First Things First! Three Fundamentals to include every day:
- Grounding- Create an awareness of how you connect with the earth and receive gravity. Build your foundation from the ground up.
- Relax the roof of the mouth-a direct connection to the brain and spinal cord is through the roof of the mouth. Release tension in the skull by releasing tension in the mouth.
- Authentic Breathing or Full commitment exhale-focus on exhaling without creating any tension. Release all the breath completely to allow more new breath (without being forceful
Understanding Pranayama: Yoga Breathing or Pranayama revitalizes the body, steadies the emotions and creates great clarity of mind. Before practicing the exercises, you should be sure that you understand how to breathe correctly and how to make full use of the diaphragm. In order to facilitate the flow of Prana and ensure that there is space for expanding the lungs, Yoga Breathing exercises are performed sitting down with the spine, neck and head in a straight line – either in the Easy Pose or sitting on a chair.
- Calming Breath-authentic breathing with complete exhale
- Breath Awareness- belly/diaphragmatic breathing, inhibit chest muscles from helping
- Nadi Shodhana- Alternate Nostril breathing restores
- Brahmari or (Humming Bee Breath)
Basic Asana Poses:
- Cross Crawl – Dead Bug
- Legs up the wall
Introducing Yoga Nidra: Yoga Nidra is one of the powerful and important practices within the ancient science of yoga, developed and refined for about the last 3000 years, and given to us as a gift ~ for our healing and evolution. The Sanskrit word Yoga means ‘union’ or ‘one pointed awareness’ and Nidra means ‘sleep’. In Yoga Nidra, the body, mind and intellect are completely relaxed, and one appears to be sleeping but the consciousness is functioning at a deeper level, and the subconscious and unconscious realms of mind get opened. Yoga Nidra is ‘dynamic sleep’ or in other words ‘psychic sleep’ in which you learn to relax consciously.
Yogis acknowledge that we are multi-layered beings. In yoga Nidra all layers are relaxed, explored, healed, and integrated. When practicing yoga Nidra, we want to be as physically comfortable as possible. Do your best to stay awake. The practice will still be beneficial if you fall asleep, however you’ll receive much more if you stay alert, conscious and present.
In the deep relaxation state of Yoga Nidra, the mind is in a state between sleep and wakefulness and its receptivity is many times more than its receptivity in wakeful state. The secret is that the subconscious mind is at front in this state while the conscious mind takes the back seat. The subconscious mind is a very obedient disciple and immediately carries out the orders that you put to it. By practicing Yoga Nidra you can completely train your subconscious mind. Then the ordinary conscious mind and intellect will follow the suit. The subconscious and the unconscious mind are the most powerful forces in the human being. In Yoga Nidra you learn how to access these powerful forces to gain knowledge, cure diseases, increase creativity, and to realize your true self.
All the three kinds of muscular, emotional, and mental tensions are released in yoga Nidra and thus it is highly beneficial for people suffering from psychosomatic diseases such as hypertension, stress, diabetes, migraine, asthma, ulcers, digestive disorders, and skin diseases that are caused by the tensions in the body and mind. Yoga Nidra is a systematic way of relaxing your body, mind and intellect.
Most people think that relaxation is very simple; just recline and close your eyes. You are tired so you go to bed and think that is relaxation. But unless you have released your muscular, mental and emotional tensions, you are never relaxed. Some symptoms of the people having these tensions are that they habitually bite their nails, scratch their head, stroke their chin, tap their feet, talk compulsively, display constant irritability, or chain smoke. They do these things because they lack awareness of their own inner tension. Even while sleeping the worries and thoughts revolve continuously in the mind and the tense person wakes up feeling exhausted. And that’s exactly where yoga Nidra helps. Yoga Nidra is the scientific method to remove all these tensions.
The Sankalpa: In Yoga Nidra, the most effective means of training the mind is found in Sankalpa – resolution, which you make for yourself during each practice. Anything in life can fail you but not you’re Sankalpa. It is an important stage of yoga Nidra and a powerful way of reshaping your personality and giving a new direction in life along positive lines. When conscious mind-body is in deep relaxation, at that time, whatever Sankalpa – resolution you will make, it will come to fruition. The resolution you make at the beginning of the practice is like sowing a seed and the resolution at the end is like irrigating it. The Sankalpa is a short mental statement which is impressed on the subconscious mind when it is receptive and sensitive to autosuggestion during yoga Nidra. Sankalpa is a determination to become something or to do something in your life. The Sankalpa must be made when you are not intellectually active, but when your mind is calm and quiet. Sankalpa is a seed which you create and then sow in the soil of your mind. When the mind is clear the Sankalpa grows well. Intellectual resolves are not deeply planted and rarely bring results. But once the seed of Sankalpa is planted deep in the subconscious, it gathers the vast forces of the mind in order to bring fruition. This deep and powerful seed will eventually manifest itself again and again at a conscious level and bring about the desired transformations in your personality and your life.
Example of Sankalpa: “I am a peaceful and relaxed person” and “I have radiant health” “I have everything I need”.
Theta Brain Waves: Theta Healing works by using a special technique of meditation to achieve and conscious Theta brain wave, allowing us to directly access the subconscious mind. So, what exactly is a brain wave? By attaching electrodes to the scalp and using a device known as an electroencephalogram (EEG), we can view and analyze the traces of electrical activity in the brain that represent the “brain waves”. Like all waves, brain waves have a frequency, measured in cycles per second or Hertz (abbreviated Hz), which is the number of cycles the wave goes through in one second. So, a lower Hertz number represents a slower wave. Brain waves are categorized by their frequency. There are four kinds brain waves generally known to science and measured by EEGs – alpha, beta, theta, and delta – and one more that has been recently discovered now that EEGs are becoming sensitive enough – gamma.
- Beta brain waves, measured at 13-40 Hz, are the brain state of our normal waking consciousness. Nearly all forms of action, thinking, and problem solving are done with a beta brain wave. Most people spend most of their waking lives in a beta state.
- Alpha brain waves, measured at 7-13 Hz, are the brain state of relaxation and meditation. The alpha state is associated with creativity and super learning, where the brain learns at a faster and deeper level than it does in beta. Most meditation and energy healing techniques cultivate and utilize an alpha brain wave for relaxation and healing.
- Theta brain waves, measured at 4-7 Hz, are the brain state of REM sleep (dreams), hypnosis, lucid dreaming, and the barely conscious state just before sleeping and just after waking. Theta is the border between the conscious and the subconscious world, and by learning to use a conscious, waking Theta brain wave we can access and influence the powerful subconscious part of ourselves that is normally inaccessible to our waking minds. While in the Theta state, the mind is capable of deep and profound learning, healing, and growth – it is the brain wave where our minds can connect to a greater consciousness and manifest changes in the material world.
- Delta brain waves, measured at less than 4 Hz, are the brain state of deep sleep and unconsciousness.
Gamma brain waves, measured at 40+ Hz, are the brain state of hyper alertness, perception, and integration of sensory input. When time seems to slow down during a car accident, the brain is entering a high gamma state. In Theta Healing technique the brain is moving back and forth between the theta and gamma state.
The Human brain is divided into two hemispheres
Our two-hemisphere brain is a super computer . . . and across the top of this two-part super computer there is a firewire or very fast USB cable. This connection is called the Corpus Callosum: a broad band of nerve fibers.
An imbalance of the hemispheres affects one’s quality of life in several ways. Consider each hemisphere as a TV broadcasting station with a built-in volume control on a scale of one to ten with ten being the loudest. The left-brain dominant person’s volume control is on eight and the right hemisphere volume is at three. We can assume that there is some information coming in from the right, but it is overridden by the louder information coming in from the left hemisphere. The problem with this is that the left hemisphere is always seeing only a small slice of the pie while the right hemisphere is always seeing or perceiving the whole pie. When you are facing difficult choices/decisions in your life, seeing the whole is always going to give you more choices, more creativity, more joy and create less anxiety in your life.
- Straight line
- Rational-conclusions based on reason and fact
- Knowing with no basis of facts
- A circle
Theta Brain Wave Training as developed by Edward Pio is very similar to Yoga Nidra as well. He has an online training program. http://www.internationalmindbodyinstitute.org/#!
IRest: iRest Yoga Nidra (founded by Richard Miller) is currently being utilized in VA hospitals, military bases, hospitals and clinics, hospice, homeless shelters, community programs, and schools Research has shown it effectively reduces PTSD, Insomnia, Depression, Anxiety, and Chemical Dependency and Chronic pain. Website info: http://www.irest.us/