Registration for Aimee Hone's Yoga Nidra workshop on August 18th at 2pm is closed. And, because of the amazing response we've received we wanted to give you a little background on both Aimee, and Yoga Nidra.
First, what brings you to Cloudcroft, NM?
My family and I spent nearly 7 years being prepared to move anywhere in a moments notice due to my husband being in the United States Army. This last year he was medically discharged from the Army so it seemed like a new chapter was beginning for us. He looked for jobs near our beloved home towns in Northern Utah, as well as areas of Texas because we spent a good amount of time in El Paso at Fort Bliss. In his job search, he was offered a job as a contractor at Holloman Air Force base. The familiarity of the Area was great, and he got to keep doing the work he was confident in doing so he took it! We were ready to really settle down somewhere and find what we hoped to be our forever home. My husbands a mountain man at heart, and I have two little boys that love to get dirty! So, when we started looking for a place to really plant roots, Cloudcroft just made so much sense. We have lived here since June and couldn't be happier with our decision!
Tell us all about your first blissed out Yoga experience. Did something special happen while in Savasana? Was it Yoga Nidra, perhaps?
Man this is a tough question for me! There are so many life-changing moments for me when I look back at my Yoga journey. My first Yoga Nidra Experience was definitely a huge one! But, I think what honestly sticks out the most was the very beginning of my journey and seeing myself, and my mind evolve. I can't say that I had one specific moment where I just woke up, or came out of a practice an enlightened individual (because I'm still not an "enlightened individual"), but seeing myself grow and discovering myself through various types of yoga practices gave me a different kind of bliss. Looking back at my life in the beginning of my yoga Journey, I was going through so much that I feel if I hadn't found yoga I would have been a complete stress-ball, and depression would have probably gotten the best of me. But, that's not how I feel at all about that time in my life, I look back and I just remember feeling so strong and at peace with whatever direction life took me. I was a Warrior! And feeling that way about yourself is such a good and different feeling from what I thought of myself in the past.
When did you discover Yoga Nidra? What was it about Yoga Nidra that called you to learn more?
I first discovered Yoga Nidra when I was in my Yoga Teacher Training back in 2013. At this point in my life I was separated from my husband and he was also 1000's of miles away from me, I was working a full time job that was 45 minutes away from where I was living at the time, taking a yoga teacher training, and caring for my son who was barely 1 year old at the time. The night before my first experience with Yoga Nidra my son was up sick all night. I had gotten maybe 2 hours of sleep, had just worked a full day, and my son was with my parents...still very sick. I was beyond exhausted and came so close to just going home and not making it to my Yoga Teacher Training class. I went to the studio and told my teacher what was going on. She said, "It really sounds like you need Yoga Nidra." I hadn't heard of this before, but I trusted her wholeheartedly so I decided to stay and try to be present. When she started explaining that we were going to be in Savasana for nearly an hour all I could think was "there's no way I'm going to lay there for an hour and not fall asleep, but at least I will get a good power nap" haha! However, I didn't fall asleep. When we came out of Savasana, I felt like a new person. I was able to stay for the remaining 2 hours for our studies, and I drove home more alert and awake then I did driving to work that morning. I remember leaving my job earlier that day and feeling nervous that I'd doze off taking that long drive back home. After that experience I was so drawn to Yoga Nidra! I felt a deep need to understand how it worked, and learn how to properly guide a Yoga Nidra session myself so I could share this amazing practice with others.
How has it changed your entire Yoga practice since? How has it changed your life in general?
Yoga Nidra has helped me gain a better understanding on how to stay present anytime I'm in Savasana. We often have a hard time not letting our thoughts take over our time in Savasana, and It really is difficult to not let this happen, but Yoga Nidra has given me techniques to keep my mind from doing this.
As for how its changed my life in general? Its made my mind so much stronger. I don't get that feeling of complete defeat anymore because I know that with self care anything is possible! I have always been a dreamer, but with that trait comes a lot of expectations for myself in order to accomplish my dreams. Yoga Nidra has taught me that I can make it though anything, and I can accomplish anything with so much more ease if I take the time to take care of myself.
So, you don’t fall asleep, right?
You might! And that's okay! But the goal is to stay present, and conscious throughout the practice. I know I said I didn't fall asleep in my first practice, but I have dozed off a few times during Yoga Nidra since then. Its normal; Yoga Nidra is a practice, so its not as easy as just laying there. As with any meditation practice, you have to train your mind to stay present, and be in your body. Sometimes it might be easy to do this, and other times it will be tough. But, even if you do doze in and out during the practice you are still going to benefit from it. Just because you fall asleep doesn't mean the entire practice was a lost cause. In Yoga Nidra, your brain is guided into different wave lengths; Wave lengths that you typically can't get to unless you are sleeping, so if you doze off for a moment, chances are your brain is still achieving this goal of going into these slower, and more relaxed brain waves.
What are some benefits to a dedicated Yoga Nidra practice?
There are so many!! Take ALL the benefits from a dedicated meditation practice, and then some. A few are lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, and relief from menstrual irregularities, and psychological issues. The benefits that really got me hooked and intrigued are that the practice is great to balance hormones. This doesn't just apply to women either! We all have hormones in our body, and they are responsible for so much of our overall well being. Yoga Nidra releases the hormone melatonin, which reduces stress, induces more restful sleep, boosts your immune system, and slows premature aging. The stress hormone cortisol is removed when you get into the delta brain waves. The effect it has on our endocrine system (our hormones) is amazing! This is why Yoga Nidra is so effective in stabilizing mood swings, healing the thyroid, as well as giving us energy...but at the same time promoting restful sleep. Another fascinating benefit of Yoga Nidra is that it can dramatically reduce symptoms of PTSD. This is because we are led to "face our fears" in a safe space, and in such a way that your brain doesn't really know it's doing so. Therefore its not as scary, and the feelings don't overwhelm and take over our mind.
Thank you, Aimee! I was already excited before, but now that I understand Yoga Nidra a little more...I cannot wait to get to experience this myself. Over, and out, Jessica J.