Category:

Guided Meditation

What Is Yoga Nidra – By Allison Goundry

http://nykdanu.com/what-is-yoga-nidra-by-allison-goundry/

Yoga Nidra is a guided relaxation/meditation practice where the practitioner is led through a creative exploration of the 5 Koshas (layers of being): physical, energetic, mental/emotional, intuitive and bliss.
We lay down get comfortable, we become still. The brain gears down, the body drops into healing mode, and the mind starts to quieten.  The aim is to stay awake throughout, though falling asleep is common, or to get a sense that you were aware, but not remember the practice entirely. Time and space disappear, leaving you to experience pure consciousness.

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What makes this practice transformational is when the practitioner takes advantage of the slower, more receptive, relaxed brain state to plant (when guided) a single, positive, personal “I AM” statement  (Sankalpa). Here, we can access the wiring of our subconscious mind to release and reprogram beliefs and perceptions that are no longer serving our growth. With dedication to a powerful sankalpa, we can create new, positive pathways within, accessing the inner resources readily needed at this stage of your evolution.

Life Before Nidra
I took my first Yoga Nidra class in 2007 when I flung myself into Yoga to help me recover from a breakup (with the man I am now gratefully and happily married to). I was angry, sad, hurt, resentful, and had become dispassionate and lacking the spark for life that I had previously possessed.  I sought out Yoga as a healthy “hobby” for healing. I had taken asana classes in the past and they made me feel amazing, so I bought an unlimited pass and committed to going to class daily. My weekly Nidra class, however, felt like the missing piece – quiet, deep and introspective, it was quality time focused on my soul and healing my heart.

Falling In Love With Nidra
It only took one Nidra class to fall completely in love. The way I felt afterwards was indescribable. Each Tuesday I would float home, grounded and clear. The first Sankalpa I ever worked with was “I am the embodiment of joy & light.” I lived and breathed that affirmation of who I knew myself to be underneath the heaviness. Day by day, I began to see the light I was beginning to stoke within me being reflected back. I saw beauty even in the darkest moments – a perspective I continue to hold, that life’s hard knocks are actually an opportunity in disguise.

Sharing From The Seat Of The Student
I never intended to teach. I walk into class as a student sharing their imperfect exploration of a limitless, life-long practice. I took a training in Bali in 2011 to deepen my personal practice, and that’s where everything changed. I taught for 7 minutes (it was terrifying!), but what I taught surprised me: Stillness and Peace. I remember thinking, If I were ever to teach anything, it would be Yoga Nidra. I still feel that way.

 

My Life, My Nidra
This is the practice I love and prefer to give wherever and whenever I can. I get oddly protective of it because it has given – and has returned to me – some of the most valuable pieces of my heart and soul. It holds some of the most potent medicine I could ask for; its wisdom keeps me coming back, even when I shy away from turning inward and diving into the depths of what I am processing. It has helped to piece together a heart continuously opened by love, loss and change, to find healing and patience in times of illness, injury or uncertainty, to weather storms, and to gather strength when I’m running on empty…
It is a strong tool to access authenticity and truth. It’s impossible not to call my own bullshit now. It has shown me that we are not the naggings of our physical bodies or the steady stream of thoughts running through our heads. We are not as limited as we believe. We have a lot of choice in not only how our life shows up, but how we face what we feel we didn’t choose.
Nidra is perfect for our chronically over-tired, over-stressed culture, but just as the physical practice becomes more than just about the body, Nidra beckons us to become still – that elusive golden key that unlocks big change.
Diving deeper into this practice over the last 4 years, in particular, has been the biggest game changer. I feel both like a different version of myself and a woman who is more of the person that she has always been. I have greater ownership over the parts of myself that help me be truthful to myself, what I need and don’t, and a stronger mirror to my imperfections which serve to help me grow.

 

Fascinated by the power of breath, stillness and intention as a gateway to wholeness and healing, Allison Goundry shares the quiet-yet-transformative practice of Yoga Nidra to willing souls looking to become more deeply acquainted with the inner landscape of who they are. You can learn more about Allison her classes and private sessions on her website www.allisongoundry.com

 

Images of Allison: www.brentcalisphotography.com

My Thanks To You- Happy Thanksgiving

http://nykdanu.com/my-thanks-to-you-happy-thanksgiving/

For those of us Canucks, Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Thanksgiving is literally my favorite Holiday (only second to my birthday which sadly is not actually a holiday) I don’t do a traditional Thanksgiving with turkey and all that, but I do like to spend some extra time with family.

The origins and history of Canadian Thanksgiving are actually quite different that our southern neighbors in the US. I did a whole blog post on that last year which you can check out here if your interested in learning more. Gratitude has been interwoven in the Canadian Thanksgiving from the beginning.

Thank You

Gratitude is a pretty big deal to me and a large part of my spiritual practice, it has been for many years. So I was a bit disappointed with myself when I realized I hadn’t expressed my gratitude to you…my students.

So in honor of  you I’d like to take a few moments, to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Please take a few minutes to watch my Thank You message to you in this video:

You can see last years post here

Now it’s your turn. In the comments below let me know what you are grateful for? Also don’t forget the challenge from the video reach out five people to express your gratitude for their presence in your life.

 

 

The Attitude Of Gratitude ~ Canadian Thanksgiving

http://nykdanu.com/the-attitude-of-gratitude-canadian-thanksgiving/

The Attitude Of Gratitude: Canadian Thanksgiving

Gratitude is a pretty big deal to me. I have had a regular daily gratitude practice for a number of years, it has changed my life for the better in so many ways. More on that in the videos below, but first a little history lesson.

The Origins And History Of Canadian Thanksgiving

Very few of our US neighbors (or Canadians for that matter) know that the origins and history of Canadian Thanksgivings are quite different from our neighbors to the south.

The origins of Canadian Thanksgivings are actually connected to the traditions of Europe rather than of those in the United States. Long before Europeans settled in North America, festivals of thanks and celebrations of harvest took place in Europe in the month of October. The very first Thanksgiving celebration in North America took place in Canada when Martin Frobisher, an explorer from England, arrived in Newfoundland in 1578. He wanted to give thanks for his safe arrival to the New World. That means the first Thanksgiving in Canada was celebrated 43 years before the pilgrims came to Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Official Holiday

For a few hundred years, Thanksgiving was celebrated in either late October or early November, before it was declared a national holiday in 1879. It was then, that November 6th was set aside as the official Thanksgiving holiday. But then on January 31, 1957, Canadian Parliament decided that on the second Monday in October, Thanksgiving would be a day of general thanksgiving for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed. Thanksgiving was moved to the second Monday in October in order to give Remembrance Day (November 11th) its just due (Thanksgiving kept falling in the same week).

Daily Gratitude Practice a life changer!

Thanksgiving is a time that many people take extra time for gratitude. Have you ever considered what a daily gratitude practice would be like?  My Daily Gratitude practice has changed my life in so many ways, I cannot recommend it enough. In honor of Thanksgiving, I made a little video for you which includes a Guided Gratitude Meditation. Enjoy!

         

The other video I mention