Karen Klutznick lectures on ayurvedic topics (Intro To Ayurveda: What's A Dosha Anyway?, The Power of the Breath, Ayurvedic Nutrition: Food Is Medicine, etc.) and frequently leads Conscious Relaxation (yoga nidra) sessions at various venues including: Tejas Yoga, Gilda's Club, Exhale Spa, Yoga Now, lululemon, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association's annual conference.
Yoga Nidra (also called yogic sleep, conscious relaxation, dynamic sleep, sleep with awareness and other names) is a form of guided meditation adapted from an ancient tantric practice. As you lie down and listen while being guided through a series of visualizations and breathwork, you will achieve a state of deep relaxation unlike any other—it’s like being asleep and awake at the same time.
Yoga nidra unifies the mind, body, and spirit in a state of deep meditation. It slows the mind in order to release us from the symptoms of stress, anxiety, insomnia, depression, PTSD, and repetitive thoughts. It calms the body so that chronic pain, heart disease, hormone imbalance, high blood pressure, muscle tension, and other ailments with a stress component begin to normalize. It’s also a spiritual practice that can take one deeper and deeper into the subtle realms of self-awareness.
Every session is both the same and different. Karen uses the same structure in each practice though the details are changeable. Over time, the routine of the practice induces your mind and body to become more and more proficient at relaxation and letting go of tension, both physical and emotional.
Class starts with breathwork or chanting to help us transition from the bustle of our daily lives to a state of stillness. If chanting and breathwork are new to you, it’s perfectly fine to observe in silence until you’re ready to participate.
Bring a pillow, eye pillow, eye shades, blanket, shawl, or whatever helps you to lie down comfortably on your back for 45 minutes. If lying on your back on the floor is a problem, we can find other ways to make you comfortable. Tejas provides bolsters to put under your knees (relieving pressure on the lower back) and yoga blankets. If you don’t have a yoga mat, they can be rented at the front desk. Wear comfortable clothing and bring a sweater if you get cold easily.
There’s nothing else for you to do but close your eyes and listen.
Lastly, Karen closes the practice with a short prayer and asks that we all observe silence for a few moments so those who wish to leave the room this way are able to do so. She welcomes your comments and questions and is generally available before or after class.
(If you can't make it to a "live" session, the CONSCIOUS RELAXATION: Serenity Now! CD has 2 practices you can do anytime! It's available on iTunes, Amazon and here!)