Yoga Nidra And Its benefits
The technique of Yoga Nidra has been given to the world in a scientific manner by Swami Satyananda Saraswati and is the best way to get relief from physical, mental and emotional stress. It is an efficient and effective form to induce psychic and physiological rest. Through the practice of Yoga Nidra, we are not only relaxing but restructuring and reforming our whole personality from within.
What Is Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra is one of the practices of pratyahara. Pratyahara is the withdrawal of senses from the external world. It is that state of mind where mental awareness is dissociated from the sensory channels. During the practice of Yoga Nidra, the body of a practitioner sleeps but his or her consciousness is functioning at a deeper level of awareness. If the consciousness can be separated from external awareness and sleep, it becomes very powerful and can be applied to develop the memory, increase knowledge or creativity or even to transform one’s nature.
Yoga Nidra Steps
The practice of Yoga Nidra is divided into the following steps
- Preparation for Yoga Nidra
- Resolve In Yoga Nidra
- Rotation Of Consciousness Yoga Nidra
- Awareness Of Breathing In Yoga Nidra
- Feelings And Sensations And Its Importance In Yoga Nidra
- Visualization In Yoga Nidra
- Repeat resolve In Yoga Nidra
- Ending the practice Of Yoga Nidra
7 Benefits of Yoga Nidra
The practice of Yoga Nidra has a number of benefits. Important among them are as follows.
Training Of The Mind
Sankalpa (the Resolve) taken during the Yoga Nidra is the best way to train the mind. The Sankalpa is taken and sowed in the subconscious mind when it is in the most relaxed and hence receptive state. The subconscious mind is very obedient and carries out the orders immediately. The Sankalpa trains the subconscious mind and then the ordinary mind follows the path automatically. A powerful Sankalpa can be a tool to change the course of life in the desired direction.
Release Of The Stress
Muscular Stress or Physical Stress is the result of nervous and endocrinal imbalances which manifests in the form of stiffness in the physical body. In the practice of Yoga Nidra, the body is progressively relaxed by rotating the awareness on different parts of the body, which in turn releases the accumulated muscular stress. The physical relaxation is taken to a higher level in the Yoga Nidra by withdrawing the awareness of the practitioner to the breath and making him remain aware of it. The awareness of the breath promotes muscular relaxation and awakens higher energies which are further directed to every cell of the body.
When an individual fails to express his or her emotions freely and openly, they remain repressed and over a period of time they manifest in the form of emotional stress. In the practice of Yoga Nidra, the instructor slowly takes the practitioner towards the deeper levels of the mind where he or she comes across the deep-rooted emotional stress. The practitioner then recognizes these emotional tensions or stress and these repressed emotions are released making the practitioner calm and tranquil.
Excessive activity of the mind due to the workload and competition results in mental stress. In the practice of Yoga Nidra, the step of Visualization induces relaxation on the mental plane. The practitioner visualizes the images described by the instructor. These images have a universal significance and powerful association and help to bring the hidden contents of the deep unconscious mind into the conscious mind. The mind is purged of disturbing and painful material and is relaxed.
Yoga Nidra For Complete Relaxation
The rotation of awareness during the practice of Yoga Nidra not only induces physical relaxation but also clears the nerve pathways to the brain. Each of the body parts has a corresponding center in the cerebral white matter and the sequence of rotation of awareness in Yoga Nidra is in accordance with the map in the cerebral white matter of the brain. This rotation of awareness in the same sequence, again and again, induces a flow of Pranic energy within the neuronal circuit of cerebral white matter which brings in a subjective experience of relaxation in the brain.
Studies have further revealed that the practice of Yoga Nidra brings alpha dominance in the brain, which is characterized by mental relaxation.
Yoga Nidra Clears Up The Unconscious
Many wishes, desires, and conflicts are repressed since childhood in the subconscious and unconscious zone of the mind. These desires, wishes, and conflicts do not die but remain in the form of symbols in the unconscious mind. During the practice of Yoga Nidra, an instructor asks the practitioner to visualize certain symbols and images with a witnessing attitude. An abstract association is created between the guided visualization and the associated repressed experiences of the unconscious. This helps to bring the unconscious repressed desires, experiences, conflicts, and frustrations to the conscious level and then cuts off the personal identification with those experiences. As a result, the unconscious is cleared up.
Yoga Nidra And Creativity
Creativity is a characteristic of a relaxed and calm mind. During the practice of Yoga Nidra, when the mind is totally relaxed, the awareness enters the deeper levels of the subconscious and unconscious mind and the person becomes aware of the creative and intuitive faculties. Regular practice of Yoga Nidra helps in making a bridge between the conscious mind and deeper realms of mind. One thus becomes tuned with the unconscious workings and then the power of creativity automatically awakens.
Increase Memory Power & Learning Capacity
The practice of Yoga Nidra involves the whole mind in learning. During Yoga Nidra, both hemispheres of the student’s brain are involved in learning the subject. The technique is thus helpful in enhancing learning and increasing memory capacity. The technique of Yoga Nidra can also be used as an educational tool for dull children, where the knowledge is transmitted directly into their subconscious mind. School teachers in different countries have used Yoga Nidra to augment the capacities of receptivity and attention in their students.
Balance Sympathetic Parasympathetic Nervous System
During stress, the sympathetic nervous system becomes activated and one adopts the ‘fight or flight’ mechanism. In normal circumstances, the parasympathetic system takes over after the stress goes. But if we talk of today’s environment, the sympathetic nervous system remains active most of the times which can later develop into stress-related ailments in the body. In the practice of Yoga Nidra, an attempt is made to activate the parasympathetic system, and slowly develop a balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. In this way, the practice of Yoga Nidra counteracts stress.
The technique of Yoga Nidra has all three preventive, promotive and curative values. It prevents stress and stress-related disorders, it trains the mind to remain calm and quiet, and root out the repressed desires and thoughts from the deeper realms of the mind. It also awakens the inherent creativity and promotes the learning and memory abilities of the practitioner.
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