January 25, 2014

What is Yoga Nidra?

A new type of yoga is gaining popularity, called yoga nidra, it is an ancient practice of self-discovery.

Using a combination of intention, postures, breath, and visualization, yoga nidra takes a person beneath the waking mind into the subconscious realms. Deep within the soul, the subconscious has the ability to transform the entire being by altering the causes of suffering and ignorance at their source.

Yoga nidra translates as yogic sleep, yet is far more than sleep.

A seekers dream come true, the ability to become enlightened simply by sleeping. Fortunately, this practice has far more to it than sleep and waking up as the ideal self. Yoga nidra is by far the easiest yogic practice at the physical level, it can be experienced by simply laying on the floor and engaging in a series of simple practices. Yet, it can be the most difficult yogic practice because of the need for self-awareness, surrendering the ego and a willingness to try something new.

Yoga nidra is accepted by the medical community and military as a healing tool and aid for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

With yoga becoming more and more mainstream, the other esoteric aspects of yoga are also being recognized for their value and benefits, yoga nidra is an excellent method for unraveling trauma at the deepest emotional levels.

Addressing the source of stress heals its multitudes of expressions.

Approaching self-liberation can be like killing the hydra in Greek mythology, slay one head, and two more will arise. Focusing on an addiction or negative trait can remove that trait, only to unveil or create different traits. Rather than deal with surface level effects, diving right to the source, the primal cause, can have the deepest and most lasting impact. Through altering core beliefs and perceptions, the emotions, feelings, words and actions that stem from that core aspect are easily altered.

With the example of addiction, by facing the fears and trauma that rest behind the addiction, the addictive patterns will subside and eventually completely fade away.

The practices of yoga nidra are found in other world cultures.

Yoga nidra is a body based practice, requiring meditative awareness on the sensations of the body to step past the conscious mind into the subconscious domain.

The Kahuna’s of Hawaii have said that in order to speak to God, one must first descend into the body. This is because the mind, which rests in between the spirit and body, does not know how to speak or listen to the eternal source.

The Bible also communicates that to commune with God, one must enter the ‘temple’ of the body.

Shamanic practices engage in breath-work, dance, and altered states by first working with the body and its states of relaxation.

Relaxation is the key to transformation and healing.

No amount of hard work, struggle and effort can release stress. The amount of anxiety a person lives with is the same level of tension applied to deliberate attempts to change. The frantic struggles to release stress are stressful. To relinquish stressful patterns and self-harming actions requires a different way of action, one that is often alien, unknown and so different from personal patterns that it is inaccessible.

Fortunately, relaxing, letting go, and yielding patterns can be done in a scientific way with method and intention.

One just must know how—and, yoga nidra provides many tools of consciousness to unlearn what has been learned, and relearn affirming life patterns.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!


Editor: Bryonie Wise

Photo: Lululemon/Flickr

Read 1 Comment and Reply

Read 1 comment and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Keith Artisan  |  Contribution: 10,260