Every Friday afternoon I give a 30 minute Yoga Nidra as part of the 1 hour Slow Yoga class.
But what is Yoga Nidra?
It is a systematic method of inducing a complete mental, emotional and physical relaxation taken usually in Savasana, lying down on the back – arms by the side with Palms facing up. Body supported and comfortable.
Yoga Nidra is a technique where we learn to relax whilst fully conscious. We do not sleep. Relaxation cannot fully take place if we are watching the TV, reading a book of we are involved in other sensory diversions.
So we take this laying posture, ‘we consciously turn awareness to inner domains and find a state between sleep and awakefulness and the subconscious and unconscious dimensions occurs spontaneously.’
During Yoga Nidra a verbally guided sequential rotation of consciousness is taken around the body so a ‘one pointed’ focus can give us a higher awareness of each body part. The mind is taken to these parts of the body and , allows us to focus on our self in stillness. This sense withdrawal is an aspect of Pratyahara, used in other meditation practices.
Additionally, breathing awareness, body awareness and visualisations are introduced as well as various other techniques used to keep the mind focused ones self.
The mind is kept passively internally active and this keeps us from using the mind for thoughts of a more external focus. Which is the difference to relaxing with a book or the TV which are externally focused ways of ‘stepping back’ and resting.
Another important aspect of Yoga Nidra is the practice of setting a Sankalpa (intention, heart felt desire) which as part of the practice assist in the changes one needs to make to invoke positive changes and attitudes.
Changing attitudes help to transfer a desire into the deeper subconscious mind so the intention can become a reality. The sankalpa is set at the beginning of Yoga Nidra.
After a 30 minute Yoga Nidra you will feel refreshed, alert and alleviated from anxiety and stress. The more we practice, like anything, the greater skilled we become.
Satyananda Yoga developed this technique more formally and it is their texts and System that I use during my classes.
I highly recommend you attend a session soon.
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