Friday, December 30, 2011

What is Yoga Nidra?

"...and they all settled in for a long winter's nap".

Yoga Nidra is yogic sleep.  This is one of my favorite meditations to lead (and participate in!).  My favorite reference book for yoga nidra is the adaptation by Swami Satyananda Saraswati .  In my own words, yoga nidra is a guided meditation that leads a person into a state of deep relaxation, where there exists a state of receptivity that cannot normally be accessed.  From this place comes clarity of intention.

The new year is a wonderful time for yoga nidra.  It involves formulating a resolve (or intention), something you'd like to manifest in your life in the coming weeks and months.  Then comes the guided meditation, where you are led through a tour of your body - the big toe, second toe, third, etc..  This may seem boring and monotonous, but what unfolds is a deeper state of consciousness.  The mind turns inward.  Outer distractions fall away.

Toward the end of the meditation, you are asked to silently state your resolve.  This allows it to embed itself into your consciousness.  Not a lot of work required here.  The results can be quite profound. 

Many yoga studios are offering yoga nidra meditations these days. If you are unable to attend a session, a cd is the next best thing.  Here are a couple that I recommend:  Relax into Greatness with Rod Stryker, and Drops of Nectar with Shiva Rea.

Wishing you a blissful, winter's sleep.

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