We all have had days where we feel completely exhausted and drained out. When life takes a toll on your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing, there is just that one place where you really want to escape to – your inner self. A state of complete relaxation where you can find inner peace is what you desire the most. But how do you achieve this? The answer to this lies in Yogic science, the ultimate mind and body practice developed and practiced by the great sages of ancient India- it is called Yoga Nidra.
-- What is Yoga Nidra?
-- Interesting facts about Yoga Nidra
-- Yoga Nidra benefits
-- How to do Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra is a deep state of consciousness between the stages of sleep and wakefulness where you can experience ultimate relaxation. A type of sleep yoga or sleep meditation, Yoga Nidra allows the body, the mind, and the soul to withdraw from all the material things around you so that you become increasingly aware of your inner self. The great seers of ancient India used to practice this type of nidra yoga as a way to attain salvation by reaching a state of meditative consciousness, called Samadhi.
During Yoga Nidra, one appears to be asleep, but in fact, he/she is in a state of profound relaxation with functioning consciousness and a deeper sense of awareness about the inner self. One experiences extraordinary happiness arising out of a deep state of relaxation and gets detached from all kinds of unwanted thoughts and emotions.
The modern-day form of Yoga Nidra is developed and popularized by Swami Sathyananda, the pioneer in Yogic science. It is said that, when he was a young disciple of Swami Sivananda, once he fell asleep near a group of sages chanting mantras. But regardless of his sound sleep, he was able to memorize and chant those hymns once he woke up, as his body was in a state of deep consciousness. This prompted him to develop a systematic and well-defined pattern of Yoga Nidra, accessible to all.
An artfully simple but powerful technique, Yoga Nidra demands the most comfortable Shavasana (lying down on your back like a corpse with eyes closed and palm facing upwards) as the ideal posture to perform the technique. Then with a peaceful mind, slowly and systematically follow these simple steps of the widely accepted Satyananda Yoga Nidra to achieve the blissful state of relaxation.
• Stage 1 – Internalization: This is the preparatory stage where you try to withdraw all 5 senses from the outside world and concentrates more on your breath. This stage is all about shifting yourself from external awareness, releasing the tensions and slowly withdrawing inwards.
• Stage 2 – Sankalpa: Now that you have started to relax, you need to make a positive affirmation about a very general or very specific thing that you desire to fulfill or achieve. It can be related to anything in your life – happiness, health, success likewise. This helps you have a definite aim and direction and aids in remodeling your personality.
• Stage 3 – Rotation of consciousness: Slowly and systematically, start rotating the internal awareness to your body parts and release the tension. Any body part that is habitually tensed is concentrated more and relaxed at this stage.
• Stage 4 – Breath awareness: Slowly shift your concentration to the pattern of breathing. Be aware of inhalation, exhalation and the brief pauses between them. Gradually try to make the breath pattern steady. This awakens the higher centers of the brain and allows the energy to spread all over the body.
• Stage 5 – Manifestation of opposites: This stage is intended to relax you emotionally. Try to appreciate the opposite sensations or emotions from the depth of your mind. This helps you attain composure, emotional stability and will power and more compassionate towards everything around you.
• Stage 6 – Creative visualization: Try to visualize creative images in your mind and concentrate on it. It can be a beautiful beach or sunset or anything that you want to see. Explore it deeply. This will cleanse and detach the mind from all the unwanted, painful and disturbing things around you.
• Stage 7 – Sankalpa: Think again about the positive affirmation that you made in the beginning. Since the mind and body have become more receptive and relaxed at this stage, the promise that you made can root deep into the subconscious mind. Your subconscious mind now takes up the task of reminding and prompting you about the promise and thrives to achieve it.
• Stage 8 – Externalization: Now you enter the last and important stage where you slowly shift your internal awareness and gradually drift towards the state of being awake. Take the time you need as it can leave you disoriented and confused if you do it on a fast pace. Open your eyes slowly and experience the ultimate bliss and wish yourself peace.
Yoganidra is the easiest way to attain profound relaxation. It allows you to realize the innate happiness when you need it the most. Make Yoga Nidra a part of your daily routine and experience the realms of peace and consciousness within you. It can change your life.
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