Interview Series: Rod Stryker
By Dahlia Arado
On July 15th, Lead with Love had the privilege of hosting ParaYoga Nidra: An Enlightened Sleep Workshop featuring the teachings of Rod Stryker. Stryker, who is largely regarded as one of the United States’ preeminent yoga and meditation teachers, delved into the powerful effects of YogaNidra and how one can harness their subconscious to lead a more intentional, productive, and meaningful life. The event had an incredible turnout, and by the time the talk began the Aspen Chapel had been transformed into a giant slumber party (complete with pillows, soft blankets, and snoring . . . ).
So, what exactly is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra has long been regarded as an effective method for maximizing health and vitality. Furthermore, Yoga Nidra is an accessible way to attain the heights of meditative awareness and is currently being utilized as a veritable form of therapeutic treatment for those afflicted with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Stryker discussed our tendency as a society to become preoccupied with the process of ‘efforting,’ and despite preconceived notions about the human intellect, conscious intentions do not have as much power as we credit them with possessing. Our actions, thoughts, and decisions are largely influenced by our subconscious, and through Yoga Nidra we can render the subconscious to become more perceptive. Stryker additionally touched on another theme throughout the duration of the event: we are raised adhering to the belief that there are a finite number of senses, yet Yoga Nidra hones in on an additional sense - our ability to subconsciously tell time. Why are we as a society so resistant to rendering the subconscious more perceptive and disconnecting from the process of 'efforting’?
It comes as no surprise that human beings crave stability and structure in life. We are dependent upon shelter, food, water, and air - but above all, we are intrinsically tied to the identities we have created for ourselves. We hold on to what is tangible and concrete, and our self-worth and individual perception closely correlates with our constructions of identity. As a direct result, we have an innate fear of our subconscious, which is often revealed through dreams or states of limited intellectual control. The aim of Yoga Nidra is to harness the intelligence of human breath and our subconscious to reach a state where one is both unconscious but the mind is fully awake. Though some might never reach this level of proficiency, through consistent practice it is possible to rewire both your thoughts and emotions to become more receptive and embracing to the world around you.
Disappointed you missed the Enlightened Sleep Workshop? No worries, our Aspen Summit (Oct. 25 - 28th) features some of the most inspiring change-makers of our generation and will include more incredible talks by Rod Stryker! To register for tickets, visit our website: www.ileadwithlovesummit.org.