A simple door to deep relaxation
Yoga Nidra is an ancient and sacred meditation practice and it has been a part of my practice and teaching for some years. I found restorative yoga and yoga nidra especially helpful when my mother passed away in 2014. I listened to Donna Farhi´s yoga nidra recordings frequently at that time.
They helped me to touch a place of inner rest and I could sense the depth that the practice offers. Now I often include yoga nidra in my retreats or as part of a final relaxation at the end of an asana practice.
In essence the practice aims to dissolve physical, mental and emotional tension. It is very simple and at the same time profound. It consists of assuming a comfortable position – usually lying down – and being guided by verbal instructions that bring your attention to a relaxed observation of all that is being experienced and perceived: sensations in the physical body, the breath, thoughts and emotions, and the witnessing space of all of these experiences.
It is not necessary to concentrate, you can just allow your attention to follow the instructions and the thread of the teacher’s voice. If you get distracted, or your attention drifts, don’t worry – this is what the mind does. Gently take up your listening again and return to the practice. Remember to try not to fall asleep!
Pratyahara: the fifth branch of the eight branches of yoga, meaning the withdrawal of the senses, is a part of this practice. The attention gradually withdraws from the external world – body, breath, conscious mind and finally unconscious mind – but the attention or the witnessing awareness remains active.
Benefits of a Yoga Nidra practice
- A reduction in stress and promotion of relaxation through the support of the parasympathetic nervous system
- A strengthening of the witnessing consciousness, which helps to transcend mental and emotional suffering that may result from the experiences of life
- It helps to develop control over emotional and automatic reactions in life
- Improves one’s ability to make conscious choices
- During pregnancy, a yoga nidra practice can strengthen the bond between mother and baby
Prayers of gratitude, love, enlightenment, health, healing, transformation, which are seeded at the start of the practice.
San – concept or belief forged in the heart
Kalpa – rule to be observed above all others
Positive resolution: SANKALPA, a vow to our highest truth.
Created in the present tense using simple language. The aim is not to fulfil dreams, but rather to strengthen the structure of the mind. The mind’s receptivity facilitates a natural listening and allows the seeds of change to be sown. Everyone sows this seed according to their own nature.