Relaxation For Health_Yoga Nidra

If I were to tell you relaxation was work, you'd be laughing, right!

Ideals of relaxation include

- laying on a sun lounge by the pool or under a palm tree

- headset with your favorite music cd.

- no-one to bother you, no nagging or annoying, no noise.

- nice walk on the beach, in the hills, through a forest.

- sitting by the fire, hot chocolate, nice restful space and dreamy thoughts.

- reading a book and diving into a dream world that takes you out of your own.

All great contenders for the ideal superior quest for a state of relaxation. Is it enough? For some it is, for most it is not. Have you achieved anything other than an hour or two of relief. You're back in your normal world and subject to the same grind that makes you yearn for relaxation again.

When relaxing most people stay in the mind, they use it to go off to some far away Utopia that gives a blissful pleasure. A wonderful and relaxing experience. Some will come back and wish they didn't have to return. Others feel revived, refreshed and ready for another onslaught in the world of action and experience.

The use of consciousness in relaxation.

You will have heard the term Awareness. It's used allot in Spiritual teachings with good reason. Most of our lives are spent using the senses. The senses are the means by which we cognize and respond to our external environment - for good and bad. Most of our time is spent externalised and focused on what to respond to. Rarely are we focused on ourselves, our body or our feelings. Even when we are lying on our sun bed by the pool, we are focused outside. Although you may see yourself in an oasis with a pineapple drink and your ideal lover beside you, you are still pulled out beyond yourself and not actually feeling you as you are now, in this minute. You like the feeling of what it would be like to drink cocktails with your lover in some romantic setting.

How about trying the real thing. What about staying glued to yourself for awhile and checking out the state of your own actual universe. To do this requires the use of consciousness. Putting consciousness into yourself. Awareness of you. There is a technique available to do this. Called Yoga Nidra, it's practice is usually reserved for just before you go to sleep, but can be used at any time during the day, even on that sun lounge. This technique requires putting consciousness into your own body parts. Only by doing this can you actually release tension inside yourself.

We hold many layers of stress in our bodies. Be observant next time you go for coffee. Watch people walk around. Can you find the relaxed ones? The rigid walker will do the same while vertical as horizontal. Lay him on a sun lounge and he will have no idea how to relax. Cardboard man is a good name for he who is stiff, stressed and in need of a good 200 hour massage! Massages are good, they will help the process of relaxation markedly.

So how to do yoga nidra. A tape would help here, something to guide you through the process of consciousness and remaining awake while you do this. Lie down on your back. Take off your watch and belt if you have them on. Become aware of your body. All of it. Be aware of any twinges, pulls, aches and pains. Adjust yourself to get as comfortable as you can. Try not to judge those aches and pains. It is those pains that need the most attention. So the process is to methodically put awareness on body parts. The top of the head, the left ear, right ear, left eye, right eye, nose, mouth, tongue, chin, neck, left shoulder, left elbow, left wrist, hand, fingers. Then right shoulder, right elbow, wrist, hand, fingers. Back to the neck, to the chest, stomach, belly, left hip, left thigh, left knee, shin, left ankle, foot and toes. To the right hip, thigh, knee, shin, ankle, foot and toes. To the bottom of the spine, go up the spine slowly, to the back of the neck, back of the head and then top of the head.

Repeat the process. When becoming aware of each part, silently acknowledge each part and consciously feel each part. In the beginning it pays to clench slightly and release so that you 'get into' the part. As you release you will feel the tension release, thereby becoming more relaxed. Hence superior relaxation. The work is the consciousness you put into the practice.

You will also have heard there are layers to the onion, meaning just when you think you have relaxed enough, there is more. Each twinge, pull or ache needs attention. As you put awareness into yourself, it is common that pain can increase. The release of it comes in the awareness of it. Think of the pain as a clamped bit of tension inside your body. The more consciousness you have of the ache, the easier it is to release. The mind is good at ignoring pain or taking an aspirin at this point. Persevere as much as you can at breathing into it and releasing.

Of course if the pain is too much, move a bit. Use cushions under your knees if you need to. There is no point being heroic in this practice otherwise you will not enjoy it and it will be more of a chore to make yourself do it. In fact you will probably stop doing it altogether. But it is perhaps the exact thing you are needing to do. The feeling you want to aspire for in this practice is the floating effect. Then the state of not being able to feel your body means you have reached excellence. No aches and pains, no twinges or pulls.

If you do this practice during the day, at the end of the practice sit up straight and make sure you become alert before moving to do anything. You may feel a little sleepy after doing yoga nidra, that is normal. It doesn't pay to walk around in that state or get into your car and drive while you are not back fully into an alert attentive mind.

Doing this practice of Yoga Nidra, or Superior Relaxation which is what I like to call it, has several benefits. You become more aware of your own self, your own body, you actually start to feel more inside yourself. Secondly it gives a superior rest to you during the day. By giving yourself 30 to 45 minutes of deep relaxation, your body has the opportunity to keep up with the grind. Just like fine tuning your car, it's a way to help your body rejuvenate during the day. This is a good practice for anyone, including the fit and healthy. Doing this practice before sleep will put you into a good state for a very restful night. In some cases it has been known to help insomnia.

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Comments 39 comments

C.S.Alexis profile image

C.S.Alexis 8 years ago from NW Indiana

Jewels,

This is great and we could all probably use plenty of this excellent down time. It is work. I practiced a very similar method a few years back, need to be doing it now but have trouble making the time for it. Push, push! Maybe this will motivate me in the quiet direction of listening to myself breath, I know this works. Thanks for sharing. Thumbs up! C.S.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 8 years ago from Australia Author

Thankyou CS Alexis, I appreciate your comments.


Priceless Sam profile image

Priceless Sam 8 years ago

Wow - I really need to try this. I can't remember the last time I was truly relaxed! Even at night, I usually work until I'm so dead I can't keep my eyes open. There is no winding down or relaxing - ugh. That can't be healthy! I will definitely be back to read more of your hubs!!


Jewels profile image

Jewels 8 years ago from Australia Author

Priceless Sam, I know very well the working till dead life - it almost killed me! LOL. Hope you learn to float.


Isabella Snow profile image

Isabella Snow 8 years ago

Jewels, good to see you back! Interesting stuff here, I will have to try this. :)


guidebaba profile image

guidebaba 8 years ago from India

Great writing. I appreciate. Well Done !!


terenceyap07 profile image

terenceyap07 8 years ago from Singapore

Dear Jewels,

This is a very useful hub. Thank you for taking the time to write it, my friend.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

This is very cool. Focusing on each muscle takes a lot of concentration, and a lot of times I fall asleep before I get them all, but, I think you are describing something very useful for people. Especially the part about how you go back and relax them all again. It's amazing how many times you can pass back over a "relaxed muscle" that you already set free only to discover there was still a little more tension in it. Very nice hub. Thanks for writing it. I'd gotten remiss in doing this.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 8 years ago from Australia Author

SB, the pitfall of this practice is falling asleep - nevermind. It's also known as the royal way to fall asleep. Good for insomniacs also, gets you out of the mind and puts your consciousness not on thoughts but in the body.


BrainFire profile image

BrainFire 8 years ago from The Island

Excellent Hub, I like it so much that the next time I have a client who wants to drag me into their stress of their financial ruin...I'm going to direct them to read your hub! lol

I couldn't have said it better myself!

If it's difficult to relax, try taking Red Clover (Day time), and Valerian Root (Night time) which will help jump start the relaxation in your body. These two herbs are my favorites. They're both calming herbs. They really, really work well too.

Thanks for writing this. There's definitely a shortage on relaxation!

:)


Jewels profile image

Jewels 8 years ago from Australia Author

Thank you BrainFire, yes it would be a good time globally to learn how to do this! yikes.


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

Pranayam produces deep relaxation state as in alpha breathing. Also we used to do shavasan(corpse pose) in school. In shavasan the body movements are minimized, blood circulation is also minimized, heart rate drops, respiration drops, mind becomes calm and relaxed.

Great hub jewels.


drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 8 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

Great Hub!!!  My husband use to get on me all the time because I go! go! GO!  lol  When I would come home I would do things like my hair, facials, nails, you know girly things, lol.  To him that was work and he felt I wasn't relaxing enough but to me that was my relaxation.  I am a Counselor/Pastor always helping other so to help myself was my time to relax and enjoy my time with me.  Now he understands and smiles at me when he sees me doing those different things for myself that makes me happy! It takes all different kinds of relaxing therapies for different kind of people.  Praise God!  lol, lol.....


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I should have been reading these moons ago, I have to go to bed in a little bit so I am defintely going to try this, thanks for the tip???:)


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia Author

Sweet dreams AE.


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

I know it is going to work, so as you are enjoying your wonderful day we have to close our eyes, isn't the world amazing????:)


Barry Wah Lee profile image

Barry Wah Lee 7 years ago from Auckland

I am glad I came over to have a look.

You are doing fine work Jewels.

I might just add that a friend said to me

"Hey, just quietly, no one believes me,

you know what happened the other day?

I came out of my body, and,I could see it lying there!"

I just remembered that I told him a relaxation technique such as

yours the other day,but he forgot that I said not to go to sleep in it,

but that he should immediately stretch if getting totally relaxed.

It is possible to have your breathing and your heart stop from this

exercise.I do not recommend doing it at bedtime.It truly, as you

say is "Work time,business time."Oh yes, and this was a young

millionaire too. Got enough, should not really need to drive himself.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia Author

Very very very unlikely a person's heart would stop.  In fact this exercise is one of the best ways of preparing for sleep.  I'd like to see some insomniacs try it and see if their sleep improves.

The practice of Yoga Nidra uses consciousness of the body parts, it's called Nidra referring to night time.  It's said to be the royal way to get to sleep.

Your friend began to astral travel, wonderful.  This technique is used to fascilitate exactly that.  In some esoteric traditions putting consciousness into the sleep state is astral travelling and is the aim of an initiate to do this.  It's also said to be a preparation for the death state.  As the state of consciousness at death is similar to that we experience when we fall asleep.  We just don't remain consciousness long enough to see it.

I've had the experience of my breath slowing down so much that one could think I had stopped breathing.  My yoga instructor used to come and check on me to see if I was still alive!  He was amused and pleased at the same time.  That state is one of very deep relaxation.  Very nice.


Team Wiseman profile image

Team Wiseman 7 years ago

Thanks for the hub. We enjoyed it. Very interesting!


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks for dropping in, glad you got some pleasure from it.


GeneriqueMedia profile image

GeneriqueMedia 7 years ago from Earth

Well done, great way to look at things. =)

I work at a liquor store...I love to play Swing, tell jokes, quip off the cuff...and just generally smile and laugh. Its most awesome. I love my job and my customers, never work a day in my life.

G|M


scottaye73 profile image

scottaye73 7 years ago from Michigan, USA

Wow, great hub Jewels, very informative! ~ Scott


Sailaway profile image

Sailaway 7 years ago from Australia

Id like to make a deal.... I will certainly embrace this and attempt this form of self therapy.... I shall give it 100% BUT, as a representaitive of cardboard man, I'd like to also, for scientific, comparitive research reasons, like to book in for 200 hours of massage....say tuesday at 1015? xx


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia Author

GM, you lucky woman. Love your outlook.

Thanks Scott. thankyou for dropping in, glad you were informed.

LOL, Sailaway, I'll see your cardboard man, and raise you a reformed cardboard woman! Rigid bodies melt under these conditions, should be compulsory.


TheMindlessBrute profile image

TheMindlessBrute 7 years ago from Orlando,Florida

You possess great powers of perception,I'm glad I found this hub.I'm off to read some more of your insights.Thanks for posting this!


ralwus 7 years ago

I have used my own techniques for this which do me well. I get inot my own closet away from evrything and evreybody. This is how I come to many of my finest peoms and also how I came up with many of my creative pieces such as the Flying Walrus that carried me beyond the stars. Now you all know where it comes from, within me. It's all there waiting to be born. hehe fine hub dear jewels. Your are a treasure here and more people need to know it.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hey ralwux, so you're a closet relaxer - that's good! Now when did you first gravitate toward the closet? Glad you came out. To be taken beyond the stars within your own self is something to cherish.


Zollstock profile image

Zollstock 7 years ago from Germany originally, now loving the Pacific NW

It's so important - they should teach awareness and relaxation in elementary school to prep these kids for their busy lives!I find that breathing techniques take me a long way ... and a decent massage, of course. I've also practiced autogenics off and on for years, but I do need audio cues to work through the steps. Have you thought about recording your yoga steps for the not-so-visual Type As out there? ;-)


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia Author

I have thought of it and I need to do it. I agree it should begin in elementary school and at a depth that really counts. This technique when used regularly does heal in dramatic ways.


Linda Myshrall 7 years ago

Jewels, This is fantastic! I learned the technique of yoga nidra in a physical exercise class many years ago except the instructor had us tense the entire body first before concentrating on its individual parts... her twist, I guess. Anyway, I had forgotten all about it until now. I can't wait to add it back into my daily routine. Great hub. Thank you!


Jewels profile image

Jewels 7 years ago from Australia Author

Hi Linda, the clenching is good especially in the beginning because it makes very tangible the difference in a tense and relaxed body part. I also did this when I learned yoga nidra so I think it maybe the norm. There is another similar practice known as Night Practice in the Awakening the Third Eye book which does not use the clenching. Glad you came to visit. I've just added the book to the Amazon list for this hub.


Miss Nasreen profile image

Miss Nasreen 6 years ago

Jewels you are good and beautiful writer and thanks for your answer. Best Regards,


Jewels profile image

Jewels 6 years ago from Australia Author

Thankyou Miss Nasreen. Nice to meet you at Hubpages too.


lxxy profile image

lxxy 6 years ago from Beneath, Between, Beyond

...I've been here before, and it still rawks. Greatness is timeless. ;)

Now I get to add my meta-likes. ;D


Jewels profile image

Jewels 6 years ago from Australia Author

Thanks Ixxy, good to see you back!


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

.....I just fell asleep on one of your hub pillows .... the best sleep I've had in years - and I dreamt that you took me to your leader = hey wait you are the leader - the leader in putting great hubs together.


Jewels profile image

Jewels 6 years ago from Australia Author

How perceptive. I was about to begin marketing the Hub cyber pillow to go with this hub. You've tried it out and it works. Excellent, thanks epigramman! :D


KoffeeKlatch Gals profile image

KoffeeKlatch Gals 6 years ago from Sunny Florida

I had a professor years ago that tried to impart his wisdom about meditation to our Abnormal Psychology class. From what I can remember, it sound somewhat like syou tips and advise. I wish I had listened better then. Excellent hub, Voted up, useful and bookmarked. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.


Kamran100 profile image

Kamran100 5 years ago

Awesome hub. relaxation is a fun or art, how we can maximum relaxation. i think there are different traits, it is fabulous hub!

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