Yoga Nidra Inspired By The Ocean

Welcome beautiful human! I’m excited to share this yoga nidra inspired by the ocean with you. This yoga nidra, or yogic sleep, is inspired by my short time living by the sea in Santa Barbara, California. I used to love taking the pups over to the beach for a romp in the surf and when the tide was just right I would find all kinds of little gems — sea glass, perfect little shells, and polished stones. We often saw dolphins and seals (or sea lions?) playing in the surf. I often wondered if they were just as enchanted by us as we were by them. It was a beautiful place to call home.

If yoga nidra is new to you, check out some of my other yoga nidra resources:

yoga nidra inspired by the ocean

We’ll practice yoga nidra in shavasana. If you’re not comfortable in shavasana, find a comfortable seat or lie on your side. For shavasana, slide a bolster or folded blanket underneath your knees and another blanket or pillow underneath the back of your head. The body temperature tends to drop during yoga nidra, so a blanket over the top of your body is usually really nice too. Let’s drop into this ocean-inspired yoga nidra.

Preliminary Relaxation For This Yoga Nidra Inspired by the Ocean

Take the next couple of minutes to get really comfortable. Adjust your props, your clothing and remove any distractions from your space. Once we’re in the practice of yoga nidra, you will want to remain still for the duration. 

Settle in. Take care of any last-minute wiggles and invite in a sense of stillness and calm. Close down your eyes and bring your awareness to your breath. Without changing your breath, simply witness it. Witness the rise and fall of your breath at your belly. Witnessing this sacred, natural rhythm. Unhurried. Unrestricted. Stay with the rise and fall of your breath.

Witness its ebb and flow. Your inhale releases into your exhale and your exhale surrenders into your inhale. PAUSE

Yoga Nidra Sankalpa

In yoga nidra we work with a sankalpa. A sankalpa is a positive “I am” statement that is true at the core of who you are. It is your essence simplified into a short positive “I am” statement. Bring into your mind’s eye your sankalpa. Once it has formed, repeat it quietly and internally to yourself three times. PAUSE

Remain aware of my voice and be still throughout the remainder of practice. The practice of yoga nidra begins now.

Rotation of Consciousness

Remain aware of my voice and do not sleep. I will guide you through a rotation of consciousness all you have to do is follow along and move your awareness from point to point within your body.

  • Move your awareness to your mouth
  • Become aware of your tongue
  • Lower jaw
  • Lower row of teeth
  • Upper row of teeth
  • Gums
  • Upper lip
  • Lower lip
  • Space between your lips
  • Both cheeks
  • Right ear
  • Left ear
  • Forehead
  • Both temples
  • Top of the head
  • Back of the head
  • Tip of the nose
  • Right nostril
  • Left nostril
  • Right eyelid
  • Left eyelid
  • Right eye
  • Left eye
  • Right eyebrow
  • Left eyebrow
  • Space between the eyebrows
  • Now go to the right hand
  • The right hand thumb
  • Second finger
  • Third finger
  • Fourth finger
  • Little finger
  • Palm of the hand
  • Back of the hand
  • wrist
  • forearm
  • elbow
  • Upper arm
  • shoulder
  • Right armpit
  • ribs
  • waist
  • hip
  • Right thigh
  • knee
  • calf
  • ankle
  • Heel 
  • Sole of the foot
  • Top of the foot
  • Right big toe
  • Second toe
  • Third toe
  • Fourth toe
  • Little toe
  • Now Go to the left hand
  • The left hand thumb
  • Second finger
  • Third finger
  • Fourth finger
  • Little finger
  • Palm of the hand
  • Back of the hand
  • wrist
  • forearm
  • elbow
  • Upper arm
  • shoulder
  • Left armpit
  • ribs
  • waist
  • hip 
  • Left thigh
  • knee
  • calf
  • ankle
  • heel
  • Sole of the foot
  • Top of the foot
  • Left big toe
  • second toe
  • Third toe
  • Fourth toe
  • Little toe
  • Groin
  • Right buttock
  • Left buttock
  • Lower back
  • Mid-back
  • Upper back
  • Right shoulder blade
  • Left shoulder blade
  • Back of the neck
  • Back of the head
  • Right inner ear
  • Left inner ear
  • Roof of the mouth
  • Throat
  • Right collar bone
  • Left collar bone
  • Right chest
  • Left chest
  • Middle chest
  • Upper abdomen
  • Navel
  • Lower abdomen
  • Groin
  • Whole spine
  • The whole head
  • Right arm
  • Left arm
  • Both arms together
  • The whole right leg
  • The whole left leg
  • Both legs together
  • Whole front body
  • Whole back body
  • Be aware of the whole body. PAUSE

Breath as Prana

Now bring your awareness to your breath. Experience your breath as it is. Follow its natural tide without altering it. Experience the pranic tide of your breath as if your whole body is breathing. Vibrant, white light flowing in and out with each cycle of breath. Waves of sparkling light washing over you with each inhale and falling away with each exhale. Each inhale peaking like a wave of prana cresting and then giving way to the exhale. Experience the peaks and valleys of your breath like the waves of an ocean. PAUSE.

Now count each breath. Count down from 54 to 0. Inhale 54. Exhale 53. Inhale 52. Exhale 51. If you lose count simply begin again. PAUSE

Opposites

Now bring your awareness to an experience of pleasure. Welcome the feeling of pleasure into your being. Hold your awareness on the experience of pleasure.

Now bring your awareness to an experience of pain. Meet the feeling of pain with equanimity. Experience it fully. Hold your awareness on the experience of pain.

Now bring your awareness to your body. Feel your body, mind and soul contracting. Becoming smaller and smaller. 

All at once, the body expands. The mind expands. And the soul expands. Body, mind, and soul expanding into the infinite, boundless.

Now bring your awareness to the experience of holding tightly. Experience the gripping in your body and mind. 

Now bring your awareness to the experience of letting go. Experience the release in your body and mind.

Archetypal Images

I will now describe images to you. Experience them without attachment and allow them to wash over you.

Your bare feet on the earth

You see a meandering path

Tall tufts of grass line the trail

Follow the path toward the sound of the ocean

You glimpse the ocean’s glimmering waves

The sea is calm

Your path gently gives way to a wide stretch of golden sand

You see the vast expanse of sea stretches out before you

The sun dances off the crest of each wave

Your breath in sync with the rhythmic pulse of the ocean

Miles of shimmery sand in each direction

Seabirds dart and dive

Puffs of clouds drift overhead

Dolphins play just beyond the waves

You walk over to the edge of the water

With each step little crabs scurry away

You stop and roll up your jeans

The water flows over your toes

Tiny shells, little gems, and sparkly stones turned and tossed by the gentle sea

A perfect shell washes up to your feet

You reach down and pick it up admiring its perfection

You peacefully slide it into your pocket and walk along the beach toward distant cliffs

A large piece of driftwood provides a spot to sit and rest

You turn your gaze toward the horizon and you take in your surroundings

A sense of ease washes over you

You reach into your pocket and pull out the shell

You turn it over in your hands, one, two, three times

You see a tiny inscription — it’s your sankalpa

Now, repeat your sankalpa internally to yourself. Speak it into the deepest layers of your being with meaning and intention. PAUSE

Gently bring your awareness back to your physical body lying on the earth. Experience your breath as the waves of an ocean. Sensation coming back. Arms. Legs. Torso. Head. Without opening your eyes, find a bit of movement. Little movements to start and finally a full body stretch. The practice of yoga nidra is complete. When you’re ready, roll over onto your side and pause there for a breath or two before coming up to a seat.

I hope you enjoyed this yoga nidra inspired by the ocean and beaches of sunny California. If you would like to learn more about yoga nidra, join me for a yoga teacher training or retreat. Both are great ways to learn more about this immensely healing practice.

Many blessings to you.

Love,
Autumn

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Other Resources for Yoga Nidra

Reduce Stress On Your Wedding Day With Yoga

Practicing yoga on your wedding day brings harmony to your body, mind and spirit amidst all of the chaos of last minute wedding preparations. It provides an opportunity for the bride, bridesmaids, mothers and aunts to share a special moment before the festivities and guarantees that each person will feel rejuvenated, balanced, and centered for the day’s festivities.

How does yoga rejuvenate, balance and center?

Yoga unites the body and mind and can bring balance and a sense of calm when practiced correctly and regularly. Some yoga postures are more relaxing than others, but even the challenging postures can bring relaxation as we learn to work though discomfort. The focus we apply on the mat helps us cope with stressful situations by balancing the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) and the Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS).

Our SNS is responsible for our fight-or-flight response to stressors and when stimulated it releases stress hormones (including cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine), increases heart rate and respiration, increases blood pressure and blood sugar, suppresses the immune system, slows digestion, and causes loss of hearing and auditory function. In today’s world we are constantly being stimulated and bombarded with information, noise, work, etc. and we live in a state of heightened arousal and chronic stress.

Our PNS, on the other hand, stimulates our rest and digest response. It slows the heart rate, lowers blood pressure, increases intestinal and glandular activity, and relaxes the sphincter muscles. Yoga’s combination of asana practice, breathing exercises and meditation can stimulate the PNS and bring harmony and balance to the nervous system.

These are my favorite postures for wedding day relaxation:

1. Balasana aka Child’s Pose

This restful yoga pose helps develop an inward focus by drawing attention to the breath and allowing the mind to be still. This posture also creates space in the lower back and can also be a gentle shoulder and upper back opener.

best-exercises-for-posture-childs-pose

2. Uttanasana Standing Forward Bend

This moderate forward bend, when done safely can soothe the nervous system and relieve stress, anxiety and mild depression.

forward fold

3. Trikonasana aka Triangle Pose

Triangle pose provides an intense lateral stretch to the side body while alleviating anxiety, reducing mental stress, building focus and developing willpower. This posture also helps improve digestion and circulation, increases muscular endurance and may relieve symptoms of sciatica.

triangle-pose-with-block

As you come into this posture imagine that your legs, hips and shoulders are all against a wall.

4. Dhanurasana aka Bow Pose

This intense backbend can bring internal balance and harmony. Bow pose also strengthens concentration and mental determination, enhances elasticity of the spine, massages the internal organs and strengthens the core muscles. Backbends tend to also be energizing and invigorating, so they are best done early in the day.

dhanurasana backbend

Couples who practice together stay together.

5. Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana aka Supported Bridge Pose

Bridge pose and it’s many variations open the heart, increase circulation to the digestive and reproductive organs, and reduce stress, mild depression and anxiety. This backbend is gentler than some of the others like Camel Pose or Wheel Pose and can be done as a restorative posture by placing a bolster or block underneath the hips.

best-exercises-for-posture-supported-bridge-pose

6. Halasana aka Plough

Plough pose is a variation of shoulder stand, it’s an intense forward bend and an inversion; it enhances physical and mental relaxation, develops inner balance and mental poise. Halasana also improves circulation, massages internal organs, and can relieve cervical and shoulder tension.

plow pose

7. Upavista Konasana aka Open-Angle Pose

Upavista Konasana soothes the nervous system and relieves stress, anxiety and mild depression. It’s also great for opening the hips, groins and shoulders, stimulating the digestive and reproductive systems, and increasing circulation to the liver and kidneys.

wide legged forward fold

8. Restorative spinal twist

This posture brings peace of mind while massaging the vertebrae of the spine and increasing suppleness of the spine.

restorative yoga twist

9. Reclining Bound-Angle Pose Supta Baddha Konasana

Supta Baddha Konasana is probably my favorite pose, and it’s no wonder why the benefits are endless: draws the senses inward, relieves mild depression, anxiety and stress, opens the chest and heart chakra, opens the groins, improves digestion and circulation, promotes reproductive health and relieves fatigue and headaches. This pose always helps me relax and get centered no matter how emotional or stressed my day was.

reclined butterfly pose for back, chest and hips

As your lower back begins to release over time you may reduce the incline of the bolster.

10. Savasana aka Corpse Pose

Savasana reduces stress, mild depression, and anxiety, calms and centers the mind, reduces fatigue, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes & rejuvenates the body. This posture can be done anytime of day for any amount of time.

yoga-corpse-pose-to-relieve-lower-back-tension

Corpse pose, savasana in Sanskrit, with knees supported helps relieve tension in the lower back.

It is important to find a experienced yoga teacher to show you the proper way to warm up for these postures and the proper alignment once you’re in the postures to prevent injury. Before beginning a new exercise program please consult your doctor.

Ambuja Yoga offers Beginner’s Yoga Series‘ in Bend, Oregon and Wedding Wellness Yoga Packages throughout Oregon. Wedding day yoga is a great way to relax and unwind with friends and family before the festivities of the day begin. After your wedding day yoga session you will feel relaxed, rejuvenated and centered. Book your Wedding Day Yoga today!!!

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Autumn Adams

Owner, Founder, & Retreat Leader at Ambuja Yoga
Autumn founded Ambuja Yoga in 2014 to share her love of adventure, yoga, and travel with her fellow yogis. Ambuja Yoga has morphed into more than she could have ever dreamed and she is thrilled to have a "job" she loves. She is forever grateful for the opportunity to facilitate personal growth and self love through yoga while taking yogis to off-the-beaten-path destinations worldwide. Follow Autumn on Instagram @autumnadamsyoga.
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