Yoga Nidra (Sanskrit for Yogic Sleep) is a powerful technique from the ancient Yoga tradition. The most easily observable effect of this practice is the extremely deep relaxation of your nervous system. The practitioner is guided and enters into the realm of the subconscious mind by leaving the waking stage, passing the dreaming state and entering into the deep sleep state of consciousness, yet. paradoxically, remaining fully awake. It is an extremely relaxing state and has been clinically shown to be one of the most powerful methods available to achieve this state without the use of chemical agents.
The specific guided sequence of the physical relaxation points of the body in Yoga Nidra, developed by the ancient yogis, parallels the exact sequence of the brain centres as shown by findings done in medi-cal research. You will access the subconscious and have the opportunity to effectively implant an affirmation; a resolve, of your choice. Once you reach the deepest state of physical and mental relaxation, the mind becomes receptive to new concepts. By reaching this stage through the specific sequence of mind-activating visualizations, and diligent practice, you will manifest the affirmations in your life. This is truly the magical aspect of this ancient art and science.
Yoga Nidra helps in restoring mental, emotional, and physical health by way of relaxation, and makes the mind more conducive to-withdrawing senses from their objects,-concentration, and meditation. Such a practice helps balance the two hemispheres of the brain and the two aspects of autonomous nervous system ( sympathetic and parasym-pathetic).
Yoga Nidra usually takes an average of half hour to complete. The procedure is carried out having the person lie on his or her back in a totally relaxed laying down position. Eyes are lightly closed, arms are kept with palms facing upwards, breathing is natural and quiet, and following the instructions of an experienced teacher.
As Yogi Amitram, visiting teacher to Canada from Haridwar, India, explains, ” Most people sleep without resolving there tensions. That is called normal sleep (nidra), but Yoga Nidra (yogic way of deep sleep) means sleep after throwing away all your burdens. This is a blissful deep sleep; an ancient scientific way to relax your inner-self. During Yoga Nidra we relax, step by step, the body, the breath, thoughts, emotions. and feelings. We relax all levels of our life!”
It is to be understood that ordinary sleep is not relaxation, for tensions cannot always be resolved completely in ordinary sleep. Yoga Nidra is qualitatively different relaxation. It is a ‘sleep’ where all the burdens are thrown off to attain more blissful state of awareness, a relaxation much more intense than ordinary sleep.