Yoga Nidra is a deeply powerful restorative guided meditation practice, which incorporates breath, relaxation, a clear intention and mindfulness techniques.
Yoga Nidra translates to Yogic sleep in Sanskrit. Yoga Nidra is a meditation technique that induces a state of deep, but conscious relaxation, that isn’t found in your average meditation practice. It is a systematic form of guided meditation, typically practiced laying down for 30 to 45 minutes at a time. A systematic rotation of consciousness in the body works on balancing the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system, inducing many healing benefits. The stages include breath awareness, rotation of consciousness in the body, a clear intention (sankalpa) and mindfulness techniques which works on guiding you to a state of complete non-doing. It works by disengaging your thoughts and taking you to brainwave states similar to sleep in a conscious state, your body sleeps, whilst you remain conscious. It’s a state of being between sleep and consciousness that’s conducive to deep emotional, mental and physical healing.
Yoga Nidra allows us to resolve and release unprocessed emotions and experiences, that have never been processed. These unprocessed emotions and experiences remain stuck within us, forming blocks and limiting beliefs that impact our lives. Whilst in deep meditative states of Yoga Nidra we can let go of these unprocessed emotions and experiences. What makes Yoga Nidra unique is that these unprocessed emotions and experiences leave us without us ever knowing what they were or where they came from. Yoga Nidra allows us to heal deeply ingrained blocks/memories/impressions (samskaras), which enables us to witness our experiences of life without the attachment of the experience, so it moves through us. Through this our state of being is transformed.
Yoga Nidra is a yogic practice that’s becoming increasingly popular as both a form of meditation and a mind-body therapy. Many healing benefits include:
* boost the immune system
* reduce high blood pressure
* balance the automatic nervous system
* feel peace and calm
* release muscular, mental and emotional tensions
* awaken your creativity
* increase mental clarity and balance
* increase focus and greater concentration
* reduce anxiety and stress
* induce restful sleep
* slows aging
* release of melatonin, serotonin and GABA
* reduces effects of metabolic syndrome
* recharge and balance the chakra system
* lowers cholesterol
* improve digestion and blood sugar balance
* stimulates the Pineal gland
The origins of Yoga Nidra is an ancient yogic practice originating in the ancient tantric texts. Yoga Nidra is over a 1000 years old, and was first practiced in 500-600 CE. In modern times, the practice was spread by Satyananda Saraswati. Satyananda Yoga Nidra method includes eight stages:
- Sankalpa (intention formed in the heart/mind)
- Rotation of consciousness
- Breath awareness
- Manifestation of opposites
- Creative visualisation
- Sankalpa (the intention is repeated mentally)
In more recent times, Yogi Amrit Desai further advanced Yoga Nidra. The Integrative Amrit Method of Yoga Nidra (I AM Yoga Nidra) follows a similar pattern of stages (as above), and includes 6 tools that work on three primary levels spiritual, psychological/behavioural and physical:
The purpose of Yoga Nidra is to awaken the infinite potential within you. Through Yoga Nidra, your consciousness is expanded and experienced at a extremely deep level. In this state you can restore and rejuvenate your mind and body. You have the potential to transform your state of being, wellbeing and to master your life.
“Yoga Nidra is the master key to initiating shifts in conscious sleep states where change happens outside of doing. In Yoga Nidra you enter a state of non-doing in which transformation happens from beyond the mind rather than through the mind. In this highly regenerative meditative state you can restore and rejuvenate your body, heal and recover from illness and re-wire your brain for greater mental and emotional balance and resiliency” Kamini Desai, PHD
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