We have finished the second week of classes at Cleveland State University and the yoga classes I am teaching this semester are in full swing. My experience this week has been “Watch for what you wish for” in that I gave up all health/wellness and other physical education classes at the university to concentrate on teaching only yoga and skating. So this semester I am teaching 9 hours a week of yoga in 2 days; 4 hours of back to back classes on Monday and 5 hours of back to back classes on Wednesday. As I said, “Watch what you wish for.”
While it is pretty intense teaching so many classes in a row, I cannot help but feel a tremendous sense of gratitude for being given this opportunity. The classes are full, the students are eager to learn, and I am fortunate to be an ambassador of yoga to so many. Knowing that this is a very big responsibility; representing the Satyananda lineage, my obligation to the university, etc. I understand that to successfully meet my obligations, I need to keep up with my own practice. If that suffers, my delivery will suffer, and so will my students.
Hence the “30 Yoga Nidras in 30 days” challenge that I am self imposing.
There are different guided mediations that are called “yoga nidra” out there, but the one that I will be doing is specific to the Satyanada tradition.
Satyananda Yoga Nidra™ is a guided meditation practice devised by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati. It is a systematic practice that guides the practitioner into a state of complete physical and mental rest. It is often called “physic sleep” because the body rests fully, the mind rests, but the practitioner stays conscious throughout, unlike normal sleep where we are unconscious.
Among numerous benefits, it is believed that 20 minutes of this practice is worth about 2 hours of sleep! For those of you who are like the 100 college students, faculty, and staff that take my classes, you are most likely sleep deprived. If this is true for you, then this practices is a “must do” and it is why I include it in my lesson plans a minimum of once per week for each class.
When it comes to being a yoga teacher it is important to practice what you preach. So I have decided that yoga nidra will be my constant. I have practiced yoga nidra regularly for over 14 years, but have never practiced daily, and certainly not 30 days in a row.
You can join in with this challenge by going to the following link Yoga Nidra Downloads and scroll down the page and you will find a few Yoga Nidra recordings as well as other breathing and meditation exercises. You can also find additional recordings through the Atma Center.
In our hectic fast paced lives we truly need to carve out time daily to relax our body and mind. It is a “must do” for me, it will be a “must do” for my classes (at least once per week!) and should be a “must do” for you!
Experience the physical and mental benefits of yoga nidra by starting today!
Let me know how it is going by checking in on the Mobile Yoga Workout page on Facebook.
Hari Om Tat Sat