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Wednesday, 16 March 2016 16:45

What if a radical awakening was just a breath away?

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I am in Sherwood Park at a local yoga studio. Yoga mats are lined up against the walls and in rows throughout the room. The cork floor intrigues my fingers as I press my fingertips into the floor. People arrive with their yoga props, bolsters, pillows, blocks and blankets.


We pit in and make little nests for ourselves in the space. We slowly arrive. I am at a five-day Yoga Nidra i-Rest® Certification Training.
Yoga Nidra is a transformative practice of deep relaxation and meditative inquiry that releases negative emotions and thought patterns,  calms the nervous system, and develops a capacity to meet any and all circumstances that you may encounter in life.
I am open to receive what emerges and shows up for me. I am eager to learn this method and integrate it into my life and my business. “What else is possible?” says my heart.
Anne Douglas is training us at this event. She is an i-Rest Senior Teacher Trainer and on the i-Rest board of directors. She has been studying with Richard Miller (the founder/director) in this i-Rest method since 1996. We are in good hands.
I could tell you about the history of yoga nidra. I could tell you about the ancient sages and mystiques who explored their body, mind and spirit through these methods. I could tell you about the 10-fold path of yoga nidra and give your brain yet another thing to think about and try to understand.
But I won’t. I would rather tell you about my yoga nidra experience. Perhaps in sharing how this method helped me you can find some resolve and radical awakening yourself.
Let us begin with our breath.
We are lying down in our little nests of comfort on the floor. I am resting on a yoga mat, with a bolster (long pillow) under my knees, covered with a blanket and feeling warm and cozy.
Anne guides us to focus on our bodies and our breath. Feel our bodies breathing itself. Feel our breath moving itself. I soon settle into my body and let go of the drive and the traffic and the “to-do” lists. I am simply breathing. There is no where to go. There is nothing to do. There is simply this breath in this body. I am a body breathing.
As we are guided through different body and breath reflections I am drawn to a sensation in my lower back; between my hip bones. It is a pulse, a low hum, a drone. The yoga nidra pathway of reflection and Anne’s guidance help me to connect with this feeling in my lower back. It is uncomfortable.
I start to wiggle and my brain wants to “fix” this feeling. I am guided to simply notice and pay attention to this feeling and sensation in my lower back. I am a body feeling.
Soon a memory and a picture and a belief emerge. I am reminded of an operation I had when I was 13 years old. I am reminded of the hospital and the operating room and the cancer. I am reminded of the feelings I had at that time. I am reminded of different beliefs that I had at that time about my experience. I “stay” with this feeling in my lower back — this low uncomfortable hum and ache. The thought that “I am isolated” emerges from within. I do not like the feeling of isolated; it feels heavy, solitary, and weighted in responsibility.
Then an incredible shift happens. I am invited to feel the opposite of that feeling. My heart opens and a feeling of sparkles, sunshine and light moves through my heart. The centre of my chest warms with yumminess (and I am not even noticing the low hum/drone in my lower back). This feels expansive and joyfilled and infinite. I am body sensing.
With Anne’s guidance and the yoga nidra pathway I was able to experience these feelings in my body without resistance. I was able to “play” with them if you will, in a sacred safe place and able to find the magic and the mystery beneath and beyond them. I was no longer attached and committed to the ache and memory in my back. I was expanded beyond it; beyond the story, beyond the memory. I felt and allowed both at the same time.
And then, an even greater radiance and magnificence showed up for me and through me.
It was a tangible, real, sensory experience where I felt here and now, and yet no where and everywhere at the same time.
The beautiful thing was when I no longer attached to the feeling of the ache in my lower back ... when I no longer attached to the belief that “I was isolated and weighted in responsibility”... new possibilities emerged and a new understanding of myself showed up. Iam.
That was day one of a five-day training. Oodles of more awesomeness, insights, releasing and renewing occurred for me.
I have a new awareness of my body, my feelings, my beliefs and a greater commitment to sharing this compassionate restorative modality with others.
If you would like to learn more about i-Rest and yoga nidra, visit
To book your own yoga nidra session and experience this restorative practice firsthand contact me ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ).
A delicious discount is available for the first 10 people who book a Yoga Nidra Session.
P.S. Research has shown that i-Rest Yoga Nidra effectively reduces: PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia, Chronic Pain and Chemical Dependency
Like what you’ve read? Desire more? Shine on with Christine – #thejoyguru. One on One Life Coaching, Abundant Living Guidance and more is available to you. Sign up for my “Be Alive & Shine” Newsletter at For more tips and tools on how to live abundantly from the inside out, please visit me online or join us at KIVA (in the Carmel Mall). You are always welcome.
Visit Christine at; Twitter@ChristineCiona or Facebook/KIVAsacredstudio

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