is your deed so is your destiny.”

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