The Space

yoga nidra

Apr 21, 2024

A lot can happen in 10 days... 

On Monday 8th April 2024 I was in an all day training on Advanced Conflict Transformation from 10am to 6pm. It was also the 29th of Ramadan and I had only had 2 hours of sleep by 10am that day.... and my group decided that I would be the best one to lead the group systemic mapping practice in the afternoon!

That already feels heavy to read on a Sunday night, right? 

Well, let me share something that I discovered which transformed my sleep. 

But first things first, how did I discover it? 

I was feeling exhausted and I was vulnerable due to a lack of sleep. For leaders under pressure with busy home and work lives it is often the norm that people get tired and that has a huge impact on how they show up. 

I realized what was happening for me and in the group I said 'I feel very tired. I haven't had enough sleep so please be gentle with me.' I was in a training group and because we have been working on exploring how to transform conflict it was a safe space for me to share this knowing that I would not be judged. 

And here is what happened next... 

About 3 minutes later I noticed that there were some messages in the Zoom chat and one of them was for me. 

A colleague sent me a direct message that said 'Have you ever tried yoga nidra - sleep meditation - time in yoga nidra is equiv to 2-3x normal sleep time and can help when sleep patterns are disrupted.'

I had not heard of yoga nidra... and in that moment I did need, yes need, something that would both help me enhance my quality of sleep and help with my disrupted sleep patterns that can often arise at the end of Ramadan. 

I did one of my intense google scrapes and learned what I needed in 15 minutes. In that time I discovered Ally Boothroyd and her yoga nidra sleep meditations. 

Yoga nidra is like meditation but it isn't (you can find more here). You don't need to move, you just lie down, close your eyes, and follow the instructions that Ally gives to you. 

She describes yoga nidra as 'hygiene for your nervous system.' The 17 minute guided yoga nidra includes binaural beats to soothe your nervous system and guide your brain into theta and delta waves through brainwave entrainment. Ally says 'this type of meditation aids deep relaxation, non sleep deep rest, and sleep,' and in my short adventure with this I can attest to the truth of that statement. 

The ones I particularly like are the 25 minute for deep reset, and the 40 minute for deep rest, and the 17 minute non sleep yoga nidra which has become a daily mid day ritual. 

It is bliss...

... and rejuvenating

... restorative

... revolutionary. 

And I encourage you to explore this practice to find your own space this week. 

All my best,


PS — The images in the picture represent:

1, 2 & 3. I finally managed to make a visit to Algerian Coffee Stores in Old Compton Street. Having opened in 1887 it is one of the oldest coffee stores in London, and it is amazing.

4 & 5. The Soho Square Hut and Garden opened in 1681 and has an interesting history.

 6 & 7. And I finally made it to Govinda's Vegetarian Restaurant. Attached to a hari krishna temple, and run by hari krishna practitioners, it was a lovely lunch in a great atmosphere. I had the paneer, and for £9.45 it was outstandingly healthy and delicious!



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