Yoga Nidra is a technique for complete relaxation of the physical emotional and then mental body. Translated it means yogic sleep or a state of conscious deep sleep. It is a dreamlike state in which the mind is completely calm.
Yoga nidra is one of the strongest techniques not only for relaxation but also for awakening the inactive parts of the brain. The purpose of this technique is to prepare the practitioner for the higher levels of yoga. In this deep state of relaxation the mind is not a sleep but also not awake. It is somewhere in between. Sleeping as a process in yoga was not considered to be a relaxation. In total relaxation the awareness should always be present. This state of relaxation is achieved with detaching yourself from the outside world and turning yourself inside of you. One of the greatest benefits of this relaxation state is that the mind is very receptive, similar to a hypnotic trance. With directions and suggestions in this state the mind can be directed to achieve everything. This was also known in the west. A lot of great personalities had the habit to practice something similar to yoga nidra.
In our program we start with yoga nidra, as psycho mental preparation of the practitioner for the yoga session. But this technique can also be done before sleeping or at any time when we feel stressed.
We start in shavasana (corpse pose). The palms are opened towards the sky.
We detach ourselves from the outside world and we concentrate on the breathing.
After that we start to bring our attention to different body parts in order to consciously relax them.
Going with your attention over your body you can use also a mental command while exhaling “I breathe out and I relax”
One of the most common mistakes is that people try to fall in the deep state of relaxation right away. Don’t force anything. Start spontaneously with the mental command to relax your body and to detach yourself from all the sensations that are coming through the sense organs.
SANCALPA- sankalpa is affirmative sentence. You can use this at the end of the relaxation as a auto suggestion. Choose one and stay with it.
Visualization- you can also use visualization in order to deepen your relaxation and peacefulness. You can visualize mountains , peaceful lake temple or whatever you feel that would bring you in a deeper state of relaxation.