Healing with Yoga Nidra and Mahat Pranayama

Guided by Megan MacCarthy, Original Music by Michael Mattioli

Track 1: Healing with Yoga Nidra – Meditation through the Pancha Maya Koshas (30:44)

Yoga philosophy teaches that we are multidimensional beings. In Sanskrit, Pancha means five, Maya means illusion and Kosha means sheath, referring to the 5 energetic levels of being we experience as ourselves.

Anna Maya Kosha – the food body or physical body.
Prana Maya Kosha – the energy body, also called Qi, Chi or Life Force.
Mano Maya Kosha – the mind as it relates to thoughts & feelings through the senses. Vijnana Maya Kosha – the higher wisdom layer of intuition and insight.
Ananda Maya Kosha – the body of bliss and joy; the subtlest of all the sheaths that is our essential nature and true Self

In Yoga Nidra, you leave the waking state, go past the unconscious dreaming state and into a state of conscious deep sleep, yet remain fully awake. In this state, deep-seated impressions in the mind are purified (samskaras) and healing occurs.

Track 2: Mahat Pranayama – Introduction to Yogic Breathing (10:08)

Mahat Pranayama is a beautiful pranayama that is the foundation of other yogic breathing practices. It teaches us to use the diaphragm to breathe completely and correctly to all 3 sections of the lungs  just as we are meant to.  Once we learn to breathe fluidly to the low, mid and high sections of the lungs, we then direct the flow of the breath from the bottom of the lungs to the top.

Physically, the diaphragm is a half-dome shaped muscle that separates the thoracic cavity and abdominal cavity.  It is the engine of respiration. Typically, we don’t use our breath engine because we only breathe to the top of the chest. Like any other muscles, if the muscles that support our respiration are not used, restriction may occur. By using our diaphragm, we support the muscles of respiration, optimize our lung function and increase the oxygen to positively influence all the systems of our body.

On the emotional level, the diaphragm acts as both a shield and bridge between unconscious and conscious emotions.  It can prevent emotions in the lower abdomen from overflowing into the heart and consciousness. 

The subtle body intention of this breathing practice is to connect to emotions, which are charged gut feelings. Image or experience the emotions being pushed out of the chest with Mahat Pranayama.

This breathing technique can be done seated or lying down.