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Why I combine Yoga Nidra with Art Practices....

Updated: Apr 18, 2023

Hi lovely humans!


If you didn’t know already, I'm an Artist & Yoga Teacher and I run Yoga Nidra & Art / Watercolour Workshops! However I didn’t just throw these two things together because I like them and thought they would make a good workshop - Although luckily they do!!

On a deeper level, they tie together so beautifully, as both have the ability to help us make deeper connections to ourselves, improve our mental & emotional wellbeing and create positive changes in all areas of our lives.


It is scientifically proven that Yoga Nidra, meditation and taking part in similar activities that promote relaxation and slowing down, has a positive impact on your brain & changes your brainwaves which has been proven to boost your creativity and overall sense of wellbeing.


So, what is Yoga Nidra and could it actually make you more creative?!


Firstly, it’s important to remember that there are no guarantees that you will become more creative after doing Yoga Nidra. As with any similar practice (meditation, breathing technique or exercise), there will be things that work for you and things that don’t, and that's ok! We are here to explore and become the best version of ourselves that we can be!


Simply put, Yoga Nidra, 'Yogic Sleep' or 'The Sleep of the Yogi' is a form of guided meditation which is intended to induce deep relaxation in your body & mind.


These are some of the benefits you could experience from practicing Yoga Nidra...

  • Help you feel more focused & refreshed

  • Reduce or eliminate stress, anxiety & depression

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Improve sleep

  • Improve creativity

  • Encourage more positive habits

  • Increase self-awareness helping you to discover your true nature, true self or true being.


A BIT ABOUT YOGA NIDRA

This practice involves no physical movement and is suitable for all to try. You are encouraged to get comfortable, in a lying down or slightly reclined position & to relax or close your eyes, whilst you are guided through a systematic method of sensory withdrawal, known as Pratyahara. This encourages the physical body and the thinking mind to rest - you could say, we are putting them to sleep.


If I'm leading an evening practice, my aim is to help you wind down at the end of the day, to find peace and perhaps help you sleep more easily, but Yoga Nidra can be practiced any time of day. It’s always good to have breaks during the day to reset, to rest your eyes and brain and even allow some time to physically rest & let your muscles release. Yoga Nidra is the perfect practice for this!


My Yoga Nidra & Watercolour Workshops are usually in the morning or daytime and the sessions are tailored more towards creative thinking and imagination. Although Yoga Nidra can help you feel rested, it also has the ability to make you feel more energised, almost as if you have had a really good sleep!


During Yoga Nidra the aim is to stay awake and aware, following the voice of the instructor. We are aiming to reach a relaxed state of consciousness; where the mind is resting in a place between wakefulness and sleep.

Sometimes, if you are exhausted, you might fall asleep and that is ok, so please don’t worry if that does happen. Your body clearly needs it and a few extra Z’s wouldn’t hurt!


IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BRAINWAVES....

When we are awake, our brain is in Beta activity; This means we are alert. It relates to logical thinking, conscious thought processing and general mental activity. Beta waves aren't a bad thing, without them we wouldn't get our tasks and jobs done, but sometimes we can be in beta waves for too long or experience excessive beta activity, which can relate to obsessiveness, hyperactivity, insomnia, anxiety and depression. If we don't have enough Beta waves whilst we are awake and functioning, we might find it difficult to concentrate and focus on the task at hand. Make sense?


As soon as we start to relax or take part in stress-relieving activities, such as meditation, Yoga, mindful walking or relaxing art projects, our brain moves into Alpha waves, which are scientifically proven to lower levels of anxiety, depression and stress. If you have completed a task on your to do list, you can experience Alpha waves, if you are sat outside in the sun drinking a cup of coffee, you can experience Alpha waves. We feel content, relaxed and at ease. Alpha waves boost the right hemisphere of our brain which supports the hub of intuition, imagination and creativity!


Our minds feel calmer and clearer and we may experience feelings of inner peace and tranquility. It's during these moments of freedom from our regular daily thinking & doing that we might have little insights & inspirations, clarity on a situation that’s been bugging us, we might be able to solve that problem or feel so at peace that we are judgment free with ourselves.... "Maybe I can paint that picture?! Maybe I'll just give it a go and play, because who care's if I'm not good, at least i'll have fun trying." This is where transformation begins!


Ok, so you might not have that EXACT thought process... but on some level, you've given your brain the chance to slow down, to stop thinking about a million things at once, to stop putting yourself down or the putting pressure on to be perfect. Humans aren’t designed to multi-task or do lots of stuff at once, so when we take time to rest, we are providing ourselves with the space for thoughts to travel through more clearly. Think of it like a filing system in your brain; when you’re busy and trying to multi-task, the files are EVERYWHERE and it’s a bit of a mess, flitting from one thing to the next, not finishing anything, not remembering what the last thing was or what you're trying to do next. If you let the mind rest and focus, the files end up in their rightful place and you can find the file you need more easily. Perhaps the file is 'being creative', like you did when you were a little kid!


The only way to know, is to do the practice. Yoga Asana, Meditation, Yoga Nidra & Breath work can all contribute towards a healthier, freer & more creative lifestyle. The key is to get started and try not to get discouraged along the way. It's not an easy journey, but it can be a very beneficial one!


No prior experience or knowledge is needed to practice, just allow yourself the opportunity to explore with an open heart and open mind.


Practice with me...


If you're intrigued and would love to explore using Yoga Nidra to enhance creative output, do join one of my popular Yoga Nidra & Art Workshops in the Birmingham area... Visit the link below for more information and to find upcoming dates....




Try a FREE Yoga Nidra Practice for Deep Rest on YouTube




Enquire about 121 Yoga Nidra & Art sessions - Personalised just for you!




I look forward to speaking with you soon! Do get in touch if you have any questions!


With Gratitude,

Sophie xxx



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