Yoga Nidra

WHAT IS YOGA NIDRA?

Yoga Nidra is often referred to as "yogic sleep". It is a systematic method of guided relaxation that has a profound effect on the body, the mind, and the emotions. Lying in a comfortable position, you will be encouraged to remain awake and relaxed while you are guided through various stages of deeper relaxation where you turn your awareness to the inner landscape, away from external experiences. Just melt into the peacefulness. You can not do Yoga Nidra wrong! You may not hear everything that is guided, and you may even feel as if you fell asleep. Yoga Nidra will still work!

During Yoga Nidra you will be invited to enter the hypnagogic state between wakefulness and dreaming where we usually spend only a few minutes daily as we drift off to sleep. In this state, the mind is very relaxed and receptive. People have noticed that this practice helps to reduce stress, promote emotional and physical healing, and increase creativity.  It encourages the release of deeply rooted habitual patterns that keep us from reaching our true potential. In general, the practice of Yoga Nidra can support our attempts to embody our True Nature and to achieve clarity and equanimity as we ride the ups and downs of everyday life.

THE 8 STAGES OF YOGA NIDRA

During Yoga Nidra you will be systematically guided through each layer, or kosha, of your being: physical, energetic, mental/emotional, wisdom/intuition, and spiritual. True healing occurs because Yoga Nidra brings balance to each level of our being.

  1. Initial Relaxation: Begin to relax into the meditation experience.
  2. Intention, Sankalpa: Create a short statement in the present tense based on your heart's deepest longing, for example "I will enjoy total health." "I am abundant at all levels of being." "I am cheerful and content."
  3. Rotation of Consciousness: Allow your awareness to travel throughout your body as you listen to the instructor.
  4. Breath and Energy Awareness: Draw your attention to the sensations and the unaltered breath.
  5. Sense Perception: Allow yourself to experience sensations or emotions, often in opposites, without judging or reacting emotionally.
  6. Images, Visualization, Journey: Visualize a series of unrelated images or a complete guided journey. This section may include symbols, archetypes, chakras, elements, and guided healing.
  7. Sankalpa: Reaffirm your initial statement.
  8. Return: Slowly return to being awake, calm, and refreshed. 

YOGA NIDRA RECORDINGS

You can find recordings of yoga nidra in the Home Practice section under Student Resources.

YOGA NIDRA RESOURCES

I AM DEEPLY GRATEFUL TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE WHO HAVE INSPIRED ME AND FROM WHOM I HAVE BORROWED LIBERALLY.

Swami Jnaneshavara Bharati

Joseph and Lillian LePaige
Richard Miller
Jennifer Reis
Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Imagination is more important than knowledge
- Albert Einstein