Local Instructor Launches Yoga Nidra CD and Website
A local tai chi teacher and yoga instructor has just released a Yoga Nidra CD on his own website, which he has also recently launched with the help of RBM Design, a locally-based and grassroots design concern.
Rupert Ingham, who teaches tai chi at St Paul's Church in Herne Hill once a week and also works with yoga students on a one to one basis in the local area, decided to release the CD to help people relax and become more successful decision-makers in the process. For many people, today's increasingly frantic, stress-related lifestyles can lead to debilitating anxiety, depression and confusion, with immune systems compromised in the bargain.
Ingham's CD (and classes) hinge on two principles at the heart of yogic concentration - mindfulness and relaxation. According to Ingham, "Mindfulness is the art of gently focussing one's mind and concentrating one's awareness. Deep relaxation is the art of arriving in the state of deepest possible rest. The CD is designed, through its series of meditation exercises, to help students achieve this."
If you click on the audio player under the photo (in the longer version of this article), we've loaded a brief extract from his recordings which you can listen to!
Ancient Indian saints established Yoga Nidra, also known as yogic sleep. They saw it as a way to peel off the subliminal sheath of conscious (external) mind that cloaks the inner core of the unconscious (inner) mind. In this state, individual consciousness could approach 'super-consciousness'. Yoga Nidra is a state between sleep and Samadhi - or between half sleep and half waking. This was considered to be deep rest.
That's the older, mystical explanation. Now for the more modern, scientific one.
Researchers today recognize that this kind of deep rest can increase frontal lobe activity, which in turn influences our executive functions. According to Ingham, these are high-level, cognitive abilities that control and regulate other abilities and behaviours, and are necessary for goal-directed behaviour. They include the ability to start and stop actions and to monitor and change behaviour. They enable us to anticipate outcomes and adapt to fast-changing situations.
This means ability to generate Yoga Nidra can be considered part of a crucial 21st century Western skillset, especially at a time of rapid change driven by technology and shorter attention spans, greater financial and environmental insecurity, and markedly increased competition for what resources we have left.
Says Ingham: "You waste a lot less and make better choices about what is good for you. Yoga Nidra leaves me feeling refreshed, happy, settled ... comfortable in my own skin."
Yoga Nidra assists with numerous physical health issues by extension, from insomnia and high blood pressure, to boosting immune systems and energy levels. And for all of you prospective South London mums out there, scientists even suggest that it promotes better development of the fetus in intra-uterine growth! Put that one in your pram!
Ingham put the Yoga Nidra CD project together with the assistance of Rick Bak at RBM Design and is making it available on his Body & Soul website, at his classes, and in selected places like The Melange Chocolate Shop in Belleden Road, Peckham. Or you can send him an email for details on availability and price.