what is yoga nidraBy Amruta Kulkarni, CYT 500

What is Yoga nidra? Yoga nidra is an ancient technique. Some schools of thought believe it is based on ancient tantric meditation practices. In simple terms, it means conscious, deep sleep. In other words, although you are sleeping, your mind remains conscious during the practice of Yoga nidra.

You can even remain conscious during a dream while practicing this powerfully restorative technique. Due to the deeply restful process of nidra, the student will experience profound physiological and emotional relaxation, far exceeding the relaxation of ordinary sleep.

Through a steady practice, the student will be able to garner the great power of his or her subconscious mind in order to facilitate desired life changes. The subconscious mind is truly one of the most untapped, powerful forces that exist in our body.

Through this ancient practice, we can tap into the power of our unconscious mind and effectively change unwanted habits and negative beliefs. Due to the profoundly therapeutic benefits of nidra practice, the practitioner is able to penetrate the mind on the subconscious level, which helps to identify and eliminate negative or stressful thinking patterns and promote more productive patterns of both belief and behavior.

The true value of the practice will become apparent with a regular, daily practice. As your Yoga training sessions deepen with a regular nidra practice, you will begin to be more aware of what resonates with you and what does not feel right.

As your awareness grows, you will be more able to choose what is the most beneficial way of thinking and behaving for you on a long-term basis. Additionally, nidra helps to release tension and stress on all levels of your being, including mental, emotional and muscular tension. The most optimal way to learn the practice of nidra is to follow the guided instructions of a certified Yoga instructor, or on a CD while lying down in a comfortable and quiet area of your home.

As you begin your regular, daily Yogic practice of nidra, you will notice that you begin to drop into deeper and deeper states of conscious rest. In this sacred space, while you are intimately connected to the divine energy within yourself, you will be able to let go of unhealthy emotions, thoughts and physical holding patterns that no longer serve you. This in turn will empower you to make choices that will create the life you truly want to live based on an awareness of your highest potential and aspirations. Now, you have an answer those people who ask, “What is Yoga nidra?”

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