By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP
How can we create a state of emotional resolution? Yoga Nidra is an ancient Yogic practice that has been utilized, for hundreds of years, by spiritual seekers. It was used to support the rejuvenation of the body and for a balanced, healthy mind, by promoting the emotional resolution of a variety of life experiences. Yoga Nidra means – the sleep of Yoga. The goal of Yoga Nidra is not actually sleep, but a state of deep relaxation and witness consciousness. So, although the Yogi or Yogini is resting in a deep, dreamless state, he or she remains awake and alert of body sensations, thoughts, and emotions. Is Yoga Nidra for emotional resolution something new? Not really, some Yoga techniques have been around for thousands of years. Luckily, teachers of the past began compiling verbal information into writing. Transcribing verbal information into texts was a technical leap forward for Yoga and civilizations.
Nidra techniques are referred to in the Mandukya Upanishad, which was written in the first or second century AD. The Mandukya Upanishad details three levels of consciousness: waking, dreaming, and deep sleep. The goal of nidra is not only progressive relaxation, it is also for the student to by-pass the waking and dreaming states, and come to rest in the dreamless, deep sleep state, where he or she can be aware of the causal field of consciousness from which all experiences that arise. As a Yogi or Yogini witnesses his or her thought patterns and habitual tendencies in this deep sleep state, the underlying beliefs that are counter-productive to happiness and serenity, can be uprooted at their very foundation. In this way, a Yoga student can purify his or her habitual patterns and choose more life-affirming thoughts and behaviors.
In Sanskrit, deeply ingrained beliefs and thought patterns are referred to as “samskaras.” These samskaras can be quite binding and limiting if they are fueled by overly-negative thinking patterns and beliefs. Resting in the causal field of awareness, during a nidra session, will allow a Yoga practitioner the time to be aware of these samskaras and the opportunity to attenuate their strength. As a Yoga Nidra practitioner witnesses and evaluates the veracity of his or her beliefs, the samskaras begin to loosen their hold, if the practitioner realizes that they are not quite as true as he or she had previously believed. With this new-found freedom from some of the more limiting samskaras, a student is able to uproot unsupported beliefs and behaviors, effectively changing his or her karma for the better.
We can create a state of emotional resolution; by engaging in nidra practices, a student can literally merge with the causal field of reality, or at least his or her causal field of reality, and eliminate non-sustaining habitual thought-patterns and beliefs that may be causing negative repercussions and stagnation in his or her life. As a Yoga practitioner moves through the various exercises of Yoga Nidra, he or she will be more easily able to integrate difficult and painful emotional experiences into a more compassionate and wiser framework. This state of “eagle vision” and compassion will support a student in releasing unnecessary emotional burdens. As these unnecessary emotional burdens are released, a practitioner is free to choose healthier, more positive thoughts and beliefs that will support his or her quest to create a life filled with health, joy, love, and abundance.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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