When you make a New Year's resolution, how long does it last? Just as a plant needs regular water to grow, your resolution will only become strong and realised if you repeat it regularly. In Yoga nidra you are asked to make a short resolution and to repeat this three times at the beginning and at the end of the practice. So rather than only once a year, in yoga nidra your resolution can be strengthened by repeating it all year round!
In the modern world, filled with obligations , demands and competition, as well as the exposure to a mass of information via the radio, television, advertising, emails and newspapers, have influence on the senses as well as the nervous system, often leading to sensory fatigue, unrelieved by a normal nights sleep. If this sounds familiar to you, Yoga Nidra may be a great help.
The word ‘Nidra’ means ‘sleep’. The meditative technique of Yoga Nidra was described in the old Tantric texts. During the practice of Yoga Nidra the consciousness remains between the two states of sleep and being awake, without having a relationship with either one of these. This process in which the senses are withdrawn has been described by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutra’s and called ‘Pratyahara’. Only two senses remain active, that of hearing and that of feeling.
During the Yoga Nidra practice the unconscious mind is most dominant. Yoga Nidra relaxes physical, mental and emotional stress, or restlessness, bringing you closer to your true Self.
One hour of Yoga Nidra practice is equivalent to four hours sleep. During normal sleep there is no consciousness of the body, or the external environment. Despite physical and mental tension it is still possible to fall asleep. During Yoga Nidra physical and mental tensions are removed consciously.
Yoga Nidra is used in order to learn languages, or large amounts of information, such as is the case prior to examinations. Furthermore it is used with acute as well as chronic illnesses such as hypertension, heart and vascular diseases, arthritis, CARA, stomach ulcers, migraine and anxiety. It deeply relaxes the mind in cases of mental overload.
Op deze C.D. wordt de aandacht gelegd op de Kshetram punten, samen met bewust ademhalen. Kshetram punten liggen op de voorkant van het bovenlijf en zijn verbonden met de energiepunten in de wervelkolom, de chakra’s.
Deze C.D. bevat oefeningen verbonden met zowel de ademhaling en als het bewust maken van verschillende delen van het lichaam. Tevens wordt een mooie, uitgebreide en gedetailleerde visualisatie gegeven van een bergwandeling in de vroege ochtendnevel.
In addition to exercises in which different parts of the body are visualised and made conscious, an exercise is practiced involving breathing alternatively through one nostril, then the other. This is called Nadi Shodhana in Sanskrit. The nostrils are connected to the central nervous system, as well as to two very important energy canals in the body called Ida and Pingal. This exercise cleans these energy canals and removes any blockages.
During the practice of Yoga Nidra, old impressions or memories of events and experiences that have been stored in the unconscious may surface to the conscious level. Because the stages of Yoga Nidra are designed to create a deep level of relaxation, there is no physical, emotional or mental reaction if this occurs. In fact, the moment such impressions or memories reach the conscious level, any effect they may have on our physical, emotional or mental selves is neutralized; they stay in the ‘archive’ of our unconscious mind, but no longer have the power to influence our behaviour or thinking. If you have any need to discuss what you have experienced during the practice of Yoga Nidra, please contact David Lonsdale, or any certified Satyananda Yoga teacher. The teaching of Yoga Nidra is only advised after one year of regular Yoga Nidra practice. Workshops dealing with the practice of Yoga Nidra are given regularly by Satyananda Yoga Centres.
Practising Yoga Nidra is not recommended for people suffering from depression, psychosis and schizophrenia.
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This practice has been adapted from the book Yoga Nidra written by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Photography and voice by David Lonsdale. Recorded and edited by Luke Nijman. Graphics by Jon Anderson. Proofread by Caroline Reineke.