Yoga Nidra – Deep Conscious Relaxation State
First of all, let’s establish that Yoga Nidra is not a concentration exercise. Most “meditation techniques” instruct you to concentrate completely on your breath, a sound, or an object. In Yoga Nidra, you’re actually trying really hard not to concentrate. By concentrating, you stay in the conscious mind and out of the unconscious mind. Yoga Nidra invites you to move past the conscious mind and into the unknown.
According to Dr. Richard Miller, “Yoga Nidra dissolves the obstacles that stand in the way of out leading an authentic life of purpose and meaning, and for those who are interested, it can awaken us into living an enlightened life of self-realization as our True Nature.”
Satyananda Yoga Nidra was devised by Sri Swami Satyananda Saraswati from traditional Tantric practices and has had a major impact on the world of yoga. Satyananda Yoga Nidra is a pratyahara technique in which the distractions of the mind are contained and the mind is allowed to relax. This practice has had a profound transformative effect on practitioners. Satyananda Yoga Nidra™ (from http://www.biharyoga.net/yoga-vision/satyananda-yoga-nidra/)
People feel that they are relaxing when they collapse in an easy chair with a cup of tea or coffee, a drink or a cigarette and read a newspaper or switch on the television. But this, in fact, is merely sensory diversion. Twentieth century research into sleep has proven that even entering into this traditional haven will rarely banish stress. True relaxation is an experience far beyond all this. For absolute relaxation one must remain aware. This is Satyananda Yoga Nidra, the state of dynamic sleep.
Satyananda Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. During the practice, one appears to be asleep, but the consciousness is functioning at a deeper level of awareness.
Yoga Nidra can assist in the achievement of a state of so called self-realization (complete self-awareness) and true meditation: Yoga Nidra helps in restoring mental, emotional, and physical health by way of relaxation, and makes the mind more conducive to Pratyahara – withdrawing senses from their objects, Dharana – concentration, and Dhyana – contemplation, the main steps towards meditation.
The practice helps harmonize the two hemispheres of the brain and the two aspects of the autonomous nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic). The impressions in the subconscious are brought to surface, observed, experienced and removed. Thus, the fixation of awareness on the body is replaced with the awareness linked to subtler aspects of Prana (life force) and spiritual dimensions allowing for maximizing of the pure yet unmanifested potential within.
Above all, Yoga Nidra, especially as a therapeutic practice, is a fantastic tool for manifesting change in one’s life.
The main benefits of Yoga Nidra are:
- Everyone can practice, even beginners with no experience.
- Physical stresses and tensions are removed.
- Mental stresses and unwanted impressions are removed.
- Emotional balance is restored.
- The faculties of imagination and visualization are practiced and enhanced.
- The subconscious is focused on, and able to manifest any personal goal be it physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
- Yoga Nidra is very helpful to reach a real state of meditation, with time, practice and dedication.