A few weeks ago, I was in New Haven resting in savasana after a long day of yoga therapy study. We started the day at 6:30 a.m. with a yoga practice, followed by breakfast, followed by the morning lesson, lunch, and the afternoon lesson, wrapping up around 6:00 p.m. See? It’s a very long [but, amazing!] day.
So, naturally, all of us students were delighted to wrap up with a Yoga Nidra practice. Do you know the meditation practice of Yoga Nidra? Also known as “yogic sleep?” It’s deeply relaxing. Typically, you will set an intention — called a “sankalpa”— at the beginning of your practice before being led through a guided meditation for 25 - 60 minutes, all while laying down. It’s said that 45 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equal to 2-4 hours of sleep. Incredible, right? This is how I got through the first year with a new baby!
Our teacher settled us into the practice, and started to lead us into our sankalpa, asking:
What is the deepest desire of your heart?
At that point of the practice, I recall my own heart whispering the response. While I’ll keep this to myself for now, I found the practice deeply moving and for weeks I’ve explored the simple phrase that gently wrapped me with warmth, an inner knowing.
On the eve of a day filled with LOVE, it’s the love of the Self that I want you to pay attention to right now. We show ourselves love when we listen to our innermost needs and desires. It’s a way to connect with the deepest layer of our being, known as our “bliss body” in yoga.
I shared a similar meditation with the yoga teacher trainees this weekend, layering in some words from Joseph Campbell who writes,
“…if you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people, who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
It is MUCH easier to listen to the logical side of our brain, to the voices that surround us, to the imagery that pervades every line of sight from phones to TV’s to billboards. But, what if you turned inwards? What if you sat for a few moments today or tomorrow with a pen and allowed yourself to ask: What is the deepest desire of my heart? and to write and TRUST the answer. Isn’t that a kind of self-love? Your heart’s needs [I believe] lead you to bliss. Bliss is a part of who we already are.
You may choose to keep your answers to yourself for now, hold them close, examine them. If you want to share with someone, please write to me! I love to hear from you. And, that’s why I am here…to help you intentionally connect the dots that transform the way you live in your body, and ultimately your life.
With love [+ chocolate covered Valentine’s Day wishes!],
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