Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
How Yoga Nidra Can Be a Catalyst During Uncertain Times
Category:
Healing
"When we know that we are whole and infinite, the illusion of scarcity and brokenness dissolves and we can let go of fear that is informed by the misperception of duality that shows up as othering, oppression and racism, and sorrow."

Expanding our potential often requires a certain amount of grace. Esalen faculty Tracee Stanley saw this fact clearly more than 20 years ago and embarked on a personal practice that eventually included Yoga Nidra, which transformed her entire life. She has since become a sought-after teacher dedicated to sharing a sacred alchemy of practices that also include self-inquiry, meditation and asana (body posture) that are sourced from the traditions of the Himalayan Masters.

“Most people do not realize that Yoga Nidra is a technique, a state of consciousness similar to samadhi—a state of intense concentration achieved through meditation—and a Goddess written about in ancient texts like the Devi Mahatmhya,” Tracee says. “It is a practice of transformation. And this moment in history is asking all of us to transform.”

We reached out to Tracee to learn how Yoga Nidra can assist us now.

Esalen News: What are some of the benefits of Yoga Nidra, especially during uncertainty?

Tracee Stanley: Yoga Nidra is a practice of dissolution. It allows us to rest deeply and to recognize where and how we experience resistance. With consistent practice, it can help us to acknowledge and release tension, but this requires surrender and a sort of partnering with the unknown. In this surrender, we may let go of identifying with everything that is always changing within us: thoughts, feelings, emotions.

Who will I be if I let go? Is it safe? If I am not thinking, who am I? With the grace of the practice, we can begin to touch a place within us that is always steady and brilliant—an inner radiance deep within the heart space that is referred to in the Yoga Sutra 1:36. This helps us to develop an inner resiliency that becomes a life raft for us to weather the ebbs and flows of life.

Why was it important for you to offer the Free Self-Love Meditation on your website, and what do you hope people gain from that?

If we can anchor ourselves in authentic self-love and become aware of the source of our limiting beliefs, we can become less reactive, more loving and understanding towards others.

We can become a source of healing in the world. When we know that we are whole and infinite, the illusion of scarcity and brokenness dissolves and we can let go of fear that is informed by the misperception of duality that shows up as othering, oppression and racism, and sorrow.

You also offer a program called Empowered Life, which assists people in becoming aligned with their truth and power. What three actions can we all take in that direction?

Three actions that can activate an empowered life are: radical self-inquiry, deep listening and courage. Radical self-inquiry helps us get to the root of our pain. Deep listening, which happens in stillness and silence, allows us to tune into our core frequency, which is our true nature.

Courage—we can notice the difference between familiar pain and emerging truth, learning to live in the space between and practicing to have the courage to turn away from what is familiar and look towards the light of our truth, even when it's uncomfortable. This helps us to move in alignment with ways of being that are supportive and nurturing.

What originally led you to do this work?

A lot of what I share is sourced from the lineage of Himalayan Masters and Sri Vidya (a Hindu Tantric religious system devoted to the Goddess as Lalitā Tripurasundarī). My expression of these teachings is filtered through my own understanding and more than 20 years of personal practice that is informed by living as a Black woman who produced Hollywood movies, is a stepmom, an entrepreneur and forever yoga student.

What I feel is most important for people to know and experience is that there is a pristine place inside of them that is unchanging. It is a place referred to as "sorrowless joy," and it is who we really are. I always try to point students back to this teaching, as it leads to developing trust in their inner teacher.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love so many things. I love creating sacred containers for transformation, sharing Sadhana practices that I know work and watching people’s lives change. Not because I did anything, but because they made a choice to be their best self—they did the work. If there is anything that we must remember in these uncertain times it is: do your work. There is no more time to waste.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

How Yoga Nidra Can Be a Catalyst During Uncertain Times

About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
Category:
Healing
"When we know that we are whole and infinite, the illusion of scarcity and brokenness dissolves and we can let go of fear that is informed by the misperception of duality that shows up as othering, oppression and racism, and sorrow."

Expanding our potential often requires a certain amount of grace. Esalen faculty Tracee Stanley saw this fact clearly more than 20 years ago and embarked on a personal practice that eventually included Yoga Nidra, which transformed her entire life. She has since become a sought-after teacher dedicated to sharing a sacred alchemy of practices that also include self-inquiry, meditation and asana (body posture) that are sourced from the traditions of the Himalayan Masters.

“Most people do not realize that Yoga Nidra is a technique, a state of consciousness similar to samadhi—a state of intense concentration achieved through meditation—and a Goddess written about in ancient texts like the Devi Mahatmhya,” Tracee says. “It is a practice of transformation. And this moment in history is asking all of us to transform.”

We reached out to Tracee to learn how Yoga Nidra can assist us now.

Esalen News: What are some of the benefits of Yoga Nidra, especially during uncertainty?

Tracee Stanley: Yoga Nidra is a practice of dissolution. It allows us to rest deeply and to recognize where and how we experience resistance. With consistent practice, it can help us to acknowledge and release tension, but this requires surrender and a sort of partnering with the unknown. In this surrender, we may let go of identifying with everything that is always changing within us: thoughts, feelings, emotions.

Who will I be if I let go? Is it safe? If I am not thinking, who am I? With the grace of the practice, we can begin to touch a place within us that is always steady and brilliant—an inner radiance deep within the heart space that is referred to in the Yoga Sutra 1:36. This helps us to develop an inner resiliency that becomes a life raft for us to weather the ebbs and flows of life.

Why was it important for you to offer the Free Self-Love Meditation on your website, and what do you hope people gain from that?

If we can anchor ourselves in authentic self-love and become aware of the source of our limiting beliefs, we can become less reactive, more loving and understanding towards others.

We can become a source of healing in the world. When we know that we are whole and infinite, the illusion of scarcity and brokenness dissolves and we can let go of fear that is informed by the misperception of duality that shows up as othering, oppression and racism, and sorrow.

You also offer a program called Empowered Life, which assists people in becoming aligned with their truth and power. What three actions can we all take in that direction?

Three actions that can activate an empowered life are: radical self-inquiry, deep listening and courage. Radical self-inquiry helps us get to the root of our pain. Deep listening, which happens in stillness and silence, allows us to tune into our core frequency, which is our true nature.

Courage—we can notice the difference between familiar pain and emerging truth, learning to live in the space between and practicing to have the courage to turn away from what is familiar and look towards the light of our truth, even when it's uncomfortable. This helps us to move in alignment with ways of being that are supportive and nurturing.

What originally led you to do this work?

A lot of what I share is sourced from the lineage of Himalayan Masters and Sri Vidya (a Hindu Tantric religious system devoted to the Goddess as Lalitā Tripurasundarī). My expression of these teachings is filtered through my own understanding and more than 20 years of personal practice that is informed by living as a Black woman who produced Hollywood movies, is a stepmom, an entrepreneur and forever yoga student.

What I feel is most important for people to know and experience is that there is a pristine place inside of them that is unchanging. It is a place referred to as "sorrowless joy," and it is who we really are. I always try to point students back to this teaching, as it leads to developing trust in their inner teacher.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love so many things. I love creating sacred containers for transformation, sharing Sadhana practices that I know work and watching people’s lives change. Not because I did anything, but because they made a choice to be their best self—they did the work. If there is anything that we must remember in these uncertain times it is: do your work. There is no more time to waste.

“Remembering to be as self compassionate as I can and praying to the divine that we're all a part of.” 
–Aaron

“Prayer, reading, meditation, walking.”
–Karen
“Erratically — which is an ongoing stream of practice to find peace.”
–Charles
“Try on a daily basis to be kind to myself and to realize that making mistakes is a part of the human condition. Learning from our mistakes is a journey. But it starts with compassion and caring. First for oneself.”
–Steve

“Physically: aerobic exercise, volleyball, ice hockey, cycling, sailing. Emotionally: unfortunately I have to work to ‘not care’ about people or situations which may end painfully. Along the lines of ‘attachment is the source of suffering’, so best to avoid it or limit its scope. Sad though because it could also be the source of great joy. Is it worth the risk?“
–Rainer

“It's time for my heart to be nurtured on one level yet contained on another. To go easy on me and to allow my feelings to be validated, not judged harshly. On the other hand, to let the heart rule with equanimity and not lead the mind and body around like a master.”
–Suzanne

“I spend time thinking of everything I am grateful for, and I try to develop my ability to express compassion for myself and others without reservation. I take time to do the things I need to do to keep myself healthy and happy. This includes taking experiential workshops, fostering relationships, and participating within groups which have a similar interest to become a more compassionate and fulfilled being.“
–Peter

“Self-forgiveness for my own judgments. And oh yeah, coming to Esalen.”
–David B.

“Hmm, this is a tough one! I guess I take care of my heart through fostering relationships with people I feel connected to. Spending quality time with them (whether we're on the phone, through messages/letters, on Zoom, or in-person). Being there for them, listening to them, sharing what's going on with me, my struggles and my successes... like we do in the Esalen weekly Friends of Esalen Zoom sessions!”
–Lori

“I remind myself in many ways of the fact that " Love is all there is!" LOVE is the prize and this one precious life is the stage we get to learn our lessons. I get out into nature, hike, camp, river kayak, fly fish, garden, I create, I dance (not enough!), and I remain grateful for each day, each breath, each moment. Being in the moment, awake, and remembering the gift of life and my feeling of gratitude for all of creation.”
–Steven
“My physical heart by limiting stress and eating a heart-healthy diet. My emotional heart by staying in love with the world and by knowing that all disappointment and loss will pass.“
–David Z.


Today, September 29, is World Heart Day. Strike up a conversation with your own heart and as you feel comfortable, encourage others to do the same. As part of our own transformations and self-care, we sometimes ask for others to illuminate and enliven our hearts or speak our love language.

What if we could do this for ourselves too, even if just for today… or to start a heart practice, forever?



About

Esalen Team

Darnell Lamont Walker leading Rituals Writing Workshop
How Yoga Nidra Can Be a Catalyst During Uncertain Times
Category:
Healing

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About

Esalen Team

How Yoga Nidra Can Be a Catalyst During Uncertain Times

About

Esalen Team

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