Friday, February 25, 2011

Exploring rest in many forms

Funny thing happens when you get hurt, have a body part that aches or is not become very aware of your body. Pain wakes you up to the fact that you are living in a human body. It has limitations, it has ecstacies. It can root me in the present moment just to listen to my breath coming and going.

This frozen shoulder, my right shoulder, my lifting, stirring, writing, moving, pushing, do everything with arm, is forcing me to slow down. I can grocery shop, but I can't lift the heavy bags. I can cook, but I need help getting out the heavy Creuset pots. It irks me to have to ask for help. But when I try and do everything I used to do my arm aches all night and I can't sleep.

I did acupunture, physio, and now I'm trying yoga nidra and soon qi-gong. The acupuncture helped, but it's still been five months now, and my chiropractor/naturopath mentioned it may take nine months before it resolves!

Last night, in my first yoga nidra class, we lay on our mats, after doing some initial leg stretches, and twists, covered ourselves with a comfy blanket and gathered pillows under our legs or heads, and spent 45 minutes listening to the yoga instructor leading us through all the parts of the body, and even some emotional mapping - what was coming up, what did we feel in our bodies. It was so deep, I think I may have fallen asleep! apparently yoga nidra has that effect.

The benefits of a 45 minute session equal 3-4 hours of sleep. It takes us into a deep alpha state, I'm guessing. Here is what Barbara Pearce sent our class about yoga nidra:

Yoga Nidra works by putting to rest the constant low grade state of alarm or fear that many or most of us live in. Through the use of the Inner Resource, the Rotation of Consciousness, breath-work, opposites, the cultivation of ananda AND Pure Being (non separative Awareness) we are invited into ever deepening states of relaxation and ease...each step helps to soothe the ancient fears that live in our deep unconscious and nervous system. Continued practice can help to bring more awareness to this primal function so that we notice when it arises and then have choice with it. Eventually the practice can open to an experience of fearlessness that comes in the recognition that no "other" exists. When everything is seen as "me", there is no threat.” ~ Anne Douglas

It's an interesting experience; I'm going back for 5 more classes. We'll see just how restful this kind of rest can be.


1 comment:

the spirit that moves me said...

I've never heard of Yoga Nidra. I too have some body pain issues (mostly my back) and have been looking for ways to practice that are not so intensive - where I can tune in rather than work out.

Your point is well taken - pain can really bring us back into our bodies. It's a strange gift that way.