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Namaste: Yoga Nidra helps bring out the ultimate zen

Rest and rejuvenation are two things college students never get enough of. If you are seeking refuge from midterms or suffering from stress in general, try Yoga Nidra, a form of guided meditation.

Lisa Namyet, a Nidra instructor at Eugene Yoga, believes that a single hour of Yoga Nidra is as restful and refreshing as four hours of sleep. So how does Yoga Nidra achieve such refreshing results? It all starts with the environment. Yoga Nidra is taught in a smaller studio with dim lights and no music. In order to achieve a relaxing environment, the class is limited to 15 people.

“I love that I have a smaller class because then I can have a one-on-one connection with people” Namyet said.

After everyone is in a comfortable position, they stretch and meditate.

“The meditation goes through different parts of the body, but first we focus on the breath,” Namyet said.

After several breathing exercises the students quiet their minds.

“At this point in the class we go deeper towards the subconscious,” Namyet said. This is achieved by “going deep into the psyche with visual imagery; its not hypnosis, but it gets at the theta brain waves at the subconscious edge. You’re aware of what the instructor is saying, but you’re deep enough to go through layers and just relax every layer of the body,” said Namyet. Practices like these are the reason Namyet recommends Nidra for people who suffer with stress, insomnia, depression and anxiety.

The goal of Yoga Nidra is to relax every part of the body and to release emotional, muscular, mental and spiritual tension. By quieting their minds the students learn to simply observe their thoughts but not act on them. Additionally students can assign themselves an intention, or a goal they hope to achieve this class or in their life in general. The students repeat their intention to themselves three times and keep it in the back of their mind as they begin the Nidra series.

“For example I have a 15-year-old daughter and I had been wanting to spend more time with her, so I said ‘I want to have more fun with Rebecca as my intention for the class. I swear this stuff works because later that night something I had to do was cancelled and my time opened up. Rebecca didn’t have much homework and we were able to spend time together,” Namyet said. “Yoga Nidra in my experience truly does work and that’s why I want to teach it– I want to share this relaxation with others.”

For more information on Yoga Nidra classes, visit Eugene Yoga Studio.

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Sarah Vella-Labrador

Sarah Vella-Labrador