Written with the inspiration of Anandmurti Gurumaa. This article is written in the guidance of the Guru .
The path of spirituality is the path of truth.
Knowing reality is the end point of this journey.The mind is so habitual to its perpetual search of happiness from the external world .
Blind folding by ignorance people can’t see the truth. There are very few people on earth who get to meet an enlightened master .
This journey of life from ignorance to enlightenment is not only the most important but also the most difficult one . Yoga Nidra is one such unique technique which helps the meditator to transcend false identification, this practice acts as an important gateway to knowing one’s true identity .
What is yoga Nidra ?
Yoga nidra is derived from the tantras , a powerful technique in which we learn to relax consciously. Sleep is not relaxing because a restless mind means a sleep full of dreams or no sleep at all . When we come to yoga nidra , it is a state of dynamic sleep . During the practice of yoga nidra , one appears to be asleep,but consciousness continues to function at a deeper level of awareness.
Yoga Nidra cleanses the mind , improves memory and sharpens the intellect . All psychosomatic diseases such as hypertension , asthma , skin diseases are related to a stressed- out mind .
Many people think that relaxation is simple , just close your eyes and sit or lie down , but this is not true relaxation .
How Ancient is Yoga Nidra ?
Our yogis and rishis knew the importance of yoga nidra . They used this tool to explore the level of consciousness and used experience to progress on the path of inner awakening .
There is a vast difference between deep sleep and a sleep full of dreams. Physical stress,mental and emotional distress prevent occurrence of deep sleep. Due to disturbed sleep, people keep tossing and turning in their beds, waking Up many times and thus feel tired in the morning despite lying in bed for 6 to 10 hours . To relax completely , we must be free from all physical , mental, and emotional tensions.
Let us take an example- when we go to a spa, they can work only on your muscles. A good massage will work on only your muscles and joints , but what about your emotional tension ? There is no spa which can massage your mind ! So , despite apparent physical relaxation , our mind is still full of all kinds of emotional baggage and mental distress .
Preparation For The Practice
Yoga nidra should be practiced in a quiet room free of insects . The room temperature should be comfortable, not too hot nor too cold. If yoga nidra is practiced in an open space,the head of the body should be completely covered to avoid any physical disturbance . Yoga nidra is practiced in semi-darkness and not in bright light . It should be practiced on an empty stomach . One should be particularly careful of not falling into a deep slumber during yoga nidra, otherwise the whole purpose of yoga nidra is defeated . It is always preferable for beginners to learn and practice Yoga nidra under the guidance of a Guru .
Yoga nidra is practiced in shavasana . one should lie on the floor , on a blanket or a mat . The spine should be straight . The arms should be straight and placed slightly away from the body.The hands should be relaxed, palms upward, with the fingers slightly bent .
Following are the steps taken place in practice :-
3 Rotation of Awareness
4 Breath Awareness
Why Yoga Nidra ? Do you ever wonder where all the information , perceptions, thoughts are stored ? Why do you remember only some things, some events and not others ?
Our mind has 3 layers
Conscious mind is at work when we process sensory inputs and then make decisions based on the information .
Subconscious is the next layer of mind ,we can say that it is the storehouse of all the experiences,memories and tendencies left by the past experiences.
The deepest layer of our mind is the realm of the unconscious . It contains deep impressions of past experiences and root desires which are far below our conscious awareness.
Mind has a habit of thinking all the time and people are not aware of their own thoughts.
Scientists have shown that under the influence of stress , worries and tensions, there is increased release of cortisol in the body and this harms the body , the effects are not dissimilar to that of a termite .
Benefits of yoga nidra
Bliss of students
Overcome Fears and Phobias
There are three types of Karma – Prarabdha Karma ,Sanchit Karma and Agami Karma .
Yoga nidra helps in relieving stress without the use of medication or harmful substances. This technique of conscious sleeping gives manifold benefits of deep sleep .
Alpha waves calm the nervous system , lower blood pressure , lower cortisol and promote deep relaxation . So many benefits without popping any pills!
Can yoga nidra grant us a long life ?
What is a life that is long but with no profundity ? We should not aim for a life that is long , instead we should work in the direction of making it meaningful and add some depth to it .