Book Review – Yoga Nidra

 
Yoga nidra is a gift to mankind which helps in easy relaxation. I have been fascinated by yoga nidra and went to great lengths to make it a point to attend group sessions on yoga nidra. The magic it created in me made me go back to it over and again. When I got a chance to read this book, I wanted to understand what are the variations I can use in my daily life without needing external help. 
 
I didn’t need to know about its uses because I practically received the benefits already. The book explained to me the reasons behind various instructions which I followed in the yoga nidra session. I didn’t know the requirement of why I should feel that my body is heavy and then again it is light before. Here I got to know that it is used to keep the mind alert. I didn’t know that order of rotation is important and I end up using my own convenient order. The order is important to establish pranic flow. All these days I have been scouring for methods to release energy from the suppressed feelings and here I get to know how the symbols used in yoga nidra already do the job for me.
 
Notes

  1. The ordinary things you do daily are not exactly relaxation in scientific terms
  2. There are 3 types of tensions – muscular, emotional,mental.Unless you relieve them, you will not feel refreshed even after a good night’s sleep
  3. If you are trying to change with your intellect, your results are superficial.
  4. Using sankalpas in yoga nidra, the author changed thousands of lives including criminals.
  5. Mind is extremely receptive in the state of yoga nidra. 
  6. A person’s basic nature can’t be changed. It can be observed looking at his spontaneous acts
  7. Sankalpa is a major aspect in yoga nidra. Using this, you can achieve your destiny
  8. Even though sankalpa can be used to eradicate bad habits, it should be used for achieving self actualization which in turn helps in eradicating the bad habits. A greater understanding of sankalpa is needed before it is put to use.
  9. This process brings you to watch the subconscious and unconscious levels of karma, samskaras. Experiences like levitation might also occur.
  10. It has the power to active extra sensorial perception
  11. Yoga nidra and hypnosis are not the same. In hypnosis, you go into deep sleep and the brain is completely shut down whereas in yoga nidra you don’t sleep and your brain is fully awake. Ida and pingala are closed in both hypnosis and yoga nidra but in hypnosis sushumna is also closed whereas in yoga nidra sushumna takes the work of ida and pingala.
  12. The order of rotation is important because it establishes a pranic flow
  13. The images which are provided in the yoga nidra session are meant to release the energy which repressed thoughts hold.
  14. It is advisable to record the instructions or use a guided tool initially because you don’t want the brain to be working in an active state trying to recollect the order.
  15. It can be also used in a short way as a divider between work life and home life

Further Reading

  1. Learn how to use mandalas to clear the archetypes

 
Yoga nidra is useful to increase your learning capacity, reduction in stress, intrauterine growth in pregnant woman, reduction in hypertension, control of psychosomatic diseases, depression including suicide prevention and much more.
What are you waiting for? Go ahead and read the book to understand the science. If you don’t need the theory, record your own audio of the original instructions or use guided audios to start practising yoga nidra twice a day. 
Happy relaxation!
 

Book Review – What your clutter is trying to tell you

Print | Kindle
 
After reading The Life changing magic of tidying up, I wanted to read deeper books on decluttering. Reading the description of what is your clutter trying to tell you, I felt that this book will have answers to the questions I had in mind. I won’t consider this as a mind opening book except for the concept of boundary setting. From the culture I come from, boundary setting is the rudest thing you can ever do. But this is what I needed to hear. This one concept made the book a good read for me. The other good points in the book is the way Richardson points out how the physical clutter you hold is related to the mental beliefs you hold. The book has action points for each chapter to make you do the thinking. Rest of the book is just okay. It is short and easy. I was half expecting Richardson to write a story on his journey of moving from 2000 sq ft to 230 sq ft but that story has not been discussed in detail.
 
The book starts with making the reader think about the clutter and the ways in which it might be telling a story which the reader is ignoring. It sets the tone to go deeper into understanding the clutter. Then he moves on to the inner critic we all have and how we find it difficult to get past the comfort zone, in this case, living with clutter. Then he mentions the top cluster hotspots and causes of them. In the next chapter, he addresses the causes of clutters in depth where he talks about the boundary setting. Later on, he provides insights on how we hold on to clutter since we can’t get rid of certain beliefs. In the last two chapters, he addresses how to get rid of the clutter.
 
Notes:

  • Causes of clutter
    • Excess weight is usually a protection from other’s energy, painful relationships and nasty self-talk
    • Physical clutter is sometimes the side effect of draining relationships. It is usually caused by the emotional clutter
    • Car clutter tells that you are constantly on the run
    • Hidden clutter is always calling for your attention and fuels your inner critic on what you should be doing
  • Boundary setting – Practise disappointing challenge by saying no at least 3 times a day. Start with low risk relationships. Say no whenever you don’t really want to help and if helping drains your energy
  • Statistically, we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. It is time to regularly declutter the clothes you no longer wear
  • Even though it is tough, declining hand me downs which are an obligation help you save clutter
  • Look out for I might need this someday syndrome, retail therapy ( buying goods to feel better)
  • When you keep items gifted by old relationships which you no longer have, they take up the energy which prevents the formation of new relationships

To think:

  • If clutter were no longer an obstacle, what would you then have time for? 
  • We pile on the stories in our minds, making it bigger, heavier, and more intimidating than it needs to be
  • Do you believe it is not spiritual to have financial abundance?
  • Fear of rejection is a reason you can’t lose weight
  • Sometimes the person you need to forgive is yourself
  • She is not an asshole. She is just wounded.

 
Further reading

  • The art of extreme self care

 

Book Review – The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Print | Kindle
 
I had great expectations from the book when I picked it up. It came up in many book recommendations and it was one of the famous books on the subject of decluttering. But I was disappointed. I finished the book in one night as there was not really any engaging content. The author goes on and on about her obsession for tidying up and how she chose a profession which involves that and helps clients tidy up without a rebound. She randomly quotes examples of different clients and their clutter. Then she ends the book saying there are no real rules except for deciding for yourself what you really need. The book and her profession looked like works on only one principle of the nudge a person needs to clean up. She doesn’t talk anywhere about how to prevent the new things from piling up after the clutter is cleared to prevent the rebound she keeps mentioning in the book.
 
The best thing I like about the book is the author asks you to visualize how you want the house to be and then start discarding everything which doesn’t bring you any joy.
 

Notes

 
Mistakes in tidying up

  • Tidying up by location instead of category
  • Sending the clutter to parents
  • Keep things  “just because”
  • Folding seems like extra work because you will wear it again

 
Tips

  • Designate a spot for every category in the house
  • The proper order is to place the clothes that are lighter in colour at the front and gradually progress to darker colours at the back
  • Fold each piece of clothing into a simple rectangle
  • Use photos, posters and ornaments to decorate the inside of cupboards
  • No music while cleaning up the house
  • Easy first and difficult ones last
  • If you feel someone else is untidy check yourself first
  • Visit model homes, ideal lifestyle
  • Hanging takes up more space than folding

 
Other benefits

  • People lost weight after letting go off the clutter

 
Food for thought

  • Letting go is even more important than adding
  • We attend seminars because we feel the passion of teacher and experience the learning environment
  • When we fold we should put heart into it and thank clothes for protecting our bodies
  • What you wear in the house impacts your self image
  • An attachment to past or anxiety about the future

 
Further reading 

  • Learn more about Feng shui
  • The art of discarding by Nagisa Tatsumi

 
Happy Tidying up!
 

2020 June Review & July Goals

The first half of 2020 has been tough for all of us. Under pressure, you either break or have a breakthrough. If you continue to look at yourself and the world around you the same way as you always did, you might just break. Coming out of your comfort zone and looking at everything else including yourself as an outsider might give you a breakthrough. The one thing which helped me survive this half year was my perspective to look at things as an outsider. Will you give it a try?
 

Review of June

 
1.Physical Health
 
In June, I wanted to increase the number of Surya Namaskaras I do daily. But only after starting it, I realised that the quality matters more than the quantity. Initially I started off with 5 rounds daily, doing them for the heck of it but that didn’t feel right over the time. I slowed down and did just one round a day. But I made sure that I was breathing right and stayed for a longer time in each pose. That made me feel satisfied.
 
2.Mental Health
 
Even though I had been pracitising Kapalbhathi seriously from March, I was not able to do it for more than 3 minutes. This month, just by increasing it by one everyday, I made it to 18 minutes. But later when I read about how it generates a lot of heat in the body, I limited it to 15 a day. My breathing has never been so deeper and clearer.
 
Another task, I planned for the month was to forgive and thank people. Forgiving the past mistakes when times are good didn’t really make a huge difference for me. Thanking people for no occasion also felt weird. I dropped these two exercises in the first 10 days. May be I will pick them up later when the time is right.
 
3.Books
 
I was busy with my academic research proposal and could not find time to read the other books much. I finished Visualization for weight loss and Emotion code. Currently reading yoga nidra, Psycho Cybernetics and Intention Experiment.
 
4.Courses
 
I have been heavily investing my time in picking up python coding skills from various courses on Coursera. Challenging yourself beyond your comfort zone makes you feel accomplished.
 

Plans for July

 
1.Physical health
 
I have started a 30 days split challenge. Each day, I do a set of exercises which help in opening up the hip flexors. With the amount of time spent in the chair looking at the screen, working on splits helps in relieving the lower back pain. Technically, achieving splits in 30 days is an overachievement. Realistically, I will keep trying for 90 days to see the outcome.
 
2.Mental Health
 
a) Anulom Vilom
 
After practising Kapalbhati and enjoying the fruits of it, I want to extend it to Anulom Vilom to make it a complete package.
 
b) Reading Gita
 
One of my friends mentioned that reading Bhagavad gita was a life changing experience for him. I may not be able to finish it this month, but I am going to put it on my desk and read a verse now and then during the breaks I take from office work.
 
How was your June? What are your plans for July?
 
Happy July!