Yoga Nidra and Meditation
The practice of Yoga Nidra induces complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. In yoga nidra, the state of relaxation is reached by turning inwards, away from outer experiences. If the consciousness is separated from external awareness and from sleep, it becomes very powerful and can be applied in many ways. For example, to develop the memory, increase knowledge and creativity or transform one’s nature.
Life in the modern age has become particularly trying. Standards of living have improved. Yet man suffers under the weight of present-day living, both mentally and physically. The art of relaxation has been forgotten.
Normally people think that they are relaxing when they collapse on an easy chair with a cup of coffee, a drink or a cigarette, and read a newspaper or listen to music or watch television.
But this will never suffice as a scientific definition of relaxation. These are only sensory diversions. True relaxation is actually an experience far beyond all this. For absolute relaxation, you must remain aware and you relax consciously.
Research has established that Yoga Nidra practice helps deal with stressful conditions, offers insight to meet the demands of present-day problems as well and help improve the quality and happiness of human life.
Yoga Nidra can be defined as a state of conscious deep sleep. It is both the name of a specific practice and a state of being. It is a state of mind in between wakefulness and dream. Normally when we sleep, we loose track of our self and cannot utilize this capacity of mind. Yoga Nidra enables the person to be conscious in this state and nurture the seed of great will power, inspire the higher self, and enjoy the vitality of life.
Yoga Nidra restructures and transforms our whole personality from within. With every session of yoga nidra we are actually burning our old Samskaras, habits and tendencies in order to be born anew. The sowing of seeds of change is found in Sankalpa, which you make for yourself during each practice. Sankalpa can be translated as resolve or resolution. It is the most powerful method for reshaping your personality.
Explore and practice the various aspects of the yogic technique of Yoga Nidra. The first Yogi to actively teach and educate people on Yoga Nidra was Paramamamsa Swami Saatyananda Saraswati and furthered by Paramahamsa Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati.
Article by The Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center San Francisco