Finding inner balance with yoga nidra

I’ve been blogging all week about how to restore the balance of your inner masculine and feminine to help restore vitality and joy. Yesterday I talked about Ayurveda as a resource and today I thought I’d share about Yoga Nidra.

When I became consciously aware that my feminine energy was tamped down and really blocked, I started looking for ways to introduce more yin practices into my world. Yin is another word for the feminine energy essence.

I think it was on a SoundsTrue Podcast that I came across a type of meditation called yoga nidra. Yoga nidra is also called “sleep yoga” because it’s done in the corpse pose (laying flat on your back) and you rest the entire time. If you are like me and that sounds like your ideal yoga class then definitely check it out! There are a ton of free yoga nidra meditations on various meditation apps, but one of the best resources I found was http://daringtorest.com/ . This organization is dedicated to help over-tired women to restore the juiciness of life and the woman who founded it has a whole program if you are interested. I’ve not done it but it look s awesome!

To share a little bit more about what Yoga Nidra is and is not, here is an excerpt from Dare to Rest’s Website:

There are no downward-facing dogs, warriors, or other physical postures. Yoga nidra is a sleep-based, conscious guided meditation in which your mind is still active. As your body relaxes, you become open to erasing emotional and mental patterns that are holding you back, combining the benefits of meditation with the benefits of sleep. Over time, consistent practice often leads to transformation in all areas of your life especially your sleep, energy, and emotions.

From Daring to Rest

One way I incorporated yoga nidra into my routine was that after I did daily oil massage I would then take a bath while listening to a Yoga Nidra mediation. It was heavenly! Talk about a way to recharge!

Have you tried any of these techniques? Any favorites?

Blogging series on reclaiming vitality and joy!

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“Trust the process”

At least, that is what my wise-woman self tells me.

Trust the process.

artwork my own.

The process is not linear.

The process will not be understood by your monkey mind (which undoubtedly will want to dictate the process and will fail miserably).  

The process may be met with all your defenses. The sudden need to sleep. The sudden need to hide into a book. The sudden need to shove mouthfuls of popcorn into your mouth while reading said book.

If your body says rest, rest. If you body says dig in, dig in. If your body says, “you are putting up your defenses” then stay curious. 

Allow your partner to call you out (they always will). Allow your dreams to speak to you (make sure you’re listening).

Move. Shake. Walk. Dance. Tickle. Flail. Kick. Conga. [really wise self? Conga?]

Walk, relax, meditate in savasana.

Self-care, self-care, self-care. And then some more.

The sun will rise again. It didn’t disappear, it was just out of view. Relax into the orbit of your life.

And the universe laughed!

So about all those posts this weekabout the kid. The coffee. The coffee again. And again.

I’ve Just had a reminder from the universe to not to take everything so seriously. Or to rush to judgement. Not that I ever do any of that!

We’ll start with my daughter. She has been acting out like crazy and not sleeping and it was basically melt-down city (me, not her). I wrote a post about it. I questioned my parenting skills. There was wringing of hands, inner turmoil, the whole nine yards. I tried regrouping and facing it with love. Mostly compassion for myself because I really needed to cut myself a break.

Well. It turns out she was having a reaction to an inhaler medicine she was taking for her cough. She is really, really sensitive to any amount of steroid, even the small doses. Side effects: hyperactivity, extreme thirst. (So that explains her constant whines for water and then potty breaks. Nope, not entirely stall tactics this time.)

Hahahaha. Good thing I didn’t overthink all that and make sweeping conclusions about my parenting skills and my child’s sanity!

And about that lemon with water. The other day I literally wrote a love story about coffee. I mocked the idea that anyone in their right mind would never leap from bed for water with lemon!

Funny thing about this detox cleanse thing…I am discovering I kinda need to hydrate more. Especially first thing in the morning. You know, before I drink my coffee.

Ahem. Ladies and gentlemen, I am sitting here writing with hot water and lemon. Pre-coffee. I am not sure if there was leaping from bed, but still. Slightly funny.

OH, and my child is not a (1000%) hell-raising three-year-old.

(But seriously, the decaf coffee IS brewing. I haven’t totally lost my marbles. I mean have you noticed how much I love coffee??)

Coffee, a Love Story

The biggest realization with my cleanse? That there are certain positive behaviors I regularly engage in that rely upon other actions (say, brewing a cup of coffee…) that when missing from my routine creates CHAOS.

It turns out that coffee is the gear in our household machinery that, when absent, causes the whole enterprise to fall apart.

I am being super dramatic. But only a little!  The thing is, each morning (prior to the cleanse), getting up and making coffee was the springboard to my ENTIRE DAY. With it I would wake up, show up to my computer, write, and then have time to do other positive things like exercise or start work early, or even do a morning sketch.

You might ask, But Sarah, couldn’t you replace making coffee with the act of boiling your water and adding a lemon? Great plan. Yes I also considered this. Guess what. It turns out that leaping out of bed to make hot water with lemon IS NOT A THING. 0ebaefd0-a419-0132-e44d-0e7954aeedc0

I have a week left of the cleanse, which by the way is going very well except for the coffee snafu. I am no longer having headaches. I am not even craving caffeine or sugar. I have a butternut squash in my fridge that I plan to eat in some way or another. Kale has been consumed.

But today I am drinking coffee. Decaf coffee. And I am in front of my computer and writing my day is off to a grand start. The missing gear is back!

P.S. guess who is adding a stash of coffee to the hurricane/emergency preparedness supplies? CRISIS AVERTED.

 

 

 

Things are brewing (but not coffee)

I have drafts in my head that I want to put on page but instead I’m painting so the words will have to wait just a bit longer.

Things are brewing. Not coffee of course. Welp. I made it three hours into the morning and legitimately thought about throwing in the towel. That is how much I was missing my coffee. But instead I brewed lots and lots of hot water with lemon. Then I stared at piles of vegetables and decided to figure out a Plan for them later.

Until my next post–some bird friends I dreamed up and painted yesterday. Birds don’t do cleanses. Smart birds. (Of course they don’t drink coffee either so nevermind.)
 

Pour me some hot water and get me a lemon! Change is in the air.

Today I’m savoring my cup of coffee today more than ever.

First of all I have a cross breeze flowing through my house. It is glorious. I opened the back doors to the lanai and the fresh air is tickling my toes! Oh it is a sight to behold. It is officially the time of year in Florida where you can sit with doors open without being drenched in sweat. Glory be!

And did I mention that I have my cuban coffee? We need to talk a little bit more about that.

Today I will have one cup. One kind of weak cup of cuban coffee. (Ugh.)

And in T minus two days I will have no cup of coffee.

Voluntarily.

For twelve days and twelve nights I will abstain from coffee and other caffeinated substances. I will be resisting the Cheddar Jack Cheeze-its’ siren call. I will give side-eye to the chocolate covered raisins. I might even (gasp) give up cheese.

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Seriously this is what my hubs looked like in college.

No, I haven’t gone full blown hippy. Please. I love the hippies but they are not my people.

So what is up?

WELL, I may not be full blown hippy but I am a little bit hippy…cuz guess what, I am doing a CLEANSE!

Let me pause to give you time to roll your eyes.

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Ready to move on?

I get it. I am not really sure any actual “science” backs up all the claims people make about cleanses. Pff. Who needs “evidence” or “research”.  I am doing it because I did one years ago as part of a yoga class. And, it felt freaking fantastic. Like, I was stunned by how great I felt afterwards. Kind of floored by it actually.

And frankly, I blame Jen Pastiloff. I signed up for her online class and as part of the experience we are doing a ton of self-care, yoga, journaling, all that jazz. And while the cleanse is optional I figured, why not? We are not doing the Beyoncé only-drink-liquids-containing-cayenne cleanse. Hell no. This is all about eating actual food. Just the really boring stuff. Vegetables!! BROWN RICE. NUTS. And if you feel crazy, maybe some kelp and wheat grass juice!!

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But no cuban coffees. Let me repeat: NO CUBAN COFFEES.  It will just be me and my computer at 6:30 am with some hot water with lemon! Oh that will be fun.

Yes, change is in the air. The lanai doors are now open. The fall breezes are blowing. And sarah will soon be decaffeinated. 


Have you done a cleanse? Have you mocked people who have? Share your story.