Yogic Sleep? ~ The Four Desires Virtual Book Club

Via Chanti Tacoronte-Perez
on Feb 11, 2012
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Chapter 14 Relax Into Greatness
Soliciting the Cooperation of Your Unconscious

Rod Stryker’s Four Desires (4D) Virtual Book Club.

We have now identified vikalpa, our internal resistance. Did you think you could just sleep vikalpa away? Actually you can if you can sleep with awareness. Chapter 14 discusses a systematic approach to complete relaxation. It requires time, some blankets, a dark place, a pillow and even socks. Does this sound like sleep? It is!  “It is yogic sleep, which means the deepest state of rest with only a trace of awareness.” -Rod Stryker

Relax Into Greatness is an approach to the ancient form of relaxation called yoga nidra, yogic sleep.  In this ancient yogic practice, we develop gratitude and effortlessness through relaxation; these are two of the most important attributes for actualizing your sankalpa.  Your ability to manifest your sankalpa is greatly supported through the process of yoga nidra.

As in sankalpa siddhi, the fourth level of intensity, there is effortlessness; you are more in alignment with the power of your unconscious rather than in conflict with it. The reduction of resistance or karma in the creation equation doesn’t happen by repeating the sankalpa.  It requires a process. Relax into Greatness is the process that gives you the tools to peel away all negative associations related to your sankalpa, including doubt.

Practicing this technique helps you gain access to a state beyond both intellect and effort. It effects all aspects of your being:  physical body, energy body, mind, the unconscious and soul. The technique reduces stress and promotes healing while allowing you to access the unconscious.

Accessing the Unconscious
At the beginning of the Relax into Greatness practice, Rod asks us to “create the visual and emotional sense of  [your sankalpa] as reality. Feel all the feelings related to its coming to full fruition. Imagine you have exactly what you want. Feel it.” We wrote about how our sankalpa would look and feel in chapter 10 in order to access our unconscious.

The conscious mind uses words and information as expression whereas the unconscious expresses itself though feelings and images. With practice, Relax into Greatness “bridge[s] conscious intentions to your unconscious mind”-Rod Stryker.  It unwinds the unconscious so that when we plant the seed of sankalpa it can be placed deep in the loosened, moist soil or relaxed, effortless awareness. Here, the seed has space to grow and become fruitful.

Reducing Stress
Remember the end of chapter 13? There was a list you were supposed to complete, “time wasters” or “bad habits.”  Interestingly but not surprisingly, the more stress we have, the more we are prone to fall back on these “bad habits.” Research has found that when there is chronic stress, “regions of the brain associated with executive decision-making and goal-directing behaviors’ become atrophied.” When stressed, our ability to have an authentic sankalpa let alone fulfill it, will become very difficult. The research doesn’t get any better; in fact the biological components of the brain associated with habit formation become reinforced!  But there is some good news–the more you begin to relax and break your counterproductive habitual patterns, the more your brain will return to supporting your wellbeing.

Time for the best part–yogic sleep. Let us not lose sight that this is not a practice that you do and check off. You are in the process of relaxing you body and accessing the unconscious. This is a heavy duty practice done or better yet felt with complete ease.

Your homework for this week is to lay down, put some socks on, cover yourself up and do some nidra.  Please let us know your experience–especially those of you who are new to this practice; we would love to hear from all of you.


Learn more about Rod Stryker and ParaYoga at RodStryker.com 
Read The Four Desires book review on Elephant Journal.
The Four Desires: YouTube talks with Rod Stryker
Read other discussions about The Four Desires
Instructions: How the book club works
Rod Stryker travels to the largest spiritual pilgrimage in history in 2013. I’ll be there. Will you?


About Chanti Tacoronte-Perez

As a traveler and painter Chanti has grounded her roots in the path of yoga wherever she has landed. Chanti began practicing Yoga during her first year in college & continued when she left for Hampshire College to complete her BA in Painting/Fine Arts and Special Education. From 2001-2004 she lived and worked in Havana, Cuba as the Hampshire College Cuba Program Coordinator where she studied Iyengar Yoga. Chanti has been studying and teaching yoga in the Tantric Hatha Linage since 2005 with her teacher Rod Stryker, founder of Para Yoga. He has taught her that everyone has the ability to know their destination and find that road to walk on. She has currently completed the Para Yoga Certification (level I) & her Restorative Yoga training with Judith Handson Lasater. Her study of Sacred Art and Yantra Painting merge her love of Yoga with her passion for painting and education. http://www.ohanashakti.com


11 Responses to “Yogic Sleep? ~ The Four Desires Virtual Book Club”

  1. Tanya Lee Markul says:

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    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
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  2. Amy Whelan says:

    I have had some experience with yoga nidra prior to Rod's book. What I love about it is that when you watch the screen of your mind, odd things sure do pop up. I've seen faces, animals, fluid movement of unidentifiable people or objects. But always at the end of the experience, I feel relaxed in body, but alive in spirit. Talking about it feels like a contradiction, but really, it fits together perfectly. I wish I had time to do yogic sleep at the end of the day in my living room, but I usually end up in bed doing parts of it. I will definitely make time for more yoga nidra…

  3. Chanti says:

    THanks for you post Amy, Yes lets all do a little more yoga nidra this week, I know I will need it tomorrow!

  4. Bill Eldredge says:

    I agree with Amy, odd things do show up! I have found this to be very relaxing, yet invigorating, at the same time. Imagine being fully energized, aware and perceptive without bouncing off the walls, or being uncontrollably energetic. It has more to do with your mind (or what I suspect Rod would call 'your true self') being fully involved. I am especially excited about being able to invest more time in all of these concepts as a result of some changes that the book has led me to explore. If you are new here, please know that if you give this the time and effort that you deserve, I am confident that you will similarly benefit.

  5. missmiapark says:

    great advice, amy & bill. i need to practice nidra weekly to feel balanced. i'm also starting to teach yoga nidra weekly at moksayoga.com in chicago because people need rest! i can't wait to share this practice publicly.

  6. Amy Whelan says:

    Mia, Will you be attending Rod's conference in Chicago March 16-18? I will be in attendance on Saturday the 17th. Sooooo looking forward to it! Yeah!!!

  7. […] if some Illumined Being could fly in through the window for a short visit and talk me through some yoga nidra at the […]

  8. […] where you connect and disconnect to the full cycle of nature’s wisdom is to make a kind of Yoga Nidra, or quality […]

  9. […] is a tool to enter a zone of yogic “sleep,” which is much deeper and more restorative than regular sleep. In this zone, we release energy and […]

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