I read something on a piece of digital art last week and I can’t stop thinking about it. The phrase was: Lose Your Mind & Free Your Soul. It resonated deeply with me and continues to ring gently through my mind.

I love this phrase because it feels so relevant for us as neurodivergent folk. There are times when we are truly held hostage by our insanely active brains and it’s really a challenge to break free from the incessant chatter.

While brains are super useful, they can also be a detriment to our mental well-being. Especially neurodivergent brains because they chatter away at us non stop day and night. I think of my brain in two ways. My logical, ego brain, which is super helpful at keeping me alive, fed, clean, etc., and my intuitive brain which is where my soul nestles into my body.

My intuitive brain is gentle and whispers to me. My logical ego brain is relentless, loud, demanding, and never shuts up. I lovingly refer to this aspect of my brain as The Chatty Bastard.

While I can appreciate that the Chatty Bastard is doing a great job of keeping me safe, alive, and breathing, I am keenly aware that this brain is rooted in ego and I need a break from it often. The Chatty Bastard is filled with negativity and fear. It bases all of it’s churning and rumination on past experiences that didn’t go well. He (yes, a he, for no good reason), sits on my shoulder all day and sometimes half of the night reminding me; Oh, remember the time when ______ went sideways? or You won’t make it through that concert alive- you hate crowds… or You can’t change jobs, you know how much you hate that. All those new people, new processes, new environment!! No, no, no…

So, how do I manage to get much needed breaks from the Chatty Bastard?

It’s actually very simple: I get out of my brain and into my body, and there are so many ways to achieve this: meditation, breathwork, or yoga work especially well, and my all time favorite is Yoga Nidra. 

Yoga Nidra, if you’re not familiar, is not like yoga asanas in any way at all. There is no movement at all. Yoga Nidra, otherwise known as yogic sleep, is a practice that is soothing, relaxing, rejuvenating, and oh so easy. You get yourself into a reclined, comfy position, grab a cozy blanket, ear bud (or head set of any kind), cover your eyes with an eye mask or anything you have on hand (I have a special sock that I use – it’s mate took a hike one laundry day some years ago and never returned and now this lone sock has its own special job which it does very well!). This is all that is required, aside from guidance. 

Yoga Nidra is a guided practice. The goal of Yoga Nidra is that you stay consciously aware and awake while your body falls into deep relaxation. If you do fall asleep – don’t fret! Your brain needs to sleep and you’ll still get the full benefit of the practice. You cozy yourself and get as comfy as possible, then just listen and follow the guidance of the instructor. A short session is 20 to 30 minutes while a more traditional practice is about an hour long. I do at least one short practice a day – sometimes two! I will link one of my favorite teachers and one of my favorite classes below. 

This week’s Do This Thing With Me  is to take a few mini vacations from our brains. Try to do at least 3 Yoga Nidra session over the course of the week. Any time of day is absolutely fine. I like to do one late morning so that I can cleanse my mind and refocus on what I need to get done.  I also love to do a short practice just before bed time. I find that a bedtime practice really helps to settle my brain down and after the practice (often during!) I slip into a peaceful asleep with ease.

Here is a fabulous short session by one of my favorite teachers. She has dozens of excellent Yoga Nidra sessions on her channel if you want to dive deeper.

And that’s it for this week. Get out of your brain and into your body. Enjoy the session!