In January 2022 Sophie Tidman hosted an Artful Enquiry session "Embodiment Part 1: Radical Rest" for Mayvin's community. During the session Sophie took everyone through a Yoga Nidra meditation. Yoga Nidra is a state of consciousness somewhere between being awake and asleep and it can be wonderfully relaxing.
This Yoga Nidra meditation is free for you to listen to and we hope you enjoy it. Before you listen in, find somewhere comfortable to lie down, get cosy and relax!
Note: Don't listen while you are driving/ operating machinery or in a situation where it would be dangerous to do so.
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Transcript for Sophie's Yoga Nidra Meditation
Claire Newell 0:00
Hello, and a warm welcome to the Mayvin People Change Podcast. This is the place to find thoughtful and heartfelt conversations about leadership and organisation development. Each episode is created with our listeners in mind. So if you have a suggestion for a topic you'd like to hear us talk about, please do get in touch with us on [email protected].
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Today's podcast is a bit of a special edition. Back in January, our principal consultant Sophie Tidman hosted a session for our Artful Ways Webinars on Embodiment, and Radical Rest. She explored how we can find creativity and nourishment in deep rest. During the session, she led the group in a yoga nidra. And a few people have been in touch asking for a copy of it. So we thought we would release it here to make it easy for everyone to access whether you were there on the day or not. It's also worth mentioning that we're running another embodiment session led by Tom Kenward, in a couple of weeks time on the 28th of March on Living from Centre. Right if you're ready for some radical rest I'll pass you over to Sophie, enjoy.
Sophie Tidman 1:46
Make yourself really as comfortable as you can possibly wish to be. It's nice to lie on a yoga mat, something warm, comforting. It can be very pleasing to put a blanket over yourself, get nice and warm and cosy. People often like lying on their backs for this practice. Perhaps your head supported by a small pillow. And perhaps a bolster or pillow under the knees or the thighs just to release the lower back. And really, I invite you to do whatever you need to do in the next few moments to find simply 2% more ease, more comfort here. So that you can really start to rest into stillness.
Yoga Nidra as a practice of finding an effortless state of being. Essentially sleep with just a slight trace of awareness. It's a deep resting back into yourself or coming home to yourself. So welcome home to yourself, welcome, welcome. And during the practice, simply let my voice wash over you. There's no need to listen in particularly or try to make sense of anything.
And as the body settles, the mind settles and find some stillness. And know that there's nowhere else to be nothing else to do. Nothing to reach for nothing to accomplish simply to be here and to breathe is enough is more than enough.
And now open up. Listen to all the sounds that can be heard from far away, perhaps birdsong, perhaps in traffic and from nearby. Perhaps the sound of my voice or the sound of your own breathing. And notice how these sounds continually emerge and fall away again. Coming into form and dissolving away again. So that the soundscape is continually changing moment by moment
As you lie on the earth, notice the quality of earth in your body. So the softness solidity, the heaviness, density of your body. Still on the earth open up to a sense of weight in your bones and your tissues organs dropping ever deeper into the earth below, earth on Earth. It is as if you're welcoming gravity, into your, into your bones into your body and as if you could mould yourself, spread yourself across the ground beneath.
And as you lie here, feel yourself in relationship to the earth. Notice the texture and the weight at each point of contact, heels, the calves, buttocks, shoulder blades. And allow the back of the head to spread and open like a cracked egg and it is as if your thoughts are fluid. Dropping back the back of the head as you loosen your grip on the day to day. Allowing thoughts to simply be thoughts simply to be another sensation emerging and falling away without effort or control.
Watch the breath as it ebbs and flows through the nostrils and through the body moving the body as it goes. See if you can follow the exhale all the way down to the bottom of the exhale. And that turning point where it changes into the inhale perhaps there's a pause. Stillness before the inhale begins
And in the rhythm of the breath, feel the four seasons of the breath. So Awakening on the inhale the spring, fresh, tender blossom into the summertime with the breath, fullness of the exhale. And on that turning there's a dropping down or letting go into the autumn. And then deep down into the wintertime of the breath and into that pause that stillness in the depths of winter. When it feels like nothing's happening, that from which the springtime is breathed anew. Lift into the fullness of the inhale and falling that back down. Surrendering letting go releasing down into the winter time. All four seasons in the breath.
The cycles turning themselves turning the body all by themselves and the breath breathing the body. The body being breathed by this breath and the mind in stillness and on the next exhale, let your awareness follow the exhale right down into the body into a point of stillness, inside the body.
Wherever in your body feels, still feels like home, like a space of listening, of deep listening, that might be right at the back of the heart. Or it might be in the centre of the pelvis. Wherever, for you feels like a place of home in the body, a place of steep stillness and perhaps during this practice, you might welcome in any piece of wisdom. Any intuitive knowing into this welcoming space. And if not, simply letting it be a place of listening is enough.
And, well now, let the awareness free to travel. To traverse the lands of the body. And you can think of this as a dawning of light across the winter stillness of the landscape of the body. So your conscious awareness is like that winter dawning light. Traversing the body and as I say each part it's like that light lands and bestows aliveness and warmth on each part as it goes.
So starting now, with that light at dawning light peeking into tip of the right hand thumb; the right thumb; index finger; middle finger; ring finger; little finger. Lighting up the centre of the palm, the right wrist, elbow, shoulder. Light expanding to the right armpit and the ribs. Waist, diffusing through the right hip, thigh, knee, shin, ankle. Sole of the right foot and the big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, fifth toe and the light dawning now on the left hand thumb, the tip of the left hand thumb, index finger, middle finger, ring finger and little finger. Drifting to the palm of the hand and the left wrist, elbow, shoulder, armpit, ribs. The light of your conscious awareness in the left waist.
Inside the left hip, radiating through the left hip and down through the leg, the thigh, knee, shin, ankle spreading through the left sole of the foot and a big toe, second toe third toe, fourth toe, fifth toe. Light diffusing through the left leg and the right leg. The left arm and the right arm and all four limbs lit up with light together. And letting the awareness, the light of your awareness travel to the back of the body now. To the base of the spine.
The lower back, middle back, upper back, on the shoulder blades, back of the head expanding with light, top of the head. And over, dawning on the forehead. The right eye, left eye, space between the eyebrows. The right ear, left ear, right cheek, left cheek, right nostril left nostril. Upper lip, lower lip, both lips together and the chin and the dawning light seeping down into the chest. The whole area below the collarbones right down to the depths of the pelvis, radiating light The whole head suffused with light. And now the whole body. The whole body suffused in light in the clear winter dawn. Bathing the lands of the body and the whole body.
Feel yourself here lying in awareness, resting in awareness. Simply as a tiny body lying on the body of earth, this huge body of earth along with all the other tiny bodies resting here right now. And your breaths may be so subtle now it feels just like a half breath resting in awareness.
Become aware of the movement and the rhythms of the body emerging and falling away again. Breath ebbing and flowing through the heartbeat, tiny pulses, electrical currents running through and even the brainwaves and the cells breathing, expanding and contracting all by themselves. And it's as if you're a cloud formation, continually forming and reforming, emerging and falling away again ever changing. Taking care of itself without you needing to do anything. Simply lighting it up, lighting up this cloud formation with the light of your conscious awareness. And all you need to do is to tune into that inner humming of aliveness. Recognise and be present to that life force within you and the wildness of your incarnation in this body in this very moment.
Rest in awe. And as you feel this energy within also be aware that this movement is taking place within a field of stillness. Like the stillness of the blue sky encompassing the clouds stillness and movement together. Movement happening within a field of stillness. And see how the breath and the body responds to the shift in perspective. And you may let the field of stillness expand so that all activity in the room around you and the world beyond is happening effortlessly within this field of stillness.
When you're ready you can let that go and on the next exhale let your awareness return inside to the place of stillness. Within a place of deep listening and deep welcome for whatever unfolds. And notice if there is any wisdom that has dropped in, during this practice, any intuitive gift that has become available
Now kindly, gently, sweetly we'll be coming back to the grounds of everyday consciousness, everyday awareness. So welcome the sounds from near and from far as if you had great big elephant ears, which the sound waves could simply land on.
Notice the breath and the coolness as it enters the nostrils and the warmth of the exhale as the breath departs. And imagining you had great big horse nostrils that could feel the breath coursing through. Let the breath become a little bit louder. And as the breath gets a little louder, it can reawaken the body to movement. Very small at first, perhaps the toes and the fingers and then the ankles and the wrist.
And let each movement arise out of stillness as if it's spontaneous and let it fall back into stillness when it's done with you. And as you awaken to this everyday consciousness know that you can return home to this. Return home to yourself, return home to your inner stillness whenever, whenever you like. You're welcome home anytime. And you're also welcome to the day in front of you ready to welcome it as it unfolds, whichever way it feels fit.
And if you feel like supporting yourself into sitting now, do you support yourself fully? Be excessively gentle with yourself. And if you feel like continuing to lie down and rest then please continue to do so. This practice of yoga nidra is now complete. This practice of yoga nidra is now complete.
Thank you so much to Sophie for sharing this Yoga Nidra meditation with us.