Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Yoga Nidra for relieving stress

Yoga nidra is a state of psychic sleep brought about by systematically inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. While in yoga nidra, one is in the hypnagogic state-a prolonged suspension between wakefulness and sleep. You emerge from this feeling more rested than after a good night's sleep. 
Yoga nidra is practiced while lying in a supine position and following an instructor's guidelines, which may also be taped. You start by promising yourself that you won't fall asleep. Become aware of your breathing. As you breathe in, feel calmness spreading through your body. As you breathe out, feel your worries flowing out. You will feel your body relaxing. 

In each session, you need to repeat a positive sankalpa (resolve), phrased in the present tense, with feeling and awareness. Do this and then rotate awareness from one part of the body to the next, repeating the name of each in your mind. After you are done with each part, focus on the body as a whole. All this while, remember not to fall asleep. 

The next step is to view your body as if from outside. Imagine a deep well in which you are lowering a bucket. First, let it move into the darkness until you cannot see it anymore. Then pull it out again towards light. Consciously become aware of your thought process. 

Begin alternating between opposite sensations, such as heat and cold, lightness and heaviness, and so on. Try to remember the sensation of pain and relive it. Then visualize some images, like a flickering candle, a palm tree, or a yogi in meditation, and become aware of your own awareness. Look within and try to be aware of the one who is observing. 

Go into the chidakasa (space behind the forehead) where there is a flaming light. At the center of that light is a golden egg. Once you reach there, repeat your sankalpa thrice. Thereafter, relax and again become aware of your breathing and then of your surroundings. Start moving and when you are wide awake, open your eyes.  


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