Describing Yoga Nidra is a bit like reading a description of honey before you’ve ever tasted honey. The actual taste experience is beyond words. Nevertheless, understanding how yoga nidra works helps the mind relax and allows a much deeper experience.
Yoga Nidra is a most profound and natural state of meditation. Through the process of being guided into being conscious of different sensations throughout your body, and of opposing experiences such as warmth & coolness, agitation & calmness, fear & equanimity, sorrow & joy, separation & oneness – you are invited to rotate your attention through these different changing sensations, through pairs of opposites, until you embody these opposing experiences and sensations with neither attachment nor aversion, and with complete awareness.
The outcome or benefits that can be derived from this deep meditative process include:
- feeling completely free of conflict
- feeling radiantly light and joyful
- being totally relaxed and at the same time expansively present
Many of us know of the fragile peace that’s easily disturbed by the onslaught of daily life. Yoga Nidra is a form of meditation that can assist you to cultivate or remember that space of pure awareness – that unshakable steadiness that exists in each one of us, and that is present in all circumstances and situations, bearing in mind, that the true test of inner peace or consciousness is not in the meditation hall or studio, but in our daily life.
At the core of Yoga Nidra and all yoga and mediation practices – is NOT a dogma, but rather, a system that blends with many universal principles that are concerned with knowing one thing – WHO WE TRULY ARE.
At its minimum, Yoga Nidra will lead you to experience profound relaxation, the release of chronic stress, restful sleep, and a greater sense of harmony in your daily life and relationships
At it’s ULTIMATE – Yoga Nidra points to your True Nature – a peaceful countenance and steadiness that is available to you, to every person, right now.
The Process – Yoga Nidra mimics sleep, however, you want to remain alert throughout the practice. Hence, if you do decide to do it at home, practice in a room other than where you sleep in, and definitely not on your bed – there’s a subconscious connection between your bed and falling asleep.
The Process – Yoga Nidra approximates sleep, but unlike sleep where the mind unconsciously identifies with the dream, during Yoga Nidra you WITNESS these dream-like fragments. You remain observing and aware without falling into unconscious identification with the different sensations and images.
Yoga Nidra is not hypnosis. It is a form of meditation that goes through the different layers to your being – your physical body, emotional sheath, the mind, the ego, etc. Going through these different layers is like visiting a new destination – being in this new place without attachment to the many changing factors – you are completely present, observing – you are completely WITH these various sensations
How to Set-up for Yoga Nidra
Lie down flat, put a bolster under your knees, a blanket over the body, and an eye pillow. Now RELAX THE BODY….
Step 1: Set an intention to give the practice your wholehearted attention. Silently say to yourself, “I give this practice my whole-hearted attention.” Acknowledge your desire to remain focused, to remain aware, to get in touch with the witnessing part of you.
Step 2: is to choose a Sancalpa or intention, or AFFIRMATION – Let this affirmation be a heartfelt prayer in the present tense – instead of a future possibility. Meditation encourages us to acknowledge the NOW.
Finish the line, “I am ________” (whole, healed and healthy). OR “My true nature is _________” . Silently say this to yourself once again to acknowledge your affirmation. Then set your affirmation aside gently – you will visit them again at the end of your practice.
We have available MP3 meditation classes for you to download: