Yoga Nidra Foundation course with Yogacampus
Although I have been practicing mindfulness and yoga for a while, I knew nothing about Yoga Nidra (YN). But when I saw that Yogacampus was offering a foundation course, it piqued my interest and I spontaneously registered!
The Total Yoga Nidra Open Access Foundation Weekend is open to anyone who wants to discover more about YN or deepen their practice. It is also a pre-requisite if you want to do the Yoga Nidra Teacher Training (which is something I am now considering).
I attended the course on Saturday and Sunday 12/13 September at the Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre in Bermondsey (a lovely location). It is run by the very experienced and knowledgeable Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and her husband Nirlipta Tuli, and special guest Benjamin Wolff (their scientific side-kick).
Basically you spend the weekend practicing different techniques of YN and discussing the theory and personal experience. As soon as you step in the room (or even indeed in the centre), you already feel that calming and soothing atmosphere typical to meditation or yoga retreats, or Buddhist temples. Everyone is here to improve themselves and find peacefulness. What could go wrong?
YN is described as lucid sleeping “among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness”, but to tell you the truth, I can’t remember half of the sessions as I dozed off more than once. However I can report positively about the deep relaxation!
There’s a huge debate as to whether YN can be considered meditation or not. I personally do not abide by one technique, I’m curious and open to different experiences and I found that many techniques, aims and benefits of YN are similar to those of meditation and mindfulness. But I have to say that it is achieved through a more pleasant way (basically lying down, being a recipient, no effort involved), which apparently throws off people who think that if it’s too easy, it can’t do the job.
Amongst applications and benefits reported, YN practice increases dopamine levels, is used to release anxiety, stress and to help PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) sufferers and cancer patients.
Since the weekend, I’ve been practicing YN (in addition to mindfulness meditation) almost every day and I have noticed an increase in the quality of my sleep. That’s a start!
I can only encourage you to participate in such a weekend if you’re interested in Yoga Nidra. In the meantime, you can find more information here and download recorded sessions.
Enjoy your yogic sleep!