3 Tips for Making the Most out of your Yoga Nidra Meditation Practice


Get the Most out of your Yoga Nidra Practice!

Hey there!  I'm so happy you're here! That must mean you've signed up for my FREE Yoga Nidra guided meditation for relaxation!  So excited for you. I hope you love it and make time to fit this into your daily self care routine.  

If you don't have access yet, you can sign up HERE to start listening right away.

Now that you can listen whenever you want, I want to give you some tips on how to make the most out of your practice. 

A main part of Yoga Nidra is creating an affirmation to use as the focus for your meditation.  If you haven't listened yet, you will have an opportunity to create an affirmation (positive statement) that aligns with your heart's desire. This is why I love Yoga Nidra so much. It combines relaxation with focusing on a desire that we have to feel a certain way, or accomplish something. I can tell you from experience that it's an unbelievable feeling when you start to see your desire unfold for you in your everyday life!

So....I want to make sure you're getting the most out of your practice each time you do it.  Here are three tips for getting the most out of your affirmation:

1.  When it's time to create an intention during practice, make sure it's in the PRESENT tense!  For example, if your desire is to be healthy and strong, don't say "I will be healthy and strong", or "I want to be healthy and strong".  It's much more powerful to state your desire as the truth (as if it's already come true) because when you do that, you'll be in alignment with your desire and not just hoping that one day it will happen.

 2.  Write that puppy down!  When I have a new affirmation that I'm working towards, I write it on a sticky note and post it on my bathroom mirror.  That way, I see it in the morning and at night before I go to bed.  Don't just wait to practice Yoga Nidra to recite your affirmation, keep that as a focus in your life and watch as it unfolds for you.

3.  Keep using the same affirmation. When practicing Yoga Nidra, it helps to keep the same affirmation until it becomes real for you. That's why this practice is so beneficial. It helps you to focus on a desire and to eventually see it realize in your life! 
  • However, don't feel like you can never switch out your affirmation. Remember, this is your practice and you can use it however it serves you.  While I like to work towards my overall desire, sometimes I'm feeling anxious or upset about a certain situation.  In this case, I will create a new intention as the focus for my meditation that day to help me overcome my emotions. Then, next time I practice, I go back to my original affirmation. 
Ok, so now you have a solid foundation for your affirmation.  Here are the three steps again:
  1.  Make sure it's phrased in the present tense
  2.  Write it down so you can remember it (and see it daily)
  3.  Continue to use the same affirmation until it becomes real for you (and then create a new one)...
Enjoy your practice!

If you'd like more insights about Yoga Nidra, check out this post Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation - WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY

Namaste,

xo, Bonnie

Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation - WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN and WHY....


The 5 Ws of Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation

Ok, so you're either curious about Yoga Nidra, or you've tried a few times, but want to understand it a bit more....I've got you covered!

In this post, I'll highlight the basics of Yoga Nidra.....the 5 Ws if you will.....who, what, where, when and why....  

Who
Anyone can practice Yoga Nidra. No experience is necessary.  My daughters even practice, so it's great for kids.  Not to mention my dog Coconut loves to snuggle up to me when I practice during the day. It's a great place to start if you've never practiced meditation or relaxation techniques before because it's so EASY to do. 

What
Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation and type of Yoga that can be referred to as Yogic sleep. The purpose is to be guided so you can experience many levels of relaxation. After practicing for a while, you will notice that you float between being conscious and asleep. Yoga Nidra is also helpful to release emotions and focus on something you desire.

Where
There are different ways to practice Yoga Nidra. First of all, make sure you're somewhere quiet to reduce distractions....

Traditionally it's practiced lying down in a supported position.  But if you prefer, you can practice sitting up straight in a seated position. Here are some tips on how you can support yourself to be super comfortable:

  • When you lie flat on your back, it can cause discomfort in your lower back, so it's important to place something under your knees like a bolster, rolled up towel, blanket or pillow. 
  • I also like to place yoga blocks or a smaller pillow under my feet if I'm lying on my yoga mat on the floor with my knees supported.
  • If you need to place something under your head, just use a very thin pillow. You want to ensure your chin is slightly tucked down towards your chest.
  • Lie down with your arms by your side and palms facing up.
  • Your feet are just a bit more than hip width distance apart and your toes should be facing outwards.
  • I definitely recommend an eye pillow, eye mask or something to cover your eyes to block out the light.  Also having something like an eye pillow has a physiological effect on the body and can help you to relax even more.
  • It's important to be warm during practice. Sometimes when our bodies relax, our body temperature can go down.  Make sure you have a blanket to cover yourself so you are warm.
  • You could also practice lying on your side. Just make sure your head and top knee are supported.
When
I'm a huge advocate of practicing whenever you are able to fit it into your schedule. It helps to have a routine so that you can practice daily. 

If you don't already have a regular practice, I suggest listening at different times of the day to figure out what suits you best. Some people find it energizing and refreshing, so they prefer the mornings, others find it soothing and calming, so they prefer night time to get them ready for sleep.  Others need a break during the day, so it's great to do at your lunch hour to give your body and mind time to unwind.

Once you find a time that works for you, I do recommend practicing daily because you will start to see many benefits after developing a regular practice. 

When I first started out, I did it first thing in the morning. I actually did it lying in my bed before I got up. Many people will tell you not to meditate in bed because when you're in bed, your body knows it's for sleeping.  But at that point in my life, that's the only time I could do it, so I say whatever helps you start practicing is best.  Then later, you can change when and where you practice to suit your routine.  Just start any way you can.

Why
Why practice Yoga Nidra anyway? Well, it helps to trigger your relaxation response so you can give your body and mind time to unwind, be in the present moment and let go of the other stressors in your life. 

I used to think meditation was a waste of time. I didn't understand how "relaxing" and doing "nothing" could actually help you to feel better and make changes in your life. Well, now I know better.  When we meditate and give our bodies and mind the time it needs to break free from all of the noise of our regular lives, it can help us to see the bigger picture. New mindsets, ideas and beliefs can emerge when we focus on the present moment (not regretting the past and worrying about the future).

Ok so now you have a pretty good understanding of what Yoga Nidra is all about.....

If you don't already have access to my FREE Yoga Nidra guided meditation for Relaxation, click HERE to get access right away.  

I also offer virtual classes and courses.  Click below to see my current schedule.


I hope you love practicing Yoga Nidra as much as I do! 

Namaste,

xo Bonnie

ENJOY THE PRESENT MOMENT BECAUSE IT’S THE ONLY ONE THAT REALLY MATTERS!



Sometimes I wish I was my dog.....
She seems to know how to truly be in the present moment. Like this morning, I was practicing yoga, and guess who showed up on my mat again??  Coconut. She was completely relaxed and didn’t seem to have any other cares in the world.

Then, later on Steve and I decided to go in the hot tub.  Although I was enjoying the sunshine and trying to relax on a Sunday afternoon, I couldn’t help but think of all the work I still had waiting for me inside. I was so annoyed with myself. It’s like I couldn’t wait to get out of the hot tub to go and do work!!  Why do we ruin perfectly great moments thinking about the future? 

Then I thought to myself, I rarely go in the hot tub and it’s beautiful out today and I don’t want to waste this opportunity.  So I closed my eyes and fully appreciated being in that moment. I’m so happy I did because it felt amazing. I was so grateful that I stopped the negative voice that kept telling me to go back inside and I actually gave myself permission to relax and enjoy my time.

When you take the time to appreciate and notice the moment it seems more real and can put things into perspective.

We spend so much time thinking about the past and worrying about the future. Hopefully this is a reminder to take a few minutes today to appreciate and notice the moment you’re in now.


xo, Bonnie

By the way...if you liked this post, click the link below to get access to my FREE Yoga Nidra Guided meditation for relaxation. 



Looking for New Ways to Relax? Then Yoga Nidra May Be the Answer You've Been Searching For!

Looking for New Ways to Relax? Then Yoga Nidra May Be the Answer You've Been Searching For!
What is Yoga Nidra?

When you hear the word Yoga, you generally think of balancing on one foot, or being in a pose that sounds like an animal such as downward facing dog, pigeon or eagle. I used to think the same way. I practiced yoga for almost 17 years and never heard of Yoga Nidra until I took Yoga teaching training over four years ago. I was shocked and enlightened (pardon the pun) to discover this form of Yoga that is so refreshing and relaxing and not so main stream.

So what is it anyway? At it's basic level, it's a guided meditation.  It's a type of Yoga that can be referred to as Yogic Sleep. Yes, I said sleep!! I know, it sounds like a dream.....practicing Yoga and sleeping.....What could be better than that? Well, the goal is not to fall asleep, but if that happens it's ok, it just means your body really needs to rest and subconsciously, you'll still hear everything even though you may not remember. There's no wrong way to do it. Literally all you need to do is lie down (or sit in a comfy position), listen and be guided. 

After learning how to lead Yoga Nidra, I instantly knew this would be my teaching focus in order to introduce this healing and deeply relaxing practice to other people.
 
Because most of us live in a constant state of stress, this can negatively impact our emotional and physical health. What you may not realize is that it's vital to take time to still the body and mind. Imagine lying down for 30 minutes, being guided on an inner journey through many stages of relaxation and waking up feeling fresh, grateful and relaxed. 

Practicing Yoga Nidra can have an impact on your emotional and physical health because it triggers your relaxation response. And that's important because it calms the body and mind giving you time to rest, digest and rejuvenate. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes to focus and relax even when you're off the mat!

How this practice can help you on and off the mat.

Creating a peaceful place
On the mat - During the meditation, you will imagine a peaceful place that surrounds you with feelings of comfort, love, joy and peace.
Off the mat - Once you've seen your peaceful place in your meditation, you can visualize being in this peaceful place any time during the day. Imagine that you're; in an uncomfortable situation, afraid of having to do something, having troubles falling asleep or worried about something. Just know that you can visualize your peaceful place any time you need to feel this sense of peace and comfort.

Creating an affirmation
On the mat - While being guided, you have an opportunity to go on a journey of self discovery and notice what your heart truly longs for.  This can be anything that comes up for you such as: having more time for yourself, being healthier, having the financial freedom to do the things you love - you get the idea. From here, you'll create an affirmation based on this desire. You will use this affirmation as the focus of your practice. And you can continue using this affirmation in your regular practice until it becomes real for you.
Off the mat - Once you discover and create an affirmation, I recommend writing it down (so you don't forget it) and incorporating it in your daily routine. I write mine on a piece of paper and tape it to the bathroom mirror so I can say them first thing in the morning and at night before I go to bed.

Visualization
I love to incorporate moments of visualization in my Yoga Nidra practice. 
On the mat - While being guided, you will have the opportunity to visualize what your life would be like when your affirmation comes true. Just seeing yourself in these moments triggers many positive emotions that you will experience during the meditation. You may experience emotions such as; gratitude, joy, love, and a zest for life. 
Off the mat - You can do more of the things that trigger positive emotions in your daily life.  For example, if you felt immense gratitude in your visualization, then you can feel that emotion in the present moment by being grateful for something that you have now. If you felt joy during the meditation, you can do more things in your life that bring you joy (whatever that means for you). When we truly desire something, it's because we want to feel a certain way when we have it. So, you can invoke those feelings in your daily life which will then bring you into alignment with what you desire.

If you've never tried Yoga Nidra before, you don't know what you're missing! You deserve to give yourself much needed time to relax, rejuvenate and let go of all the stressors you deal with on a daily basis. Your body and mind will thank you!

Interested in practicing Yoga Nidra with me? Click the button below for my virtual classes. Remember, there's nothing else to do but listen, relax and be guided!

You an also click HERE to get access to my FREE Yoga Nidra Guided meditation for relaxation.  This is a 20 minute meditation that's perfect for beginners, or even those who practice Yoga Nidra already.

Namaste.

xo, Bonnie



Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021 🌈

Goodbye 2020, Hello 2021 🌈
OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW

I love this quote by Dolly Parton. My daughter Chloe found this while making a collage for our family as a Christmas present this year. It’s amazing that I’m taking inspiration from an 11 year old. Makes me a proud mama! πŸ’• I also love this picture of my daughter Samantha when she was only 4 years old. Very fitting for Dolly’s insights don’t you agree? This quote is a wonderful metaphor in reflection of this tumultuous 2020 as we head into a brighter 2021! We’ve had a lot of ‘rain’ in 2020 and I think we are looking forward to the ‘rainbows’ up ahead. 

Sometimes it’s hard to see beyond the rain. It’s dark and gloomy and we don’t want to go outside, be uncomfortable or get wet. So we wait for the rain to pass until we can enjoy the sunshine again. Sometimes, it’s in those moments of being uncomfortable (“rain”) that we realize our greatest strengths, or find ways to do things a little differently. Of course in those moments, it’s a prime opportunity to find things to be grateful for. 


The rain and rainbows can have different meanings for everyone.  One may look at this quote and think that you have to suffer to be worthy of joy. I personally don’t look at it that way. I think when we realize it’s raining, it gives us an opportunity to shift gears, reflect and make changes so the rainbows can appear.


For me, my rain is my emotions. I hold onto emotions that keep me scared, nervous and living small.  So, my rainbow appears when I let go of my own limiting beliefs. 


AN EXERCISE TO HELP YOU LET GO OF WHAT’S NOT SERVING YOU ANYMORE

Here is a great exercise that I’ve led in past workshops. This is perfect to close out the year and start a new one!

  • Take a piece of paper, and write down what no longer serves you (your rain). These could be emotions, habits, relationships or anything that you don’t want to take with you into the new year. These are some of mine.....


  • Once you’ve written them down, say goodbye to the paper, rip it up and throw it away.  If you have a wood stove or fireplace going, you could toss in the paper for added drama πŸ˜‰

Now, write down your rainbows 🌈  Here are some of mine.....It helps to put your rainbows in a place where you can see them to remind you everyday what you want to focus on. A great way to do this would be to create a virtual or actual vision board. This helps to visualize the life you want to live!

I hope you enjoy this exercise.  It’s not something you have to save for the end of the year. You can do this anytime you need to let go of something.


Wishing you a joyful, happy, healthy and abundant new year! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ’•

xo,
Bonnie

By the way...if you liked this post, click the link below to get access to my FREE Yoga Nidra Guided meditation for relaxation. 




 
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