Richard Burnett had owned a catering company and had worked as a chef for more than 45 years. He says he worked too many hours, and when he finally decided to sell his company, he lost inspiration …
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Richard Burnett had owned a catering company and had worked as a chef for more than 45 years. He says he worked too many hours, and when he finally decided to sell his company, he lost inspiration and felt content in life. After his decision, his friend asked him to try yoga nidra — a sleep-based meditation technique that developed in India thousands of years ago.
When Burnett tried the meditation technique he was hooked, and now he does three to five classes a day, seven days a week.
“(Yoga nidra) has very much enhanced my life. It’s a tool,” said Burnett. “It’s a tool to slow the mind down, the chatter that goes on and the stories that go on in our minds.”
In the midst of the businesses on the 3400 block of South Broadway in Englewood sits Samadhi Center for Yoga. The center, owned by Andora Freedom, is offering free yoga nidra classes all this month in honor of National Meditation Month.
Yoga nidra instructors serve as guides through the meditation as their students lie down in any position. According to Janie Gianotsos, an instructor at Samadhi Center for Yoga, one hours of yoga nidra is equivalent to four hours of deep sleep.
“It takes you to a very deep relaxing state. You don’t have to be religious,” said Gianotsos. “It’s just lying there and listening to the teacher.”
Yoga nidra has been endorsed by the United States Army Surgeon General and Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury as a complementary and alternative medicine to help combat symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, insomnia, chronic pain and anxiety, according to the Veterans Restorative Project.
“Everybody can do it. I see (yoga nidra) as a profound tool that we should all have in our toolbox to deal with life,” said Freedom.
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