Yoga Nidra – A guided meditation
Imagine a lying down meditation practice that brings about a deep level of rest that is at the same time pleasurable, rejuvenating and healing. Welcome to Yoga Nidra. I’ve found over the years that guided relaxation that includes breath work is one of the best overall practices available for my health and personal growth.
Yoga Nidra is a practice of deep relaxation through guided meditation while exercising our imagination.
- Medically, one of the roles of a yoga nidra practice is integration by balancing body, mind and intuition for whole-self functioning.
- Brings both energy and rest to our body, mind and inner awareness during life transitions, while making decisions and the ups and downs of everyday living.
- Processes our emotions around grief, anxiety, trauma and stressful living.
- Allows the body the deep rest that promotes healing on all levels.
- Promotes sleep, reduces stress, strengthens our breathing.
- Brings resolution and understanding to complex trauma.
- Helps to reduce chronic pain and release the impact of unresolved trauma.
- Great for use with the symptoms and causes of depression and anxiety.
- Increases our awareness on all levels.
During a yoga nidra practice, we retain conscious awareness when the body/mind is relaxed. Brainwave activity borders on deep sleep and is similar to other forms of meditation. Appearing to sleep, one’s mind is functioning at a subtler level: it is sleep with a trace of deep awareness.
From awareness, comes an inner letting go or release, to the point the mind no longer functions with a strong attachment to habit, conditioning and beliefs. This is the time that deeply seeded mental, emotional and even physical patterns can be released; patterns we may have held for a very long time.
Thought has slowed and relaxation is deep, yet there remains an inward awareness of both body and mind. Experiences of an intuitive, insightful and instructive nature frequently occur.
What are the steps during the practice of yoga nidra?
To begin, prepare a statement of intention for each session such as: ‘I increase my self reliance’, ‘I strengthen my will and resolve’ ‘I bring more love to my personal relationships’. Or you may have something specific to be released like: I let go of my guilt, anger, resentment, grudge about… and return to love. ‘I let go of my habit of… and recognize my innocence’)
- Beginning relaxation – deep breathing and cultivating our imagination.
- Statement of intention. Repeated to self 3 times.
- Body scan and relaxation guidance.
- Breath and body energy awareness.
- Outer sense perception diminishes.
- Inner sense perception increases through visualization and guidance.
- Repetition of intention.
- Returning to activity.
I like to lead a yoga nidra practice blended with chanting and dance. During the movement and chanting, participants begin to align energetically becoming in sync with one another. Hearts begin beating together, breathing patterns stabilize, movements are coordinated and we begin to harmonize with one another.
The guided meditation is deeply relaxing. We can experience bonding with our deepest self, revealing a sense of unity and congruency within our lives that always exists. It is through learning to trust our intuition and insight we can communicate with our inner wisdom and discover a personal inner physician and teacher guiding us.
I facilitate yoga nidra meditation with dance and chanting sessions at Empower Health during both ‘Singing Buddha Satsang’ AND ‘Sound and Senses‘ journey nights.
Thanks for reading and take time to consciously rest.