Give yourself permission to relax and rest, while setting intentions for personal growth and exploring the deeper self.
Yoga Nidra is a guided relaxation practice that includes a systematic sequence of breath and body awareness exercises that naturally calm the mind and nervous system. Tune into the the peaceful vibrations of authentic Himalayan singing bowls.
Bring your yoga mat, pillow, blanket or towel, and any other props you’d like to use to create a comfortable reclining posture. Chairs are available if sitting is preferred.
Research shows that Yoga Nidra can reduce stress levels, help you sleep better, and improve overall well-being. Himalayan Singing bowls introduce a healing harmonic sound wave that helps dislodge stagnation on the cellular level and bring the body and mind into perfect tune.
“Set your intention and the sound will carry it to the divine,” Suren Shrestha, Master Teacher at the Atma Buti Sound and Vibrational School
Instructor Bio: Ann MacMullan, E-RYT 500 Yoga Therapist Candidate and Breath Coach, has been joyfully sharing the gift of yoga since 2015. Ann is trained in Yoga Nidra and the Atma Buti Method of Sound Healing. Learn more about Sound Healing with Ann.
🛑 Are you having a Red Light day? As we move into a busier season, it’s so easy to take on too much. Here are a few ideas for developing your energy awareness skills in order to build, balance, and restore your energy levels.
Start each day by grounding yourself so that your energy doesn’t dissipate as easily – simply bring awareness to your connection to the earth through the feet or seat. Move the feet and legs! Notice the whole body, the container of your energy.
Practice an “energy check in”- just sit and feel the pulse of energy moving in your body, your breath. Choose a number from 1-10 that represents your energy level. If numbers aren’t your thing, try the traffic light approach.🚦 Determine whether you’re having a red, yellow or green light kind of day – and make decisions based on that.
Notice and Document – What Depletes Your Energy? What Feeds It?
When do you typically have the most energy? Schedule activities accordingly. Begin to notice the activities, environments, and people that drain your reserves, and budget a counter activity that helps you fill up your energetic well. If it drains your energy – write it down! If it feeds your energy – write it down! I personally journal every day. It’s like leaving bread-crumbs for your future self to navigate life more gracefully, creating a Users Guide for your own body, mind and spirit.
Build Energy or Prana – Breath, Movement, Awareness
Build your prana or life force through breathing, movement like walking or yoga, mudras, and awareness practices. Remember, “where awareness goes, energy flows.”
Inhale – feel the energy expand and rise.
Exhale – allow the energy to ground into the container of your body and the earth below.
Nourish – Food, Drink and Nature
Drink in some sunshine and fresh air.
Eat fresh nutritious foods high in prana – whole foods, fruits and veggies as close to their origin source as possible. Avoid frozen foods, and alcohol.
Drink plenty of water.
A cup of hot herbal tea goes a long way in my opinion. What’s your favorite?
Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat.
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Fill Up Your Well – Rest and Relax
Give yourself permission to rest, supporting better immune system function. Remember “all healing begins in rest.” You are being productive by allowing your body to rest!
Try nourishing practices like Body Scans and Loving kindness meditations, Yoga Nidra, and restorative yoga postures like Supported Bound Angle, pictured here.
Get Outside Support
Ask for help! Don’t be a hero and try to do it all. You don’t have to be perfect. Schedule a Private Yoga Wellness session with me to learn new ways of managing your energy in a supportive and therapeutic environment.
⬇️ Head over to my Insight Timer page for some guided support! ⬇️
Or visit me on YouTube to take exquisite care of yourself!
Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what type of day you’re having – is it a red, yellow, or green light day? What activities, environments or people drain your energy? Which fill your well?
Thanks for reading! And please, take exquisite care of yourself.
Ujjayi breath is a common yogic breathing technique where a soft oceanic sound is created by constricting the vocal folds in the throat. Also called Victorious Breath, it sounds like a faraway ocean, or your fans cheering for you! Try Ujjayi Breath for calm focus as you sit in meditation, practice yoga, or go about your day as a way to keep you anchored in the present moment.
I was taught Ujjayi breath in one of the very first yoga classes I ever attended, and although it took a little while for me to figure out how to find ease with it, now it’s become my number one tool in my conscious breathing toolbox. It’s also a gateway to controlling your breath for better respiratory function, improving blood pressure and overall quality of life. There are even some studies that connect Ujjayi breath with better immune function in cancer patients. Personally I use it to stay present, and to help lengthen my breath with smooth control, in order to regulate my own nervous system.
Ujjayi breath has a very soft sound to it. This sound is creating by lightly constricting the throat, or vocal folds, as if you were whispering or fogging up a windowpane. Except the mouth is closed. The sound itself is very calming and light, never forced. Never as loud as Darth Vader’s breathing.
Because it is a smooth, controlled breath, practicing Ujjayi can help you avoid gulping air in, or just huffing the air out. In this way we can really explore lengthening the breath, and in turn calming the nervous system. It’s as if you were sipping air slowly through a straw, sweetly savoring it and releasing it out luxuriously, like a stream of oil flowing, smooth and uniform. Even inhale, even exhale.
Ujjayi Pranayama is detailed in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, written by Yogi Swatmarama in the 15th century. He writes, “closing the mouth, inhale with control and concentration, so that the breath is felt from the throat to the heart and produces a sonorous sound…it helps relax the physical body and the mind, and develops awareness of the subtle body and psychic sensitivity.”
This oceanic sound really helps you become more conscious of your breath – by itself Ujjayi breath can be a concentration practice. We can also control our breath better, because as we lightly narrow the throat, we’re increasing airway resistance and controlling airflow so that each phase of the breath cycle can be prolonged to an exact count. It helps me breathe more slowly, show up more fully. When we can consciously slow down the breath, or regulate the length of inhalations and exhalations, we can regulate our own nervous systems.
Once you get the hang of Ujjayi breath on its own, see if you can practice Ujjayi breath while doing something else – of course, yoga comes to mind, but maybe you have PT exercises you can add the breath to, or try it while you’re out walking. Let me know how it goes!
The human is a finely tuned instrument capable of receiving and transmitting an enormous variety of energies – but you need to plug it in! Grounding is like plugging yourself in to the Earth.
“As a lightning rod protects a building by sending excess voltages into the ground, grounding protects the body from becoming overloaded by the tensions of everyday life,” according to Anodea Judith in her book Wheels of Life: A User’s Guide to the Chakra System.
Makes sense to me! I use simple grounding exercises every day to help manage the stresses and challenges of daily living.
5 Take Away Tips to Stay Grounded
Stick to a daily routine
Practice setting healthy boundaries
Sit or lie down and take 5 breaths, feeling your earthward connection
Move your body, go out in nature
Work with your feet – oil feet before bedtime
Grounding starts with your feet, which are your earthward antennae, the foundation of your balance and movement. Try these simple toe exercises to keep your toes in good shape!
Finally, a great way to ground is to actually lie down and do a Yoga Nidra, guided relaxation practice. I recorded this Yoga Nidra with Grounding in mind. Enjoy!