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Winter Soul Medicine: Yoga Nidra for a Wild New Year

  • Space Ninety 8 98 North 6th Street Brooklyn, NY, 11249 (map)

“Be wild; that is how to clear the river. The river does not flow in polluted, we manage that. The river does not dry up, we block it. If we want to allow it its freedom, we have to allow our ideational lives to be let loose, to stream, letting anything come, initially censoring nothing. That is creative life. It is made up of divine paradox." - Clarissa Pinkola Estés, "Women Who Run With the Wolves"

We cannot give birth, create anew from stagnant waters. Old resentments, judgements about ourselves and others, internal tapes of "shoulds" on repeat, and fears about our ability to meet our highest ideals for our lives are often in the background this time of the year, despite our best of intentions as we set new year goals and resolutions.

In the practice of Yoga Nidra we tap into the subconscious and unconscious to energetically clear the "river" of the body, releasing tension, emotions, and memories we no longer need to carry. We pull thought patterns, preferences, and attachments like weeds so that we can open ourselves to alternatives - to embrace contrast and paradox as wise teachers. In this fertile ground, the seeds of our own inner knowing, our true, wild creativity, can take root and expand into the year to come.

Yoga Nidra, derived from an ancient Tantra practice, is a simple and efficient way to deeply relax while remaining conscious to reduce anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It is a kind of mediation performed lying down in savasana and is suitable for all ages and abilities. Our practice begins with an active Vinyasa series to connect and open the body in preparation for Yoga Nidra. During the practice, we sink into the parasympathetic nervous system and enter the hypnogogic state, the state between being awake and being asleep. When we stay in this place for 20 minutes it is the equivalent of 4 hours of sleep. We seal the experience with a sankalpa (intention-setting) practice, to discover the message our soul has for us so we may carry this consciously into a wild new year.