Known to sages and yogis for over thousands of years and forming a part of the Eastern Yogic tradition, Yoga nidra is a unique way of practicing ‘exercise without movement’. It is a methodical way of bringing about complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation and rejuvenation. Contrary to its literal translation, yoga nidra is not just a sleep but a dynamic state of watchful awareness and profound relaxation. Touted to be amongst the most intensive of all meditation practices, yoga nidra leads one’s mental processes to a state of absolute calm and unparalleled intuition.
Mandukya Upanishad expounds clearly the features of Yoga Nidra which help distinguish and demarcate it from the three states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep. As you leave the waking state and go past the dreaming state into a state of deep sleep, yoga nidra is unique in that you remain fully aware even in your sleep. It thus offers the most potent, yet one of the least tested ways for releasing the power of one’s deep unconscious.
With its ability to alter one’s unconscious set up, yoga nidra provides one with a truly relaxing experience which is way beyond that felt through the mere sensory pleasures of everyday life. It helps one to cope with the hidden as well as manifested irritants that continually bombard and hamper the human potential and affect physical and mental well-being. It provides one with the most capable means to de-stress oneself. Yoga Nidra is also the ideal way to end one’s yoga practice as it helps cool down the body after a yoga sequence and retain the energy from the yogic exercises.
It helps one cleanse the mind and get rid of the mental dirt in the form of potentially harmful thoughts, fears, faiths and habits. As your unconscious self begins to synchronize with your conscious desires, you begin experiencing incredible serenity, tranquility, hush and clarity. Yoga nidra thus offers one the simplest and most powerful tool to reshape and rebuild one’s life and health. It is beneficial to young and old persons alike as it cures many mental and physical ailments and its practice by pregnant women is also beneficial to both mother and child. It is known to induce relaxation of the cardiac and skeletal muscles and that of the nervous system, abatement of stress-related diseases and a reduced need for sleep.
It neither requires long years of practice to master its technical knitty-gritties nor a scholarly interpretation of complicated processes. The most important point to be taken care of while performing yoga nidra as well as all other meditation practices is to not fall asleep. It may be performed by anybody only after a little training from a guru. While one may perform Yoga nidra by oneself, without help of a guru, there are bright chances of you falling asleep which renders the entire exercise futile and ineffective. It is therefore advisable and most suitable to embark on this journey under guidance of a trained master.
Delve into the peaceful practice of yoga nidra and experience the pleasant sensations of glee, delight, comfort and bliss emanating from within yourself and embracing your body, mind and soul. At Abhinam Yoga School, Yoga Nidra is often used as a relaxing tool at our yoga teacher trainings in India.