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This is about body/mind experience. Yoganidra is a practice in learning to guide the body into deep rest, while teaching and encouraging the mind to remain lucid, aware and open while encountering imagery and symbols. The benefits and potentials of yoganidra are wide. It diminishes symptoms of depression and anxiety. Yoganidra is gentle with an anxious mind, releasing complex patterns of stress, creating connection and integration of emotional states. A daily 30 minute practice of yoganidra benefits the entire nervous system. The deep state of relaxation in yoganidra activates the pineal gland, releasing the hormone melatonin, which helps with sleep disorders and insomnia. Developing a yoganidra practice helps to create a kind of energetic and physical balance to experience the natural harmony at the core of our existence.
Begin with one to five days per week of the lunar month, in order to develop the habit body of practice. You are gifting yourself deep rest space and learning to feel open and safe in your body being still, or to gently drift off into a nap - a necessary non activity for the often depleted energy body. Usually, while learning the practice of yoganidra, one falls asleep, most often after putting the body into deep rest. This is natural as your mind is learning how to be awake while the body sleeps. If you need to wake up after the practice, set a timer for 35 minutes. Because this involves a guided deep relaxation, it is most important that you create a comfortable space for your body. Ideally, yoganidra involves the body on the floor in shavasana (corpse pose), which is lying upon your back on a blanket or mat with feet apart and hands palms up and not touching the sides of the body. A pillow under the head and the body covered with a blanket is encouraged. However, what is most essential is finding the way in which your body feels comfortable and at ease. If that entails sitting in a chair or curling up on your side in a bed, or lying upon a couch, great. Eyes are closed throughout the practice. At the beginning of each yoganidra session, with the body supine, one is instructed to create a sankalpa. Kalpa means vow and san refers to a connection with a higher truth. Aspirational in nature, the sankalpa is creating an inner resolve that is silently repeated to imbed into the mindstream. Throughout the practice, allow the imagery to arise in your mind without effort. One simply takes one’s awareness through the experience. A spacious hosting mind arises, which, along with a deeply relaxed body, frees up energy to explore the subtle field of imagination.
Yoganidra is the inner world of yoga skills. It seeks to release the prana necessary to be lucid in sleep and dream states. It is a practice of conscious awareness of the deep sleep state, past waking and dreaming. An ancient yogic method to explore deep karmic impressions or samskaras. It holds the potential to help process the friction and tension of our waking lives, while nurturing our infinite relationship with self/other/world.