Yoga Nidra means psychic sleep. It is a state of consciousness where one is on the borderline between sleep and wakefulness. It is a state of inner awareness and contact with the subconscious and higher consciousness. A guided meditation practice is recommended in the initial stages of the practice. For this reason it is a good idea, if possible, to seek a guidance of a qualified Yoga and Meditation teacher to help guide you through the practice into a deeper state of consciousness.
Yoga Nidra brings a state of deep relaxation and can also be used as a preparation for sleep. Most people on the planet do not know how to have a restful sleep. They end up falling asleep while thinking over some problems, worrying about past or future events, which puts the body into a state of tension, stress and anxiety. They wake up feeling lethargic and unrested, snooze their alarm clocks several times and experience fatigue during the day.
It is possible to bring more quality to your sleep by simply practicing Yoga Nidra meditation on a regular basis. It will help to relax the whole body and mind. The sleep will become more deep and restful, with fewer hours needed for sleep, and you will wake up feeling refreshed, reenergised, rejuvenated and vibrant.
During the practice of Yoga Nidra the physical centres of the body become introverted. This is called Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses). When the mind is concentrated on the centre, blood and energy are drawn to it, and this causes withdrawal of the senses at that centre. In the deep state of relaxation that results from the practice, tension is released, and the mind becomes clear, the thoughts become more powerful. In psychic sleep we tap directly into our inner personality, our core, and are able to change our deep seated attitudes, beliefs and values towards ourselves, our lives, and others. It is a method of going within, and has been used by yogis since the dawn of time to bring them face to face with the inner true self.
A resolve or Sankalpa is made during the practice. It must be something that is extremely important to you, something you would like to manifest in your life. Sankalpa is a short and simple positive statement that will be embedded in the subconscious mind. In the state of Yoga Nidra passivity this kind of resolve is very powerful and transformative, it can literally change your whole life. These resolves will certainly come true if you practice regularly and repeat your Sankalpa with a genuine and strong conviction. With this powerful method you can change old habits, attitudes, beliefs and values that no longer serve you. You can transmute the mind and get rid of any mental blocks and disturbances.
Sankalpas can have a spiritual objective, for example, ‘‘I am One with the Universe. I am One with the Whole’’, or ‘‘My body is getting healthier every day’’, or ‘‘I am always supported and loved’’, ‘‘I live the life of abundance’’. It is important to repeat Sankalpa several times during the practice of Yoga Nidra. You can reflect on your Sankalpa immediately after Yoga Nidra, before opening your eyes.
In Yoga Nidra the mind must be totally engaged in following the quick instructions. When you are not using Yoga Nidra as a means to sleep, the mind will need to stay acutely alert and aware.
It is advised to practice Yoga Nidra while lying down with the head flat on the floor, in Savasana. The body is straight, the head is in line, the legs are slightly apart and the arms rest close to the body, the palms of the hands are facing the sky. Remaining completely still, the body becomes totally relaxed. Practicing on an empty stomach is recommended, the eyes remain closed for the duration of the practice.
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