Last week I was exhausted. I don’t know why but I felt bone tired all week. Instead of my regular yoga practice I took some time out for Yoga Nidra.
I don’t know if you’ve ever practiced Yoga Nidra before dear readers, but if you ever get a chance you must. I insist. There’s no lotus, no backbends, not twisting. All you have to do it lie there and listen. (I believe there are plenty of free downloads on the wonderful web – Google is your friend!)
Yoga Nidra is a meditation/deep relaxation first discovered by Swami Satyananda Saraswati when he was living with his Guru Swami Shivananda in Rishikesh. The idea is that during this “Yogic Sleep” the body rests whilst the mind remains active and attentive to the voice of the teacher (or the voice on the CD) which takes you on a guided voyage around your body. It works on some very powerful levels, and has been proven to significantly reduce stress, tension and anxiety. Seriously, what more could you want?
To me though, the most powerful part of the practice of Yoga Nidra is the Sankalpa. This is a positive affirmation or resolve that you make three times at the beginning and end of the practice. I don’t know how this works, but it does. Every Sankalpa that I have affirmed during Yoga Nidra has happened, from quitting smoking to setting up my own yoga teaching business.
I think it’s all about listening to the right things. Listening to the positive rather than the negative self talk. The practice of Yoga Nidra, and especially the Sankalpa makes us listen to what we really want, rather than what we think we want and makes us word our intentions in a positive way.
Listening to positivity both from our own internal voice and from those around us is so important. And this is where Caitlin’s Operation Beautiful website (and the book to be released in the autumn) comes in. Caitlin asks us to change the way we see and to let go of “Fat Talk” and remember that we are beautiful, every day in every way. If you haven’t checked out Operation Beautiful yet, make sure you do today!
So, dear readers, let’s try to cut out the negative self talk, let’s try to let go of those voices in our heads that tell us we are not worthy of this, or that we can’t do this, or that we are hopeless or useless (and yes, I have been guilty of thinking all of these things about myself). It’s not going to be easy and we have to take one day at a time but if we just start to notice when we are talking down to ourselves and try to replace those negative statements with positive ones we can create the lives we want and, as Jim Morrisson said, “break on through to the other side”.