Yoga Nidra - Learning to relax in a busy World
03 February 2014,01:36:48 BST
"At the point of sleep when sleep has not yet come and external wakefulness vanishes, at this point being is revealed." (Vigyana Bhairava Tantra)
Have you ever been angry and someone told you to "relax"? Or perhaps been upset, anxious or stressed and been advised to "just relax"? Maybe suffered with insomnia due to too many thoughts? Unfortunately finding relaxation is not so simple. In fact, when we are told to relax we very often tense up or get more stressed because of the pressure to relax.
The yogis have the perfect solution: the practise of Yoga Nidra. A technique comprised of various meditation, breathing and awareness techniques to create calm, release and ease in body and mind.
Translated as Yogic Sleep, Yoga Nidra, is a guided relaxation where we remain awake and aware. It takes us into a state of complete rest without the pressure of being told to relax. In fact, you are never told to relax but given specific techniques that occupy mind and body and relaxation occurs all on its own. It is said that 45 minutes of Yoga Nidra compares to 4 hours of sleep. Most practises last from 25-40 minutes.
The practise can be immensely healing. A proper Yoga Nidra is much deeper than a "relaxation" or short guided Shavasana. It is a Tantric practise which which includes Nyasa (bringing attention to different body part/body scan), guided imagery and breath awareness. Some teachers may include powerful symbols, chakras or mantras.
You will start resting in Shavasana making sure you are warm and comfortable. The teacher will guide you to settle body, breath and mind. Perhaps you have a Sankalpa, a resolution or intention, for your practise. From here you will be guided into a space of complete "letting go", healing and rest.
On spiritual level we awaken our consciousness and Yoga Nidra becomes a meditation. It offers us a break from external impressions. Here we can find our Truth, Centre and Self. When we reach such a state of consciousness there is potential for immense growth and peace.
In a world where we are in constant stimulation and glorify busyness Yoga Nidra is a tool for complete relaxation for our nervous system. An escape from an outward chaotic life towards a peaceful and content inner life.
There are many Yoga Nidra recordings for download. You can find few FREE recordings on my website.
Enjoy your Yoga Nidra Practise any time (after yoga, as a morning meditation or afternoon refresher) - and let me know how you get on by connecting on facebook, twitter or instagram.
Anja Brierley Lange
Founder of Yoga Embodied
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