Yoga Nidra Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 8

Anamaya Kosha

20 min - Practice


One of the most accessible ways to enter into a Yoga Nidra practice is by the deep, progressive relaxation of your physical body. Kristin guides us in an Anamaya Kosha practice to bring awareness to the physical body, playing with creating and releasing tension to ultimately find a sense of calm and a feeling of gratitude. You may want to refer back to the Sankalpa and Journaling practice before entering into this one.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video


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One of the most accessible ways to enter into this yoga nadras stream is by the systematic, deep, progressive relaxation of your physical body. So in this practice we'll work specifically with anamayakosha, or the meat suit as I like to call it. So you're always welcome to refer back to the earlier lecture on the koshas, or the practice about how to set up your space, or how to write a sankopa, which might be helpful before entering into this practice. But as you're ready, go ahead and create a little yoga nadra nest for yourself, set up with whatever props and positioning of your body that feels right. Come down onto your backs, and take the time to adjust your physical body, finding the positioning of your legs, or maybe the same portion of the heel is resting on the mat or floor.

The buttock flesh feels more or less symmetrical without having to get too fussy. Find your two shoulder blades just a tiny bit underneath you, so it doesn't create a little pinch of skin in between them, but they rest more or less flat, supportive, underneath your chest. The arms slide away from the body, the palms can turn up, and find the perfect positioning of your head, and as you're very ready to do so, close your eyes, and take a nice big breath in, filling yourself up like a giant balloon, the whole body breathing in. Exhale, open the mouth and just feel the whole body deflating heavy into the earth below. Let's do that two more times on your own, a deep breath in, breathe in more than you think you can, whole body expansive, and sigh out through the mouth, the body just surrendering, any holding, feeling the earth and the padding rise up to meet you.

One more time, deep breath in, and as you're ready, sighing out, whole body soft. Breathing to mind your sankolpa, silently repeat your sankolpa three times, your heartfelt desire and the reflection of your true nature, short, positive, present tense statement, finding it the same way each time. Feel a sense of gratitude, a sensation of gratitude as if it's already taken hold. What would it feel like? Draw your attention now to the muscles of the face.

Just begin to squish up the muscles of the face as if you just eaten a lemon, just squish up your nose, squeeze your eyes, purse your lips, squeeze your jaw, you can even press your tongue to the roof of your mouth, squeeze all of the muscles of this face. Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze, and then relax them. Open the mouth, stick out the tongue, if you wish you can open the eyes, roll the eyes back, no one's looking, just make a very weird face, opening everything wide. And then relax, the muscles of the face, close the eyes, the skin on the face soft, move your attention into the right arm and make a fist with your right fingers, squeeze the muscles of the right hand, hug the right forearm muscles to the bone, squeeze the upper arm, squeeze the right shoulder, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. And then relax the right arm, the right arm heavy now, completely relaxed.

Now your right toes, squeeze your right toes into a little toe fist, hug the right shin and calf muscles close to the bone, squeeze and tense the right thigh, right hip, right seat, squeeze the muscles of the right leg, squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. And relax the muscles of the right leg now, right leg heavy. Left hand, curl the left fingers into the palm, squeeze the muscles of the forearm and upper arm, left shoulder, all of the arm muscles on the left side, tight, tight, tight. And relax through the left arm, left arm heavy now, soft. Left leg, curl the left toes in, making a little toe fist, squeeze the ankle, calf muscles, thigh, seat, around the left hip, all of the muscles of the left leg, hugging to the bone, squeeze, tense, hold.

Now release, release all the muscles of the left leg, left leg relaxed, heavy. Bring your awareness into your belly, hug the belly back towards the spine, squeeze the belly in towards the back body, tense all the muscles of the abdomen, squeeze and hold tight, and then relax the belly, belly soft. And now expand the belly as if it's a big balloon, expand the belly out away from the spine, the belly big, taut, hold, and relax the abdomen, belly soft, sense of the organs themselves falling towards the earth below. Feel the heart, spacious, clear, throat soft. Now I'm going to name different parts of the body for you now just to place your attention there's no need to move these parts now or feel anything in particular, just become aware of your right hand, just feel the density of your presence in your right hand, feel the right thumb, second finger, third finger, fourth finger, fifth finger, palm of the hand, back of the hand, right forearm, upper arm, right shoulder, underarm, right ribs, right waist, right hip, right thigh, right knee, right chin, right ankle, top of the right foot, sole of the right foot, right big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, fifth toe, left hand, left thumb, second finger, third finger, fourth finger, fifth finger, palm of the hand, back of the hand, left forearm, upper arm, left shoulder, under arm, left ribs, left waist, left hip, left thigh, left knee, left chin, left ankle, top of the left foot, sole of the left foot, left big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, fifth toe, back of the head, right shoulder blade, left shoulder blade, right buttock, left buttock, right heel, left heel, spine, pelvis, lower belly, left heel, upper belly, right chest, left chest, center of the chest, throat, chin, bottom lip, left hand, lip, top lip, space between the lips, tongue, roof of the mouth, right cheek, left cheek, right ear, left ear, tip of the nose, bridge of the nose, right eye, left eye, left eye, right eyebrow, left eyebrow, space between the eyebrows, forehead, crown of the head, right eye, left leg.

Feel the entire back of the body. Feel the entire front of the body. Feel the whole body resting. of the whole body resting. Feel your sun-kalpa rise, silently repeat your sun-kalpa three times.

Feel a sense of gratitude as if it has already taken hold. What would that feel like in your physical body? What would that feel like in your physical body? What would that feel like in your physical body? Remaining still, just become aware of your body resting here.

And begin to deepen the breath. Feel the breath deepen so much so you feel a sense of it move down through the arms and legs animating the fingers and the toes. It may feel nice to reach your arms overhead and give yourself like a big morning stretch long through the body. With no rush, you'll eventually roll over to one side and just curl into a fetal position. A few moments just to honor your time and dedication to these practices and the experience born out of that engagement, which is really the experience of you in all of its dimensions.

Keeping the eyes closed, just lazily bring yourself into a comfortable seat. Bow your chin to your chest. You can hold on to anything of value that you found in these practices even as you open the eyes, even as you now move throughout your day. Namaste.


Kate M
1 person likes this.
that was so deep and blissful...
Kristin Leal
1 person likes this.
Thanks Kate !!
Martha K
Relaxing yes, but also expanding and deepening. A very rich practice.... 
Kristin Leal
Thanks for practicing with me Martha !
Rachel S
That is exactly what I needed today. Thank you so much.
Kristin Leal
That's great to hear Rachel ! Thank you for practicing with me!
Leah K
Thank you Kristin, this was a blessing tonight.
Kristin Leal
Oh I'm so happy to hear that Leah thank you for practicing with me:)
Sandra Židan
Beautiful practice! Thank you very much, Kristin!
Kristin Leal
Sandra Thanks for being here! 
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