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The Benefits of the Practice of Yoga Nidra

Updated on December 26, 2015

Yoga reduces stress

Yoga is one of the great ways to reduce stress within the body and bring about a greater physical and mental harmony. There are a number of different aspects to Yoga and a number of different practices that have grown out of the teachings from which yoga was formed. As a result, there is something for everyone and often times it is not uncommon to find individuals who are practitioners of several different types of yoga. Most yoga practices work well with others or in conjunction with other types.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra involves a deep meditation which promotes a physical, mental and emotional relaxed state that is designed to promote and facilitate the alignment of the self with the greater universal awareness and the supreme consciousness. While this practice has been around for centuries it has only been in the last 40 years or so that it has started to gain in popularity.

How it works?

Yoga Nidra is a practice that should be done daily basis and is a guided practice. This is common among deeper meditations as it can be difficult to pull out of these deeper levels without assistance. It does not however last longer than 20-40 minutes at a time. The process involves several different steps which work together to lead a person into a deep state of meditation. These steps are internalization, sankalpa, and rotation of consciousness, breath awareness, and manifestation of opposites, visualization, sankalpa, and externalization. All these steps are necessary to successfully complete a session of Yoga Nidra.

The Eight Stages of Yoga Nidra

In order to delve into the practice of Yoga Nidra you must gain mastery of the stages of the meditation. To start off it is a good idea to do a few asanas. Asanas are the postures and exercises of yoga that help to prepare your body for the deep meditation. Once you have completed the Asanas it is time to begin with the Yoga Nidra.

Lay down in a relaxed posture, and then begin breathing exercises in order to calm the body and mind while doing this it is time to set up the sankalpa. Sankalpa is the resolve or goal that a person has. It is best to set your intent and resolve to higher purposes or goals.

Once this has been set up it is time to begin the next stage of the Yoga Nidra. This stage is called the rotation of consciousness. The rotation of consciousness involves moving your awareness from one body part to another body part. This is usually done through the guide of the teacher or through a voice recording. This is similar to the process of concentration on relaxing each body part by manually thinking of relaxing it.

Due to the nature of the relaxation technique emotions may rise up. This is because the physical tension within the body which is usually more noticeable has been relieved. This begins the next stage which involves emotional relaxation. This is done by releasing and letting go of the feelings and issues that come up during this stage.

The next stage focuses on visualization. Visualization is one of the key things that is used in a variety of different meditative practices but is common among practices that involve guided or facilitated meditation. This helps to focus the mind and can increase both concentration and self awareness which is one of the primary focuses and purposes of meditation. Once this process has been completed the instructor or recording will instruct you to visualize the Sankalpa that you focused on in the beginning of the meditation.

The visualization of the sankalpa is the end of the meditation and the practitioner should be guided through the stages to come back into full awareness of the outside world rather than the inside awareness that is the focus of the meditation. This should be done slowly allowing your body and mind to readjust. Coming out quickly can cause dizziness and a general feeling of being disconnected. If necessary drink a little water after completing the meditation this can help to ground you back into a more physical awareness.

What can be accomplished with Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is a practice that can help to ease both physical and mental tension. In the stressful lives that are filled with the need to hurry, deadlines that are far too short and the lack of proper diet. This stress makes it impossible to clearly deal with things that come up and can create a mental fog that prevents clear and fast thinking. By relaxing the mind and the body the build of stress that comes from this type of life can easily be released.

Due to the emotional state that is also brought up because of the physical relaxation it gives practitioners the chance to look at fears, emotions, burdens of the mind as well as any habits that might be causing emotional issues.

Using Yoga Nidra is a good way to bring in the intense meditation that promotes healing of the mind as well as the body. It allows you to look within yourself and find truths about yourself that you may not have known. Self awareness is one of the things that helps people to gain confidence and overcome obstacles by removing any emotional attachments that might come up to prevent success. It does hand in hand with the use of physical yoga by bringing greater awareness. This in turn makes yoga more effective as you become more and more aware of not just your body but the life force within it and the life force that surrounds everything. Becoming more aware of your own body increases what you are capable of doing with your body it can also lead to an increase in energy, clear thinking and a greater ability to deal with stressful situations. All of these things are of benefit to anyone. It is important to remember that these meditations are very deep and should only be done with qualified professionals or a certified audio recording. You should do only relaxing or light activities afterwards to allow your body to adjust to any changes which may have occurred during meditation.

Visualization - Yoga Nidra


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