Knowing that I couldn't make it to yoga on Saturday afternoon, I decided to try out a Yoga Nidra class on Friday instead. I had no idea what Yoga Nidra was, but it was being taught by Silke and I figured that she would make me feel comfortable, no matter what the style of yoga.
I called ahead of time and the receptionist at Rasa told me that I would be doing 30 to 40 minutes of asana (posture) and then 40 minutes of meditation.
40 MINUTES OF MEDITATION? um, scary.
But still, I went to class.
Silke began by asking who had already done Yoga Nidra. Answer: no one.
ouf! phew! (insert your version of relief here).
And so, in great Silke form, she began to explain that Yoga Nidra is yogi sleep. We would begin with a very simple hatha yoga class to "get out the kinks and relax the areas that were making us cranky" (I love that she uses the word cranky in yoga class), and then we would lie down with an intention, or Sankalpa.
A commitment to fullness. Don't you love that?
She gave us some guidelines for our Sankalpa, and even gave us a general one that we could use if we were feeling a bit too much pressure to come up with one on the spot. I was tempted to use it (what if my commitment to fullness is blah?!), but I stopped thinking so hard and being such a sankalpa overachiever, and two words popped into my head:
These two words became part of my Sankalpa intention. I relaxed onto two blankets and pulled the third one over me entirely. Using my Sankalpa as a path for my thoughts, I let Silke guide me into my yogi sleep.
It was ....bizarre. amazing. a little scary. I kept feeling a tightness in my chest when I would come back to awareness. When I spoke to Silke about it after class she said that sometimes old things do come up. And maybe that's what needs to happen to let go of them. Since I had just come out of two weeks of non-stop stress at work, it actually made quite a lot of sense.
Now I have to do it again. What will happen the second time?
I'm so glad I tried something new, let myself go to that funky place, created a Sankalpa that I now use everyday. A gentle reminder when stress reams its ugly head.
Quite simply, joy and purpose.