Yoga nidra is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. It was adapted from ancient tantric practices during the 1970’s by Swami Satyanada; founder of the Yoga research foundation. Yoga nidra translates as psychic sleep.
Yoga Nidra works at the deeper levels of consciousness that are functional preceding the state of sleep. It takes the person inwards away from external outer experiences and works toward balancing the three basic body and mind systems.
Muscular- relating to tensions and imbalances in the physical body itself including the nervous and Endocrinol (hormonal) systems.
Emotional- imbalances caused by inability to express emotion. The resulting repression and tension can become increasingly deep rooted over time.
Mental- tensions caused by excessive mental activity. Throughout life experiences are registered by our conscious mind and accumulate accordingly. From time to time, these build to explosive levels and will burst over into consciousness, thus affecting our physical body, mind, behaviour and reactions.
In a state of ‘consciousness awareness’ the person is taken down into and through the layers of the subconscious mind. Instruction is given directly; the person induces their own state of relaxation by following the spoken instruction. Any insights or resolutions are cultivated entirely by the individual. Inner calming and a profound sense of rest is gained from practising yoga nidra, along with increased awareness of thought and feeling connectivity.
The setting of an intention; a personal resolve, is particularly useful during the Conscious Awareness state we explore during the practice of yoga nidra. The resolve is ‘planted’ in the fertile grounds of the sub-conscious mind at designated points during the practice. The sub-conscious mind therefore sets to work in aligning our beliefs, actions and emotions with the resolve. The more deeply the relaxation response is activated and explored during yoga nidra the more fully the outward manifestation of the intention can take shape in the outer arena of our lives.
Choosing a resolve
By spending a few moments to explore what is currently occurring in our lives and how we are experiencing ourselves in amongst it, gives us the time and space to arrive upon the focus of our intention. Perhaps it will be related to health, personal goals, Spiritual development, relationships or our work.
Intuitively the most appropriate thing to work with will arise. From here we set about formulating a statement in the first person, present tense, in positive language as if the resolve has already occurred in our lives. The statement is repeated in the mind with full Awareness, gratitude and intention, three times as prompted to do so during yoga nidra.
Some examples of Sankalpas (personal resolves):
I now reside in the knowledge that I am connected to all that is.
I am vibrantly healthy in all ways.
I now awaken my intuition for personal guidance.
My relationships are happy, supportive and loving.
I am now financially earning my full potential.
I am the embodiment of love.
I awaken my Spiritual Awareness as I grow in all ways.
My creativity flourishes as I connect to higher energies.
I love myself and I love others.
To benefit fully from our yoga nidra it is helpful to have a regular practice, like most things in life, the more we practice, the easier it is to slip into the state of conscious awareness, to explore the relaxed state just before sleep occurs. During yoga nidra it is essential to remain completely still, to be warm and undisturbed.
Personally I return again and again to my mat (almost daily) to reconnect with the inner world of deep reverence and Awareness. The feeling of complete rest I experience, on all levels, physically, mentally, emotionally, and the more present, aware state of Spiritual Openness I feel make this a practise, to me, that will always be a feature in my life. As it supports me in all ways.
If you are keen to explore Yoga Nidra for yourself, we have LIVE weekly online sessions.
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Love All ways,