July 20, 2017
A chance to work with two incredible teachers at the same time. Join Jon Paul Crimi and Hilary Jackendoff at The DEN Meditation on July 20th and experience the transformative power of Breathwork and the healing properties of Yoga Nidra in one intensely awakening and deeply restorative workshop. These two techniques are designed to awaken deep experiences of consciousness and energy, of Yin and Yang. When Breathwork and Yoga Nidra are combined, each practice becomes infinitely more powerful in its capacity to transform limiting beliefs, heal emotional pain and release physical tension. Prepare to activate inner strength and fully surrender to your highest potential. Make sure to preregister, as this workshop will fill!
I’m giving my first collaborative workshop at The DEN Meditation. And I’m super psyched. Breathwork and Yoga Nidra! Hooray! I’ll be the first to admit that the first time I heard about Breathwork, I wasn’t fully sold. But the first time I tried Breathwork…I was hooked. Let me explain a little bit about why I was resistant, why I’m a fan now, and why Breathwork and Yoga Nidra are a match made in heaven.
First of all – what is Breathwork? In short, it’s a powerful technique based on principles of pranayama, and is designed to immediately awaken and enliven the nervous system and the pranic energy within. It’s intense. It’s hard work. But it’s also FUN.
I come from a yogic tradition that emphasizes a gentle and slow progression of practice. My lineage of training trains you to develop an awareness of and a clear focus on the subtle. All the practices that we do and that I have been trained to teach are done with this single goal in mind – to move towards the subtle. We practice slow, mindful, breath-centered toe-bending, for crying out loud! We tune into the subtle sensations within the toes and see just how focused our awareness can be on our toes. Basically, every practice is designed to prepare you for meditation, so that you can tune in to the subtle levels of the mind and the consciousness. So something like Breathwork…well, it seems downright antithetical to everything I’ve been taught! There’s just nothing subtle about it!!!
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still buying what my lineage is selling. For sure. I haven’t abandoned ship. Learning how to observe subtle sensations, the subtle movement of vital energy, (life force or prana) and the range of nuance within the subtleties is an enormously helpful and essential practice that will empower you to deepen your practice of Tantric meditation. It’s meditative. It’s grounding. Most of the time, it’s actually quite interesting, but…..it isn’t necessarily fun.
Unsurprisingly, my tradition applies the same methodology to the way we practice and teach various breathing techniques, aka Pranayama. Slowly, slowly, gently. One stage at a time. And while my Pranayama practice has always been powerful, it hasn’t necessarily been FUN. For sure, it is incredibly therapeutic. It prepares me for meditation. So when I tried Breathwork, I was blown away by how much fun it was! And how alive I felt! I felt connected to a larger than life quality within myself. A sense of Divinity. An expansiveness. And I felt the power of prana FULL FORCE. My whole body was vibrating with the presence of subtle energy. But it wasn’t a subtle sensation. Not at all. It was a WILD feeling. One that stayed with me for some time in the body/mind after the practice was complete. And I loved it. I love observing subtle nuance…but I also love BIG, exciting and FUN feelings!
As I lay there on the floor absorbing the effects of all that wildly invigorating pranic energy, I attempted to integrate the experience…but I found that I wasn’t able to do so. I realized, in that moment, that I desperately wanted a Yoga Nidra. I had managed to access this dramatic, exciting shift in the Annamaya and Pranamaya Koshas (the physical and energetic bodies) through the Breathwork…and now I had to come down from that high. Because honestly, that’s what it is. It’s a high. An incredible, natural and blissful self-induced high. There was nothing subtle about it. It was transformative.
But I needed to rest. I needed to MEDITATE. I just was aching to go deeper to the more subtle layers of the Self. And intuitively, it felt like Yoga Nidra would be the perfect technique to take me there. Traditionally, the various yogic breathing techniques are done immediately before your meditation practice, and with good reason. Through the breath, you have the capacity to awaken and energize your body/mind, as well as calm the nervous system and any anxiety or tension you may be holding onto. From here, you can slide comfortably into a meditative state, with a clear, balanced and calm mind. It just felt so clearly that there had to be something after Breathwork. There had to be meditative integration.
As I lay there thinking about my burning desire for Yoga Nidra that was about to be left unfulfilled, I began to brainstorm this very workshop…and now it is here!
Yoga Nidra is the PERFECT complement to Breathwork. While Breathwork is a practice of Doing, Yoga Nidra is a practice of Being. Breathwork is about doing the work…Yoga Nidra is about letting go of all effort. Breathwork is physical and tangible. Awakening. Transformative. Yoga Nidra is subtle. Restful. Healing. Yin and Yang. Two sides of the same coin, in my opinion. Breathwork creates this huge explosion of energy within…Yoga Nidra creates the space for you to fully rest in and integrate that energy. I’m done with my rambling. You should probably just come and find out for yourself! An experience of epic proportions is sure to be had.