Monday, July 27, 2020

Waning Gibbous Moon Yoga Nidra

(In order to guide students in this Yoga Nidra you will need to have some experience leading Yoga Nidra to know where to put the pauses and how to time it.  If you are interested in Yoga Nidra training please visit my website in the store to find out when my next training is)

Yoga Nidra for the Waning Gibbous Moon.

The Waning Gibbous Moon is a time to reflect, recoup. It is a time of idealism.
It is of time of relaxation.

As you notice with the inhale the belly rises, and the exhale the belly falls.
Inhale the belly rises, exhale the belly falls.  Working with that rhythmic breath. (pause)
And now let's attempt to lengthen the exhale to move further into relaxation. When the exhale becomes longer than the inhale, we move into the parasympathetic nervous system the relaxation response.

Begin to inhale one-two-three-four.
Exhale four-three-two-one.
Inhale one-two-three-four.
Exhale five-four-three-two-one.
Inhale one-two-three-four.
Exhale five-four-three-two-one.
Inhale one-two-three-four.
Exhale six-five-four-three-two-one.
Inhale one-two-three-four.
And if it's possible, exhale seven-six-five-four-three-two-one.
Inhale one-two-three-four.
Exhale seven-six-five-four-three-two-one.
Inhale one-two-three-four.
Exhale eight-seven-six-five-four-three-two-one.
Inhale one-two-three-four.                                                                                                           
Exhale eight-seven-six-five-four-three-two-one.
Let go of the counting take a deep breath in and on the exhale think letting go.
And do that a few times. (pause)
And now, take a deep breath in and on the exhale think recuperation.
Do that several times.  (pause)

Listen in all directions for sounds. Listen for sounds outside the room where you're nested, where you're lying down, where you're very comfortable. And if you're not comfortable, then make some changes so you are comfortable. (pause) Listen for sounds inside the room. Maybe it's the sound of my voice. And listen for any sounds of the body. Any gurgling or noises that might suggest relaxation, recuperation. And then listen for the sound or feel the sound of the heartbeat, and in the heartbeat, hear the heart's desire, the inner longing. Hear an affirmation or resolve.

In Yoga Nidra, we call it the Sankalpa - the personal vow.
If you don't have a Sankalpa, an affirmation you're working with, then for tonight I suggest the affirmation of the Waning Gibbous Moon, “I live in gratitude.”

Either using the affirmation, “I live in gratitude” or your own personal affirmation, repeat it three times mentally with full awareness and the confidence that it will come true. (pause)

Moving on to the rotation of consciousness through the body, the body scan, a body part would be names and either repeat the name mentally of the body part, bring awareness to the body part or relax mentally the body part. Any of these options are wonderful or perfect. The queuing will be to relax and ease the body part.

Start as always at the right-hand thumb. Feel the right-hand thumb soften and relax.  Let relaxation ease into the index finger, the middle finger, ring finger and pinky finger. Feel a calmness in the palm of the hand and the relaxation on the back of the hand. And let the whole right hand be relaxed, limp without tension.

Move that experience of relaxation and softening to the forearm, elbow, upper arm. Feel an easing of tension in the right shoulder, armpit, side at the right ribcage, the right waist and then feel the tension leaving the body on the upper right leg, kneecap, lower leg, heel, ankle. Soften the top of the right foot, the sole of the foot, feel the tension melting away across the right big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe and fifth toe.

Stay awake and aware and bring the awareness and  attention to the left side of the body and begin to soften the left side of the body. Feel a softening of the left-hand thumb, index finger, middle finger softening, ring finger and pinky finger.

Move that relaxation and ease to the palm of the left hand, the back of the hand, and relax the wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm, shoulder, armpit.

Feel the left ribcage easing, the left waist softening, and relax the left hip, upper leg, kneecap, lower leg and let the tension go at the left ankle, heel, top of the foot, sole of the foot, and relax the left big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, and fifth toe. And now feel the whole left side of the body relax and become at ease.

Bring that soft energy and relaxation to the top of the head. Feel the forehead smooth soft without worry.  Feel the easing of the right eyebrow, the left eyebrow and the eyebrow center.  Soften the right eye, the left eye, relax the right ear and the left ear.

Bring this relaxation to the bridge of the nose the tip of the nose, the right nostril, the left nostril, relax the upper lip, lower lip, the chin, throat. Notice the relaxation that comes to the right collarbone, the left collarbone the hollow between the collarbones and then soften the right chest, the left chest, and feel completely at ease in the heart center.

Soften the upper abdomen, the navel, feel that softness on the lower abdomen. Notice relaxation in the pelvis, the buttocks and then connect to an easing in the lower back, middle back, and the upper back. Feel the right shoulder blade relaxed, the left shoulder blade relaxed, the back of the neck smooth soft, the back of the head relaxed and the top of the head without worry.

Then connect to the ease in the whole right arm. Feel the softness of the whole left arm.
Notice the limpness and the whole right leg and notice the relaxation in the whole left leg. Then notice how relaxed the arms and legs together feel.

See or feel the whole front of the body at ease. The whole back of the body at ease.
And then the whole body together recuperating, rejuvenating, soft at ease and relaxed.
(pause)And then let go of that body scan and come to the breath.

Once again notice the rise and fall of the breath. And as you inhale think waxing and as you exhale think waning. (pause) Inhale thinking the word waxing and exhaling thinking the word waning. And play with this practice on your own. (pause) Breathing with the words waxing and waning. (pause) And if those words waxing and waning have gotten lost, have been forgotten come back to those words waxing and waning. (pause) And if the awareness of the breath has gotten lost come back to the awareness of the breath synchronized with the words waxing and waning. (pause) And one more time connect to waxing and waning. (pause) As you inhale and the belly rises the words are waxing and with the exhale and the fall of the belly the words are waning.
(pause) And now let go of waxing and let go waning and come back to natural breathing. (pause)

And in the natural breath remember a time where you felt very tense. Remember an experience of tension. Attempt to connect to a part of the body that tends to get tense. Maybe that's the shoulders or the jaw. And spread the tension across the entire body. Let the body be tense. Know the body as tension. The body is tense.

And now let go of that experience of tension and find a place in the body that's relaxed. Maybe the chest is relaxed, stomach is relaxed. Maybe the eyes are relaxed because they're closed or soft.
And find that place in the body that feels relaxed right now and spread that relaxation across the entire body. Know the body as relaxation. Let the body relax. The body is relaxed.

And let go of relaxation and come back to tension. Remember tension in the shoulders.
Remember tension in the jaw.

And then let go of that tension and come back to relaxation. Remember the relaxation of a soft smile.  Notice any relaxation in the belly or back.

And then let go of that relaxation and come back to tension and add in relaxation. Attempt to be both tense and relaxed at the exact same time. Maybe the front of the body is tense and the back of the body is relaxed.  Maybe the top of the body is tense and the bottom of the body's relaxed.
Although it's difficult to do, attempt to be both tense and relaxed simultaneously. And now let go of the tension and let go of the relaxation.

And remember a time of cynicism. Remember an experience where you were very cynical. And connect to that experience as if you were watching a movie in which you are the star. The star of the movie is very cynical, skeptical and that cynical person is you. And know the entire body a cynical. Be cynical, let the body be cynical. The body is cynical. And then let go of that cynicism and come to the opposite experience of idealism.

Remember a time when you were idealistic. Remember a time when you were incredibly hopeful.
Connect to that experience, that time. See it clearly as if you were looking in the mirror and seeing yourself idealistic, hopeful, enthused and spread that idealism across the entire body. Let the body be idealistic. Know the body as idealism. The body is idealistic.

And then let go idealism and come back to that opposite experience of cynicism. Remember the doubt. Remember the skepticism.

And then let go of cynicism and come back to Idealism. Remembering the hope, the enthusiasm.

And then let go of the idealism and come back to the cynicism and add in the idealism.
Be both idealistic and cynical at the exact same time. Attempt to be idealistic and cynical simultaneously. And now let go of the idealism and let go of the cynicism.

And bring the awareness to the Chidakasha.  Bring the awareness to the Chidakasha, the mind space in front of the closed eyes. Bring awareness to the Chidasha, the mind movie.
Bring the awareness to the Chidakasha and in this mind space see yourself sitting by the water under moonlight.  See yourself sitting under the light of the waning gibbous moon. A moon that's not yet full.  A full moon with a few bites out of it. See yourself there under moonlight. And feel rejuvenated by the silver healing light of the moon.

Smell the sea and walk to the water and take off your shoes and roll up your pants or trousers and dip your toe in the water. Feel that it's a perfect temperature and begin to walk along the bank.
Begin to walk along the bank of this body of water. Hear the waves moving in and out.

And as they move out they touch your feet and as they move in they recede from your feet.
Feel the waves lapping against your feet. Each time the water touches you feel rejuvenated.
Feel the moon above and the water below. Feel that the combination of the moon and the water are healing you from top to bottom and bottom to top.

Feel completely at ease and relaxed under the light of the moon and hear the moon calling to you.
It speaks with the voice of a dear friend. Listen for the soothing words of the moon.
Moon tells you that everything is going to be fine. Keep true to your path. Trust your heart-mind.
Its fine, it's all okay.

And with that guidance from the moon, walk away from the water and come back to your seated position, your blanket or your bench or your chair, by the body of water and watch the moonlight reflected in the water. And find yourself filled with hope, optimism and idealism.
And visualize these simple images that will be suggested.

A silver circle.
A silver circle.
A tall tree.
A tall tree.
Two friends talking.
Two friends talking.
A warm bath.
A warm bath.
The North Star.
The North Star.
A revered elder.
A revered elder.
A beloved teacher.
A beloved teacher.
Ocean waves at sunset.
Ocean waves at sunset.
A rainbow.
A rainbow.

Bring awareness back to the chidakasha, the mind space in front of the closed eyes. And let go of the visualization practice.

Once again notice the breath. In the gentle breath hear the whisper of the Sankalpa the affirmation that was made in the beginning of the Yoga Nidra practice. Perhaps it was your own personal statement or maybe it was the statement of the waning gibbous moon, “I live in gratitude.”
Using your own statement or the statement of the Waning Gibbous Moon, repeat it three times mentally with full awareness and the confidence that it will come true. (pause)

Connect to the heartbeat. Notice again the breath moving in and out of the nose and mouth.
Notice any noises in the body.  Listen for sounds inside the room, maybe my voice.
Know my voice as a sound inside the room. Listen for sounds outside the room.
Perhaps cars or other people's voices. Find the furthest sound that you can hear outside the room.
Remember the room, remember the walls, remember the ceiling, remember the floor, and remember how you're situated in the room. What are you lying on? Even remember what you're wearing.
Come back to the breath. Inhaling and exhaling deeply and fully. Inhaling and exhaling deeply and fully. And say to yourself mentally, “The practice of Yoga Nidra for the Waning Gibbous Moon is now complete”.
Keep the eyes closed if they're closed. Begin to wiggle the fingers and the toes. Roll the wrists and ankles like tiny lunar orbits one way in the opposite direction.  And then take any kind of movement the body is asking for.  Just be aware of what's around you but maybe take a deep stretch arms overhead and perhaps you rock twist side to side. And when you're ready, and there's no need to rush or hurry, rollover on your side in a fetal position. The position of rebirth and renewal.

In this position, remember these things about the Waning Gibbous Moon.
It's a moon about idealism, gratitude, recuperation, relaxation. The big stuff happens in the waxing cycle and in a waning cycle, we get to slow down. If you want now you can push yourself up to a comfortable seated position with your hands at the heart center. Bow your head in to acknowledge that you took this time to meditate. Thank you. The moonlight in me bows down to, admires and acknowledge the moonlight in each and every one of you.

Aum Peace Amen.


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