What is yoga nidra?
Yoga Nidra is a technique, which induces Yogistic sleep; and is defined as a state of meditation, where you’re awake but feeling or experiencing a deep relax conscious sleep. It isalso apractice of conscious relaxation for physical, mental, and emotional rest”.
Here Nidra is a Sanskrit word, which relates to sleep in English language. Yoga are different form of body postures, controlling breathing, balancing of mind, and transcends of soul. By joining two words “nidra + yoga” we get = “nidra yoga”.
In nidra yoga techniques the yogis or practitioners experiences a state of sleepless sleep. It’s the best way to experience harmonizing of three aspects of human existence “body, mind, and soul”. In this yogic technique one can link oneself to “consciousness, sub-consciousness, and unconsciousness” while being at state of relaxation. The yogic sleep is therefore, a state which lies somewhere between being wake and sleeping.
It can be done under expert yogi, yoga teacher, or following a set of audio instructions. This article will deal with the simple steps to practice nidra yoga.
Note: Author, recommends to start learning nidra yoga under an expert, before one starts practice following sets of audio instructions.
10 Simple Guidelines to Start Nidra Yoga Technique:
- Identify & connect to self : To get involved in any yoga form or matter of interest one must bring forth one’s heartfelt longing . To imagine, feel, and experience such longing in your body is the start of nidra yogic practice. Experience or feel the desire, as if it was real.
- Definitive Intention: To work on one’s intention for the day is always necessary. Your intention may be to relax, or to belief, or to imagine, or to rest; whatever, it is just let your body, mind, and soul demonstrates it.
- Identify one’s Strength & Resource: Try to identify what gives you strength, security, and feeling of safety. Make it your inner resource to give you the feeling of being secure, at ease, and vital strength while practicing yoga.
- Understand one’s Body: One need to make the body aware, scan its different parts, and sense every organ. The sensing of the body should be done like a scanner. It should start from your feet and run up to forehead. In between one must feel or sense their limb, hip, pelvis, torso, arm, throat, neck, mouth, ears, nose, eyes, forehead. This makes you aware of body conscious self.
- Feel one’s breathing: Observe the way your respiratory process functions; observe the flow of air. Try to note the inhaling through nostrils, through nasal pipe to wind pipe to lungs. Observe, how your abdomen rise and fall with every inhale and exhale. This observation of flowing of energy will give slowly control over your breathing.
- Observe one’s feeling: One must welcome every feeling while practicing. There should not be discrimination, let all emotions, sensation, and changes present in your body or mind float. This experience of opposites between sensations and emotions, as well as evaporation of feelings slowly will one day give mastery over body and mind.
- Observe one’s Thoughts: Observe your thoughts constantly while practicing. Its best way to witness the memories, images, and thinking patterns. One must not try to influence it or change it. Thus, witness of thoughts will lead to self-belief, convictions, and inner change slowly.
- Feel Joy: The feeling of joy is next; with every exhalation try to experience bliss, warmth, well-being, and joy within. This radiating of joyousness will reflect on your image, personality, and mental outlook.
- Observe Self:Try to observe the I-ness in oneself, try to observe your personality, try to observe like or dislikes, try to observe your identity, and try to observe everything that depicts you. This experience will lead to awareness of one’s own feelings. One will slowly get dissolve into consciousness of self.
- Think about your Practice: After, completion of the yoga nidra one must try to reflect or think about the process. This focusing on the process will slowly start to bring the transformation, awareness, and develop a sense of equanimity within your “conscious, sub-conscious, and unconscious”.
Note: This article is written by an expert who delivers 200 hours yoga teacher training course in Goa. The author just intended to focus on the mental side of the yoga technique; for the physical practice one needs to take class under an expert yogi.