Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep is a state of conscious deep sleep which is used not only for extreme relaxation, but also for subtler spiritual exploration. Yoga Nidra – one of the deepest of all meditations- brings an incredible calmness, quietness and clarity. We can explore highest level of spiritual connections through Yoga Nidra which is leading awareness through many levels of mental process to a state of supreme stillness and insight.
Over the past few years, more and more health enthusiasts have been practicing yoga to achieve both physical and emotional benefits. Yoga nidra is an ancient but little-known yogic practice. Four different stages of Yoga Nidra were mentioned even in the ancient yoga text the Mandukya Upanishads. But the good news it that this systematic form of guided relaxation, which is typically done for 35 to 40 minutes at a time, becoming increasingly popular as both a form of meditation and a mind-body therapy. Some instructors prefer a short version of yoga nidra which can be practiced in less than 10 minutes.
Yoga nirda is an amazing way to restore our body, senses, and mind to their natural function. It is intended to induce extreme full body relaxation and a deep meditative state of consciousness. It’s also a helpful tool in combating sleep disturbances. One of the unique and most interesting truths about Yoga Nidra is that it is both a name of a state and of a practice! Yoga Nidra creates an altered state of consciousness. At the same time it allows the practitioner to relax and heal their being. In the practice of yoga nidra the body sleeps but the mind remains awake listening to the instructions. Some of the leading psychologist have termed the state achieved in yoga nidra as the hypnogogic state. This is a state between sleep and wakefulness.
Try this simple but powerful Yoga Nidra exercise.
- Start with Savasana. Relax your body. Now close your eyes.
- Take some deep breaths, slow and relaxing.
- Now say to yourself mentally “I’m now going to enjoy the peaceful relaxation of Yoga Nidra. But if any need or emergency arise, I will be wide awake and alert and take necessary steps to overcome that situation”
- You can use pillows if you feel any discomfort. Do whatever adjustment you need to make yourself comfortable.
- Now focus on your right foot. Keep your attention there for a few seconds. Now relax it. Feel how relax it is now. Then move your focus on your right knee, thigh, hip and pelvic region. Relax. Repeat the whole process for your left foot, knee, thigh and pelvic region.
- Now move your awareness, slowly and gently, to all parts of the body including waist, stomach, chest, shoulders and right arms. Relax all these parts. Feel the relaxation.
- Now move your attention and relax your throat, face and the top of the head.
- Be aware of your body as a whole and relax in this still state for a few minutes.
- After 5-7 minutes you should experience a profound sense of relaxation and peace of mind.
- You would feel that your body is now fully rested and tension free.
- Now, slowly bring your awareness to this place and surroundings. Mentally prepare to return to ordinary consciousness.
- Turn to your right side and Gently move your fingers for a few moments.
- Taking your own time, you may then slowly sit up, and take a deep breath, and then open your eyes.