Yoga Nidra or Yogic Sleep- Deep Relaxation
Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of complete relaxation, holistically addressing our physiological, neurological, subconscious needs, where one achieves true relaxation.
Yoga Nidra relaxes the mind by relaxing the body and relaxes the body by relaxing the mind. Yoga Nidra is a process for learning how to listen and welcome all that you are and all that life is without intention for anything to be other than it is.
Yoga Nidra means The Sleep of the Yogi. Yoga Nidra represents the parodox and a play on the words sleep and awake. In Yoga we are awakening to our true nature Love. Nidra or sleep is the state where we are unconscious to our true nature, where we are identified with the exterior self by jumping thoughts and actions based on perceiving through the senses.
When we fall asleep our mind identifies with the dream-doer and when we are awake we the wake-doer while the background remains veiled. In Yoga Nidra the minds identification of being a doer dissolves and Being moves to the foreground, so we can just Be.
During the practice of yoga nidra, one appears to be sleep, but the consciousness is functioning at the deeper level of awareness. It is state of mind in between wakefulness and dream. Normally when we sleep, we loose track of our self and cannot utilize this capacity of mind. Yoga nidra enables the person to be conscious in this state and nurture the seed of great will power, inspire the higher self, and enjoy the vitality of life.
People have found a constant practice of Yoga Nidra restructures and transforms the whole personality from within. With every session of yoga nidra, one is actually burning the old samskaras, habits and tendencies in order to be born anew. This process is quicker than other systems that work on an external basis. It is the most powerful method for reshaping the personality.
Yoga Nidra is not mere relaxation, as very useful as relaxation exercises might be. Yoga Nidra is a specific state of consciousness, which has to do with the conscious experience of dreamless, Deep Sleep. This may seem unimportant, but if one does not discern the difference between relaxation and Yoga Nidra, the greater depth of Yoga Nidra might be completely missed. Better that one see the difference, enjoy relaxation for its own value, and then pursue the depths of Yoga Nidra when he or she is ready for this deeper practice.
Thus, Yoga Nidra is a tool for examining, attenuating, and eliminating habit patterns or samskaras, which are not useful. Habitual negative actions, normally arising from these deep impressions can thus be reduced and eliminated through the practice of Yoga Nidra.
In Meditation, you remain in the Waking state of consciousness, with one-pointed concentration and non-attachment, and gently focus the mind, while allowing thought patterns, emotions, sensations, and images to arise and go on.
However, in Yoga Nidra, you leave the Waking state, go past the Dreaming state, and go to Deep Sleep, yet remain awake.
Meditation and Yoga Nidra work together, as companion practices, through which you purify the deepest levels of the mind, and expand the conscious state to include what was previously unconscious. Finally, the expansion includes the realization of the pure consciousness that permeates all of the levels.
Yoga Nidra is not Hypnosis
Yoga Nidra and Hypnosis brings about a state of sensory withdrawal, but they are two very different sciences.
Although they may start at the same point of relaxation and receptivity, Yoga Nidra proceeds in one direction and Hypnosis in another.
During yoga nidra, the brain is completely awake and it receives a higher quality of stimuli and develops a different type of awareness. However in hypnosis, the subject is led into a deep sleep in which the brain is completely shut down. The consciousness in hypnotic state is very limited and confined to a very small area. This is tamasic condition, while yoga nidra creates a sattvic condition.
According to Yoga, there are three important nadis or energy channels in the physical body known as ida, pingala and sushumna. Ida conveys the mental force, Pingala the vital force and sushumna the spiritual force. Throughout our lives, Ida and Pingala Nadis are continually feeding the brain with the necessary stimuli which enable it to cognize an object, a sound, an idea. If you close off Ida and pingala, then brain is isolated. That is hypnosis. But in yoga nidra, the sushumna nadi is activated and provides the necessary energy and stimuli to the brain. Because of sushumna activation, the brain receives a higher quality of stimuli and a different type of knowledge.
The process of Yoga Nidra helps us acknowledge, welcome and accept the repression and aversion of unresolved feelings and emotions, stored in the unconscious. When so called positive or negative emotions rise up, we meet greet and welcome rather than refuse them. Yoga Nidra teaches us no to be afraid of feeling afraid, not to be insecure about being insecure and not resist feeling joyous open and vulnerable.
When we welcome opposites of feelings and emotions just as they are they move naturally through their stages of birth, growth, decay and death ultimately dissolving back into their home ground of being. Feelings and emotions are only passing phenomena naturally occurring movements in the body and mind. Yoga Nidra introduces us to our ground of innate stability that is present whether strong feelings or emotions are present or absent.
When you are open to feeling whatever is present, attachment and aversion no longer control your life and you live the ease of Being which evokes profound relaxation and clarity in both the body and the mind. Judgement loses its grip and compassion love of the self and others blossoms.
The practice of yogic relaxation has been found to effectively reduce tension and improve psychological well being of people suffering from anxiety. The autonomic symptoms of high anxiety such as headache, giddiness, chest pain, palpitations, sweating, abdominal pain respond exceptionally well to yoga nidra. Practicing yoga nidra successfully decreases the time required to fall asleep, thereby curing insomnia.
During Nicole’s Yoga Nidra Class you will experience ways to relax the body and the mind with simple gentle postures, self massage, breathing techniques and then Nicole guides you into a the deep relaxation yoga nidra state of consciousness. See Nicoles Schedule for Dates, Times an Locations of this class at www.theyogapathtransforms.com
References: The Teachings of Swami J, Yoga Nidra by Richard Miller
2 thoughts on “Yogic Sleep Deep Relaxation”
Natural sleeping aids work very similarly to prescription medication since they help the body relax and fall asleep faster. Natural sleeping aids work to control melatonin, which controls the body’s perception of night and day.
I have found that many people who come to my yoga nidra or restorative classes who cant sleep might have high anxiety. They may have tried prescription drugs and herbs and they dont usually work. But yoga and yoga nidra helps calm the mind and the body so sleeping is not a problem. Yoga in general reduces the stress hormone cortisol and balances all hormones produced by the endocrine system and by stimulating the chakra system in the energy body that influence the endocrine and nervous systems. Yoga is an ancient safe way to help reduce stress, anxiety, create balance in your life
Comments are closed.