Meditation & Yoga Nidra

The ancient practices of meditation and yoga nidra are now being carefully studied and used in modern day health applications.

Learn more about the history, current research and proven benefits behind these powerful tools, as well as how they’re being used in hospitals, military rehab centers, schools and homeless shelters. Get techniques you can integrate instantly into your own workshops, classes & private client sessions.

This module is one of the electives available in the Wild Abundant Life 300/500 HR program. You may also take this module as a stand alone program, (without committing to the rest of the 300/500 HR modules).

DATES: March 24-26, 2017
LOCATION: NEXT yoga Training Center, Wheaton, Il
TIMES: Fri-5:30-10pm, Sat-7am-9pm, Sun-7am-3pm
COST: $495 super early bird / $595 early bird / $795 regular price

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The Fifth Limb ~ Pratyahara

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” — Buddha

The fifth limb of yoga, Pratyahara, is a crossover between external and internal yoga. It involves total concentration and meditation to achieve what’s called Samadhi or “enlightenment.”  The word ‘Pratyahara’ comes from the Sanskrit word prati and ahara. Prati means “against or away,” and ahara is anything we take into ourselves from the outside world.

Pratyahara is about channeling out any external sensations, so we can hear all sounds from within.

To practice Pratyahara on your yoga mat try this:

Go into your very first pose (Downward Dog or Child’s Pose, whatever). Observe how your body feels. Are there parts of your body that feel achy, sore or tight? Do other areas feel relaxed, open and flexible? Are you anxious to wiggle or come out of the pose?

Regardless, take five full breaths to simply stay still, without giving in to any temptations to figit or come out of the pose. Observe. Listen. Notice sensations when they arise, and then fall away.

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Stretch. Strengthen. Restore.

Age-related arthritis is a natural part of life, and by age fifty to sixty, most people have some degenerative changes in the spine. Studies have shown that those who practice yoga make significant gains in strength, flexibility, and endurance, which is a basic goal of most rehabilitation practices for disc degeneration. Yoga focuses on fortifying the back and core muscles by increasing blood flow to the discs, and this in turn, stimulates the restoration process.

An excellent yoga stretch for strengthening the spine is Cobra Pose.

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Rest. Breathe. Honor the peaceful space within you.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, one in three adults have high blood pressure in the U.S. and about only one in two have it under control. Many studies show that yoga can be an effective way of reducing high blood pressure, particularly the very important, diastolic number – which is the second number representing the pressure in your vessels when your heart rests between beats.

One asana for improving blood pressure is Corpse Pose (Shavasana). It pacifies the sympathetic nervous system and slows down the heart, while teaching the muscles and mind to relax deeply.

Some tips for getting the most out of this pose:

  • Allow the earth to take all of your weight. A relaxed body feels light, almost floating.
  • Become gently aware of your breath by making it soft, small and quiet.
  • Allow your mind to relax by letting go of any worries, fears, anxiety or excitement.
  • Let go of any future plans or past events.
  • Rest. Breathe. Honor the peaceful space within you.
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The Fourth Limb ~ Pranayama

The fourth “limb” is Pranayama or breath.

When we learn to control our breath, we can control our minds. When the mind is anxious, our breath tends to be shallow and fast, which in turn sends a signal to our nervous system that something is wrong. By focusing and deliberately controlling our breath, we can send a signal to the nervous system that we are safe, and that everything is ok. This eases our minds and the body relaxes. Once fully relaxed, our minds have space for concentration and meditation.

Pranayama supports the respiratory system by keeping it physically strong. Controlling our breath can greatly influence our heart rate. When we learn to slow down our heart rate, our minds are kept in greater balance. Combining Pranayama with our asana practice, we purify our bodies and minds in unison.

One technique used in Pranayama is Alternate Nostril Breathing.  Alternate Nostril Breathing is a beautiful breathing technique that helps calm the mind and body in just a few minutes. The breathing technique is called Nadi Shodhan, and it helps release blocked energy channels in the body, which in turn calms the mind. It is also known as Anulom Vilom Pranayama.

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How to do it:

  • Sit comfortably, cross-legged or in any seat that supports the spine. Press your right thumb in to your right nostril and breathe in through the left side. Close the left side with your pointer finger and breathe out through the right side.
  • Repeat breathing in through the right and exhaling out the left. Continue going from side to side for eight to twelve cycles. Notice how it opens up both airways and helps you breathe evenly through both sides.

Alternate nostril breathing helps expand lung capacity and calms the nervous system…perfect for those who suffer with asthma or other respiratory issues.

 

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System Restored.

Restorative yoga consists of poses held for long periods of time in order to stretch and lengthen the deep connective tissue in the body. It is a therapeutic class designed to increase range of motion, lower blood pressure and heart rate while stimulating the endocrine, digestive and immune systems.

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Restorative yoga is also an excellent opportunity to disconnect from the frenzied activity of daily life and lets our speedometer return to 0. It offers a welcomed breather from the commotion of life and helps us prepare our minds and bodies for meditation and deepened awareness. Moving slowly through the poses allows us to explore our mind and body at a steady and natural rhythm.

Guided restorative classes are easy, soothing and accessible.

According to Psychology Today, 10 million Americans practice some form of meditation.

Practicing is a sanctified time for all of us… melting away from the stress and chaos of the outer world. Choosing to unplug — no matter how demanding or fascinating the outer world — is difficult, but so gratifying. Renew, regenerate, restore. Your mind and body will thank you.

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2016, I’ve learned a lot from you.

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“Anything that annoys you is for teaching you patience.
Anyone who abandons you is for teaching you how to stand up on your own two feet.
Anything that angers you is for teaching you forgiveness and compassion.
Anything that has power over you is for teaching you how to take your power back.
Anything you hate is for teaching you unconditional love.
Anything you fear is for teaching you courage to overcome your fear.
Anything you can’t control is for teaching you how to let go and trust the Universe.”

2016, Ive learned a lot from you. It wasn’t an easy year that’s for sure but a huge one for growth. I now see how necessary it all was, and I am #grateful 🙏🏻

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