Episode 20: How Yoga Nidra Works & Sankalpa Guidance with Tanis Fishman

Tanis Fishman is a modern day mystic who has spent her life exploring different levels of consciousness to find deeper meaning in the human experience.  Questions about the meaning of life and a search for something more has been on her mind since she was a toddler.  Over her lifetime, she’s been gifted with two profound experiences that proved this feeling. One being an out of body experience and another an explosion of enlightenment.  In this episode, Tanis shares that part of her journey with us.  She also lends her knowledge about Yoga Nidra, a deep meditation technique that can bring you to a place beyond conscious limitations.

"Nidra", when translated to English means "sleep".  In essence, the practice of Yoga Nidra is that of Yogic Sleep.  Don't get this confused with regular sleep though!  The practice will bring you much different healing powers than regular sleep will.  Tanis explains how Yoga Nidra works as well as the layers of benefits that can help us transform.  We talk about Sankalpas and the best way to use them.   

Key Nuggets:

  • Yoga Nidra Benefits:
    • Conscious relaxation. Relaxing the body, mind and emotions
    • Experience a state of freedom to just be
    • Open up field of experience for everything to be as it is
    • Being consciously present allows you to become aware of where your tensions are and what thoughts are destructive.
    • Access intuitive mind or higher perspective (see things more clearly) as you gain space from those destructive thoughts.
  • Brain States:
    • Beta: Identifying with the conscious mind (where we usually are when we're awake)
      • High Beta: Thoughts rampant, believing thoughts to be true, focus only on reality of life, may cause stress.  
      • Low Beta: Thoughts more mellow, starting to relax
    • Alpha: Transitional brain state between wakefulness and sleep; the moment where you let go of thinking process (thoughts); a space where you are completely just being.  Right before we are identified with dreamer. There’s no time, or space or you.  Brain waves slow, least used brain state when we're awake
  • Everything in the conscious that’s played out in your life (ie. preference, opinions, judgements) has its roots in the subconscious based on your belief systems that's supporting it. We don’t always know what our belief systems are, but we can look at our life to see what’s getting played out to better understand.
  • Our consciousness acts as a filter.  It's harder to change our belief systems in our waking states.  That's why some people do not find affirmations very effective.  They are being filtered out by our conscious mind.
  • When we are in a deep state of meditation, we get access to our subconscious in the Alpha brain state.  Our mind is more malleable. In Yoga Nidra we use Sankalpa. 
  • Sankalpa:
    • Your personal resolution: a conscious direction of your desires and dreams
    • It holds an energy that allows us to change our limiting belief systems
    • A transformative part of the process
  • How to make a sankalpa:
    •   “I AM _____________”
    •  Use present tense as that’s the language of the subconscious
    • State it in the positive
    • Keep it concise and short
    • You need something that comes immediate to you – make it easy for you to recite even in a deep state of relaxation
    • Choose your desired end state, not what you’re going through.
      • Example: “I am healing” will keep you in a state of healing. How would you feel if you were healed?  “I am healthy” “I am at peace” “I feel free” is better.
    • Examples: “I am worthy” “I am deserving of the best life” “I am deserving to fulfill my dreams”.
    • Ensure that it resonates with you.
  • Factors affecting effectiveness of Yoga Nidra:
    • You may have hidden beliefs.  For example, a hidden belief that’s “it’s not possible to change” or “I’m too old to change”.  If a hidden belief is the stronger program that's running then you need to dissolve that before you can install something else.  aka. You have many layers, you may need to shift one belief before you can make another happen.  Another example is that you want to set your Sankalpa to "I am happy", but there’s a belief system underneath the surface where you tell yourself “You don’t deserve to be happy”
    • If you’re not in the hypnogogic state (ie. you fall straight to sleep) then mind won’t be as receptive to the Sankalpa.
      • Antidote: learn to maintain mindfulness in the relaxing brain states (ex. Don’t fall asleep)
    • Belief system not ready to be changed. Our belief systems were created to ultimately keep us safe. If we somehow feel that it's unsafe to shed the belief system then it won't change.
  • How to know when sankalpa has been realized: When you react different, act different, thoughts begin to change.
  • This whole process isn’t like peeling an onion, it’s more like unwinding a tangled web!

One of Your Biggest Lessons So Far:

Be surprised about yourself.  To continue to grow, stay open and curious.  Also, where you find yourself passing judgement is where there is misalignment in self.  This simply means that a program (aka. belief system) is out of date and an update (aka. lesson) is on its way.

Links:

If you have any questions for Tanis or want to learn more, connect with her through:

Website: https://tanisfishman.com/

Facebook: Tanis Fishman

Facebook Page: Out of the Box with Tanis Fishman

Resources: