Yoga Nidra means psychic sleep.
It is a state of sleepless sleep where one is on the borderline between sleep and wakefulness. It is a state of inner awareness and contact with the subconscious and higher consciousness.
Bringing a state of deep relaxation
which can be used as a preliminary to sleep. Most people do not know how to sleep they fall asleep while thinking over some problem or while prey to some anxiety. In sleep their mind runs on and their body is tense. They wake up feeling lethargic and un rested.
A scientific way of sleeping
i.e. the practice yoga nidra before sleeping, the sleep will be deep, one will need fewer hours and one wakes up feeling fresh and energetic.
In yoga nidra the physical centers of the body become introverted. This is pratyahara. When the mind is fixed on a center, blood and energy are drawn to it and this causes withdrawal of the senses at that center. In the deep state of relaxation that results, tension is released, the mind becomes clear and thoughts are more powerful. In psychic sleep we contact our inner personality to change our attitude towards ourselves and others
Yoga Sutra 1-38
svapna = divine sleep
nidra = sleep (sound:peaceful)
jnana = understanding, remembering
alambanam = to support, think about
va = or
Ramaswami's Sutra Translation
Contemplation of restful sleep or a blissful, divine dream, is the sixth method (This is said to be the best state a mind can be in-try to hold the feeling).
This is the sixth method mentioned by Patanjali of nine, to remove impediments that keep you from meditating – or keep you from liberation. By practicing these one can come closer to freedom – removing depression, fragmented mind (duka) it helps to come to one pointed mind (ekagrata)
Used by yogis since time immemorial
bringing them face to face with the inner self. A resolve or sankalpa is made during the practice. It should be something of immense importance to you. Resolves are short sentences of moral significance to be embedded in the subconscious.
This autosuggestion is very powerful. Your sankalpa should be repeated several times during the practice and should be repeated in the yoga nidra for days and days together. Reflect on your resolve immediately after yoga nidra, before opening the eyes.
In practice the mind should
be taken up totally with the instructions, you must remain minutely aware throughout. Do not slumber. Do not try to understand or rationalize any of the words.
Practice yoga nidra lying down with the head flat on the floor, in shavasana the body should be straight and the head in line legs slightly apart and arms close to the body. Palms upwards. Lie completely still the body must be totally relaxed with the clothes loose. There should be no physical movement once yoga nidra has begun.
Pam, Thank you so much for holding the Yoga Nidra session. I am so glad I attended. It was a more than appropriate activity for a Friday evening, enabling me to unwind from the week and start the weekend on the right note. I truly enjoyed following the guided path you took us on. I found it mind challenging and mind soothing bringing alertness and stillness, both active and peaceful. I left the studio feeling both mentally and physically serene, and with many thought provoking moments to reflect on. Yoga Nidra was a very interesting experience that I would certainly like to participate again and again.Rebecca