Welcoming and iRest Yoga Nidra with Anne Douglas


by Anne Douglas

It seems the best things in life are so very simple.  My experience is that the greater the simplicity, the greater the profundity.  For example, the beauty of welcoming each moment just as it is, without attachment (raga) or aversion (dvesa), is perhaps one of the highest teachings we are offered in the Yoga and Buddha dharma.

In my Yoga Therapy practice I bare witness time and again to the healing power of welcoming all the messengers life offers.  They may show up for each of us as chronic pain or insomnia, high blood pressure or anxiety, or as constant discontent or depression.  Every symptom, when met by unconditional welcoming, provides a doorway into deeper self-understanding, wholeness and freedom.

While there are many ways that we can encourage welcoming, my first choice is always through the practice of iRest Yoga Nidra, which offers the quintessential invitation to meet and FEEL what is present.  We can deepen further by soliciting a description of the sensation, such as it’s location, texture, color, etc., as ways to open into the felt experience.

When we just simply feel sensation, there is a deep integration that occurs on many levels.  We don’t have to know what is happening, how or why.  Our task is to simply feel what is present with kind attention.

In this unconditional welcoming, old un-integrated events and their associated emotions or beliefs can finally be heard.  Like a child who constantly tugs at their parents pant leg for attention, it goes off on its merry way when it has been acknowledged and it’s needs honored.  Some messengers need repeated welcoming and take time to “unpack”, while others only need a moment.

As we fully meet and integrate the content of our lives it holds less of our attention.  Then we are free to turn into a deeper inquiry to find that welcoming is an expression of our true nature.  It is not something we do, but who we are.

I am reminded of Derek Walcott’s poem that asks us to feast on our lives, by fully greeting and welcoming and falling in love with all of who we are.  May it be so for you.

Love After Love 

The time will come when, with elation
You will greet yourself arriving at your own door,
In your own mirror  you will greet yourself arriving at your own door,
In your own mirror
And each will smile at the other’s welcome,

And say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.

Give wine. Give bread.
Give back your heart
To itself, to the stranger
Who has loved you
All your life,
Whom you ignored for another,
Who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

The photographs, the desperate notes,
Peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

If you would like to learn more about “Welcoming”, and iRest Yoga Nidra, Anne Douglas is offering an iRest® Level I Training at Yoga for Today, May 1-6, 2018.  www.irest.us or click here for training details (to YfT).

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