Hilary Jackendoff: What Yoga Nidra Means to Me
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I’ve been speaking in regards to the life-changing advantages of relaxation and yoga nidra for almost 15 years, and I’ve by no means wavered in my evangelizing as a result of I do know simply how highly effective this follow actually is.
Let’s journey again to the day all of it started for me: February 9, 2008. I hate to be dramatic, however that basically was ‘the day my life modified endlessly.’
I used to be dwelling in New Zealand and wanted a ‘break’ from my boyfriend on the time, so I went on retreat to a conventional yoga ashram. I used to be mendacity on the heated flooring of a yurt, overlooking Golden Bay, being guided into my first yoga nidra by an especially tall, extraordinarily blonde German sannyasin (yogic monk) named Swami Marutdeva.
I had been struggling via my adolescence and early 20s with insomnia and anxiousness (and this was earlier than smartphones). I had been working towards meditation in a Buddhist custom for some time by this level, however the strategies I’d practiced at my native Kadampa middle in Philadelphia by no means landed. I by no means felt peaceable. I at all times simply felt like I used to be sitting in a pool of my very own psychological filth for an excruciating 45 minutes at a time.
Yoga nidra was totally different, although. That very follow delivered all the great things. I felt like I melted effortlessly right into a state of what I can solely describe as bliss. Right away, I lastly understood what was doable via meditation. I lastly understood what it felt wish to let go—to launch all stress. To expertise a quiet thoughts. To maneuver past the thoughts. It was a full on non secular expertise. And I needed extra.
I grew to become a yoga nidra junkie. It’s all I talked about. I organized my life to ensure I bought my repair on a regular basis. I practiced a lot that in just some months, I had memorized three 45 minute recordings, syllable by syllable. It fully shifted my relationship to sleep, and offered main reduction for my insomnia and anxiousness.
I needed to go even deeper. That October, I went on retreat to spend a while on the yoga lineages’ ashram in India. After a robust non secular expertise in India, I knew I needed to be within the lineage. So in I went. Over the span of 8 years, I took 2 Tantric initiations into the lineage, and spent 2 years dwelling and learning at an ashram as a sannyasin.
Throughout a interval at residence in New Jersey, between ashram years, I skilled a horrible trauma. I misplaced my childhood finest buddy and subsequent door neighbor to a heroin overdose. (I deeply want he might have identified peace and obliteration of the ego via yoga nidra. It might need helped him get off heroin.)
I used to be with Rocky the day earlier than he died, and my final phrases to him have been, “I really like you Rock. Don’t you go dying on me.” The following morning, on December 30, 2012, I watched him being carried out by the paramedics from my childhood bed room window.
I returned to the ashram every week after his funeral to finish my 2nd yr of research. Deep in grief and affected by trauma, I skilled a brutal bout of insomnia that lasted 3 months. Yoga nidra was my secure area. It was the one means I might get relaxation. It was the one time I felt peaceable. It was the one factor that stored me sane, on condition that I used to be in such a state of extreme sleep deprivation and emotional ache. It additionally helped me combine the feelings and progressively launch the sensation of accountability I had been holding onto since his dying.
I’ve personally skilled each single considered one of yoga nidra’s transformative advantages: reduction of stress and anxiousness. Restoring my sleep and relaxation. Emotional therapeutic of trauma. Transformation. Letting go. Religious oneness. Yoga nidra has helped me make sense of life. In truth, it’s offered me with my life’s path.
The photograph above was taken shortly after I obtained my non secular identify from Swami Satsangi Saraswati. Your non secular identify represents your potential, and serves as a mantra to remind you of your highest self every time it’s spoken.
It’s no coincidence that my non secular identify is Om. The mantra of yoga nidra. The image of Om 🕉 represents the 4 states of consciousness—waking, dreaming, sleeping and the fourth—pure consciousness in deep sleep—the state of yoga nidra.
So, I’m going to attempt to dwell as much as my identify. I’m going to maintain on protecting on, guiding of us into relationship with yoga nidra—the follow and the state—with the hope that it’ll remodel their lives because it did mine.
Hilary Jackendoff is a Yoga Nidra and meditation instructor, in addition to a Instructor Coach and Human Design coach. In 2008, she started learning Tantric Yoga, then spent two years formally coaching whereas dwelling at an ashram in Australia. In 2019, she found Human Design and has been creating containers and training choices for de-conditioning, built-in with Yogic practices. Hilary’s work is devoted to sharing accessible instruments and grounded non secular teachings to encourage self-inquiry so you’ll be able to launch stress and self-judgment and awaken self-love, interior ease, and pleasure.