The deepest meditation you’ll ever experience
What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. Yoga means union, nidra means sleep. The characteristic feature of Yoga Nidra is the rotation of consciousness which originated in the tantric practice of Nyasa. Nyasa means to place or take the mind to that point. Originally, Sanskrit mantras were placed at different parts throughout the body. Modern day yoga nidra no longer uses Sanskrit so it can be practiced by everyone.
The Yogic texts all state that peace can only be found within, never without. If we wish to create a more peaceful world, we must first learn how to relax and harmonise our own body and mind.
The practice can be used in two ways:
· Conscious practice during the day to get into deeper brainwaves
· Quiet the mind if you struggle with insomnia and allow to melt into sleep
Why practice Yoga Nidra?
The deep relaxation that comes with yoga nidra is a way to dive between the layers of tension to heal our body and reconnect on the deepest level.
In this state we can observe our habits and thoughts without attaching any emotions to them and then we can choose whether we’re ready to let go.
Yoga Nidra relieves all tension, muscular tension which is the tension that we hold within the tissues of our body including our nervous system and endocrine imbalances, these are easily removed with yoga nidra.
It also addresses our emotional tension, that’s the tension that stems from various forms of duality, love and hate, success and failure, happiness and sadness. These are more difficult to address because many of us choose to repress our emotions. Instead of dealing with them which causes them to become more deeply rooted. Ordinary relaxation and sleep do not address these tensions but yoga nidra is like a tranquilizer for the entire emotional structure of the mind.
Mental tensions are also handled through yoga nidra, this is the tension that comes from excessive mental activity. All of our experiences are stored within the mental body. Sometimes we experience an explosion of emotions and we may blame a surface level.
Think about a time when you’ve been driving in your car and someone cut you off and you have an overreaction to that situation. The reason for this overreaction is due to the accumulated tension in the mental body.
In Yoga Nidra we dive below the conscious mind into the realm of the subconscious to relax these mental tensions, so we can experience harmony once more.
Swami Satyanda explains Yoga Nidra as, most people sleep without resolving their tensions, this is termed ‘Nidra’. Nidra means sleep, no matter what or why. But Yoga Nidra means to sleep after throwing off the burdens. It is a blissful, higher quality altogether.
Yoga Nidra impacts your brain. The progressive movement of awareness through parts of the body not only induce physical relaxation but it actually clears the nerve pathways to the brain. The precise order of rotation of consciousness is critical to stimulate the entire brain as well as to influence the proper pranic flow of energy. Particular attention is paid to the hands, fingers, lips and nose which occupy areas of the brain that’re almost as large as the space allotted to the entire rest of the body.
What is neuroplasticity? We need to know that to understand why yoga nidra is working. Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by forming a new neuro connection. Every thought that we have leaves a trace in the brain, a neuro pathway. Science is now proving what Aristoteles said: We are what we continually do. What that means is even if we consider ourselves to be a pessimist, we have the ability to change it. Think about it in this way, you have a forest and there is one path that is continually walked. That path is all of our negative thoughts. Then we practice yoga nidra and become aware of it and we consciously begin to choose a different path. So each time a negative thought arises, we notice it and change it to a thought that feels better. And in that way we begin to clear a brand new pathway within our brain.
Hover in Delta = brainwave of intuition, insight, consciousness itself, sometimes known as Ananda, bliss, or ultimate reality. This is considered to be unconscious dreamland, deep sleep. In yoga Nidra the brainwaves are at this level as the practitioner is in conscious deep sleep beyond the activity experienced at all other levels.
Some people mistakingly believe that Yoga Nidra brings them to Theta which is our creativity, our deep relaxation, deep sleep state. So these are the brainwaves that are normally considered unconscious, drousy, half asleep.
We’re dropping below theta, into delta.
In Yoga Nidra we leave the waking state through the dream state and into the deep sleep state. Yet, we remain fully awake. You will always be in control with this practice. You can move at any time. You can stop at any time. This is simply deep relaxation.