Have you ever been in Savasana at the end of yoga class and just when you feel yourself starting to relax, your teacher calls time? Have you wondered what a longer, deeper period of relaxation would feel like? What might it do for your stress levels and your health in general? Well, I have two words for you: Yoga Nidra.
My first experience with Yoga Nidra was in Nasik, India during my Teachers Training Course. It was a timely and wonderful experience. At that time I was super stressed and the course was more of a destress for me. I, like many others enjoys Savasana but Yoga Nidra did something for my inner most being that day.
The Yoga Nidra was conducted after our usual Hatha session. During the spiritual relaxation stage the trainer used a visualisation technique to lead us into the memories of our past. During this period, I experienced a uncontrollable shedding of tears. Many of the hurts and pain that I felt inside me was slowly being released as many images of my bad experiences flashed in my brain one after the other. After the session I felt so much “Lighter” as many of the unhappiness in me was being lifted.
When I came back to Singapore I started using Yoga Nidra for my dance students especially after their school examination. It worked very well and I continued using it until I stop teaching dance about 7 years back.
Out of the 7 main Chakras, I love the Heart Chakra the most. It is the wellspring of love, warmth, compassion, and joy and it is located in the center of the chest at the heart level. All my life I have been driven by love and compassion. I always tell people that I perform better when there is love in and around me. I guess this works for most of us.
The Heart Chakra is also the center of our deep bonds with others, our sense of caring and compassion, our feelings of self-love, altruism, generosity, kindness, and respect. Others can feel our love and warmth. They feel loved and accepted unconditionally. People feel at peace around us, as there is no judgment coming from us.
When Anahata is open and energy is flowing freely, we are not only loving to others, we are also loving to ourselves. We know when we need to say no and when we need care and self-nurturing. To open to love is to reach to the deepest places and connect with our true essence, our spirit, and our soul.
Heart Chakra Affirmations
- I am open to love.
- All love resides within my heart.
- I deeply and completely love and accept myself.
- I nurture my inner child. I am wanted and loved.
- I live in balance, in a state of gracefulness and gratitude.
- I love the beauty of nature and the animal world. I forgive myself.
- I am open to love and kindness.
- I am grateful for all the challenges that helped me to transform and open up to love.
- I am connected with other human beings.
- I feel a sense of unity with nature and animals.
- I accept things as they are.
- I am peaceful.
My life has always been hard. For many years I had always done things for the sake of my family. I never did expect anything in return. I have always been a person who gives much more than I have received until the day I lost everything in life. It was 7 years back that I lost my house, family, CPF and all the money I had. I was devastated and it took me about 2 months to pull myself back together. It was during that time when I remembered the “Alternate Nostril Breathing” that I was taught when I was in India back in 2007. I started practicing it daily and I managed to calm myself down. Things became clearer in my mind and I started rebuilding my life back up again.
By practicing Alternate Nostril Breathing, one can experienced the following:
- Settles stress and anxiety
- Improves the ability to focus in the mind
- Supports our lungs and respiratory functions
- Restores balance in the left and right hemispheres of the brain, and clears the energetic channels
- Rejuvenates the nervous system
- Removes toxins
After that very bad experience in my life, I have learnt to practice Nadi Shodhana more regularly.
In year 2005, I received a call from a Yoga centre inviting me for a free yoga class. The person on the phone told me that my contact was given to them by one of my friend who have attended classes with them. Usually, I do not entertain such a call but for some reason which I had no idea of, I made an appointment for a trial class. At that time I was a Dance Instructor and Choreographer for several schools helping them in starting up their Modern Dance Club.
My very first Yoga class was Gentle Yoga. The class was slow and manageable. As I was not flexible in my body, I enjoyed the stretches that the class was giving me. After the class, I asked for another free class as I wanted to experience a more challenging class. I attended an Ashtanga class and I literally “died” in the class. My first impression of Gentle Yoga was just a stretching class but Ashtanga gave me the impression of difficult but awesome poses. The class was challenging in so many ways that I just wanted to learn more about this thing called Yoga.
Ways I was being challenged
After that Ashtanga class I signed up for a membership with a Yoga centre and attended regular classes in Gentle Yoga, Sivananda Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga and Power Yoga.