A joint declaration of independence for Yoga Nidrā Shakti. First published 12th April 2021, Revised and Updated 9 May 2021. This purpose of this statement is to inform, educate and reassure. Our intention is to support and uplift practitioners and facilitators of all forms and methods of yoga nidrā worldwide, whilst calling to account all the organisations which promote this practice. We offer our perspective on the current context of yoga nidrā teaching, including a summary of our understanding of recent and historic abuses in all major yoga nidrā organisations. We also reveal, in brief, some neglected and hidden histories of yoga nidrā, in order to provide a broader, more nuanced and complete context of understanding of this diverse and ancient practice.
In Defence of the Practice of Yoga Nidrā
IN PRAISE OF MUTABILITY
I send you all new moon greetings for your well being and encourage you to take heart! We are part of a powerful network to embody change, and to encourage the wisdom that well-rested humans can access. I wrote the words of this small moon song over a year ago at the time of a powerful moon and they are echoing in my heart today as I come to write this Newsletter just after having shared co-creative yoga nidra with our community live on our Yoga Nidra Network Facebook page. . . we invite you to join us there Monday to Friday 4pm GMT and on Instagram Live on Tuesdays and Thursdays (@umadinsmoretuli) Whilst we are unable to gather together in person, let us continue to support each other in our online circles with love and compassion, learning and sharing together. For indeed times are ripe for a fresh start - and together, well rested and well nourished by our practice of yoga nidra we can be ready to meet with good grace whatever arises - after all, this indeed is our practice!
I send warm greetings from the heart of the English Midwinter, as we head into the darkness. This is our annual call to Hibernation! As it darkens here so early, I find the call for sleep and dream is strong, and that Yoga Nidra is more vital than ever - restoring rhythmic cycles and nourishing my capacity to be well and present in the cold and the damp. I trust and hope the practice does the same for you.
Tending the light within: a Blessing for the Nidristas
Warm greetings to you all on this Diwali new moon from my writing retreat on the wild ocean’s edge of North Clare in the West of Ireland. I am here in the Burren, between the hills and the Atlantic, working away on the Nidra Shakti Encyclopaedia of Yoga Nidra (when I’m not writing to you!) It is a great privilege to have this very precious time to be writing and practising and putting together seven years of work on this enormous book! Part of my intent is to reclaim and nourish our roots and rights to rest, so I am integrating and revising some of my previous writings on the theft of sleep - if you haven’t already connected to this you might enjoy to read what I wrote for my friends on the Dark Mountain, it's a bit like a sneak preview of the book: https://dark-mountain.net/decolonising-sleep/-
Worlds of Rest
Thank you for your presence in our world of Nidra work! We are so very grateful that we have met so many radiant souls and inspirational beings in our work over the past twenty years of sharing Total Yoga Nidra in the service of Nidra Shakti. I begin with this heartfelt giving of thanks, because so many of you reading this newsletter are dear people we have met in person - we have laughed together, rested together, sharing stories and chocolate and space together, many of you have eaten in our kitchen or chatted in our garden, or we have met you in your own home towns on our travels around the world - and now in this strange time where most of our work has shifted online, we are so very grateful for the authentic heartfelt connection that we share with you all.
HONOURING DREAM AND NIDRA: Calling all dreamers!
In these strange and uncertain times, I honour the deep power of rest as She is celebrated in many wisdom traditions and indigenous practices around the world and through all time. Sleep is a balm and a healing for so many - and through yoga nidra we can access the source of our dreams that be a solace and a power that nourishes. And so we invite you to re-connect with your dreams through yoga nidra …
Part way through our first ever Live Online Total Yoga Nidra Teacher and facilitator training (Next one in October), I paused to take a night swim under the full moon of Lughnasa (time of first harvest) here at Magheramore Beach in Wicklow with my host and mentor tutor on the online TYNTFT, Yoga Nidra teacher Daithí Ó hÉighnigh As we swam through the water, tiny pinpricks of light scattered out under the waves from our hands, like magical constellations of miniature stars - the phosphoresce danced in the water under the full moon. Just like in the Himalayan Institute inspired 61 point nidras I often share, these liquid phosphorescent constellations reminded me of the starlight rotation yoga nidras, and brought once again the practice of Total Yoga Nidra into the magical practice of awareness in daily life.
Honouring the Roots of Yoga Nidra
As the UK begins to open up to more everyday activities that were on pause during our COVID lockdown, I reflect upon the vital place of daily Yoga Nidra in self-care strategies. This week I delivered the last in a series of 122 live daily Total Yoga Nidra co-creations for community support that I shared each day on my Facebook page for seventeen weeks and three days. That’s a lot of nidra! I need a bit of a break now - so plan to return with these in the Autumn maybe… YOGA NIDRA SUPPORTS OUR SANITY!
Yoga Nidra Network Operating Ethics
A Statement of Solidarity and Affirmation of Right Action from the Yoga Nidra Network Right action is part of our yogic path. This statement is the result of our collective efforts since 2009, when we first began to share Total Yoga Nidra. It shares the foundational beliefs which have shaped our work and continue to inspire our choices. We at the Yoga Nidra Network are an independent post-lineage collective of teachers, trainers, practitioners and students from all over the world and we strive for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Celebrating the Abundance of Spring
It was a joy to return to England after nearly two months on the road in the Middle East and Bali, and to find the green lace of new leaves dancing in the trees and the wild garlic pungent in the woodlands!