Yoga Nidra helped yoga teacher, Alison Mactaggart (Mantradharma) cope with chronic insomnia during menopause and now she is teaching others how to experience the benefits of this ancient practice
Alison or Mantradharma (as she is known by her Sanskrit name), discovered yoga more than 20 years ago while living in London. She says: ‘I started with Iyengar and continued when I moved to Australia.” But it was when she attended a friend’s Satyananda Yoga teaching class that she experienced deeper benefits.
She says: “I felt so balanced and calm afterwards and I realised that that’s how you are supposed to feel after yoga – not activated as I had been after other styles of yoga and unable to get to sleep when I got home.”
And so Alison enrolled in the Academy of Yoga Science at Mangrove and completed her two year Diploma in 2010.
One practice which Alison always found powerful – regardless of yoga styles – was Yoga Nidra. And the Satyananda training dedicated several hours to teaching and exploring this aspect of yoga.
Alison says: “Yoga Nidra is accessible to anyone – irrespective of age, fitness, health condition, race, culture, spiritual inclinations (or not!). It can be practiced in lots of ways and in various settings.”
And it became Alison’s saviour when she was suffering with chronic insomnia during peri and post menopause. She says: “I had the classic pattern of sleeping solidly for five hours and then waking up at 1am and not being able to get back to sleep for three or four hours.”
At the time Alison was living in an ashram and had to get up often around 5 am – and she became chronically sleep deprived. She says: “I would just do back-to-back Yoga Nidra at this time – and you can guarantee that it was the only time I didn’t fall asleep during the practice!”
She believes it nourished her and enabled her to have enough energy to manage demanding days in the ashram. She adds: “I still mainly practice in this way now. Though when I teach Yoga NIdra, I often slip into a practice space that nourishes me as much as those I am instructing.”
She also uses her Yoga Nidra practice when she is travelling and on those pre-COVID days when she would be on a 24 hour flight back home to Europe.
She says: “Apart from the challenge of staying awake – it is an effortless way to connect with who we are. I feel passionate about sharing this practice with anyone, and in recent years I have been training health professionals in Sydney hospitals.”
Alison Mactaggart (Mantradharma) is leading a half day online workshop and a full-day face-to-face session in Yoga Nidra for the IYTA – to find out more or book in please click HERE.
Yoga Nidra – Foundations of Transformation
Online – Zoom
Sunday, August 2, 2020
1.30pm – 4.30pm
IYTA Members $55 non-members: $65
This three-hour online session will be an introduction to what yoga nidra is and how the key benefits and effects are achieved through the stages and the practice as a whole.
Unlock the Mystery of Yoga Nidra
Sunday, October 4, 2020
9am – 4pm
Crows Nest Community Centre
Members $197, non-members: $225
The one-day workshop will enable participants to delve a little deeper into the practice and each of the stages. The focus is on understanding how Yoga Nidra supports us to learn the skills to regulate our nervous system so that we can respond more positively to life’s challenges and in the long term evolve into who we are meant to be.