Yesterday morning, I drove up to the big town of Atchison to attend a Spring Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra class. I learned about the class through my regular Wednesday night yoga class, taught by Maylo Anderson. First of all, the drive up to Atchison from Overland Park is gorgeous! I had never been north past Leavenworth before, and the drive was pretty.
The yoga class was held at the Muchnic Art Gallery. If you are ever in Atchison, you shouldn’t miss this mansion, it is a beautiful building, and having a restorative yoga class there, paired with the rain outside, was so peaceful.
The class began with Maylo teaching an hour or so of restorative yoga. This was a series of long, slow stretches and breathing, meant to refresh and open the body. It was amazingly relaxing. After Maylo’s instruction, another instructor, Sami Aaron led us in about an hour of Yoga Nidra.
I had never attended a Yoga Nidra class before, and thoughI generally knew what to expect, it’s difficult to put into words what it felt like. Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleeping, and the class is a guided meditation that “explores the physical body, the breath, emotions, intellect, intuition, and the connection to a higher self” (Taken from Sami Aaron’s Yoga Nidra website).
For the Yoga Nidra portion of the class, we began with a seated meditation, followed by laying down in a supported position, slowing the breathing, and listening and visualizing with Sami’s guidance. During this time, the mind brings awareness to separate parts of the body, and is taken to a deep meditative state of consciousness. I felt it ebb and flow, and sometimes I was aware of what Sami was saying, and other times it felt as if I was not really aware of where I was or what was happening, though I never truly fell asleep. It was kind of like I was consciously aware that I was sleeping.
It’s very difficult to explain how it felt, but it was very peaceful. Sami talked through the entire Yoga Nidra class, and though it was about an hour, once we were finished, it felt like it had been 5 or 10 minutes. To finish the class, we came back into a seated position and brought our awareness back into the room.
Between the Restorative Yoga and the Yoga Nidra, I felt refreshed, relaxed, calm, and at peace. Sami and Maylo had some resources available after class, and I was able to walk through the Muchnic Art Gallery and see not only the art upstairs, but enjoy the antique home. It was gently raining during my drive back home, and it was a great way to spend the morning.
I’m very thankful to Maylo and Sami, and for the Muchnic Art Gallery for holding this event. It was an amazing way to try out Yoga Nidra, and learn something new about myself.