Y oga-nidra is an efficient method of inducing com- plete physical, mental and emotional relaxationwhile maintaining consciousness. In fact Yoga Nidranot only brings physical and mental relaxation but alsoprepares the mind for spiritual evolution. It is mainlyassociates with pratyahara (withdrawing senses formsense-objects) and dharana (concentration). Respiration MEDITATION > YOGA NIDRAIn normal sleep consciousness is absent and the un- A period of awareness of the breathconscious is in charge. In Yoga Nidra the consciousness at special positions in the body. Afterdirects the unconscious to relax. Yoga Nidra is a ‘sleep’ rotation of the consciousness in suchwhere all the burdens, stress, strain, anxiety are thrown a sequence, focusing the attention onoff to attain more blissful state of awareness, a relax- the act of breathing completes physicalation much more intense than ordinary sleep. Yoga relaxation. One simply maintains aware-Nidra is said to be the doorway to samadhi!’ ness of breath, either at the nostril or of its passage through the navel and throat. ThisGenerally Yoga-nidra is practiced in Shavasana or sitting helps to withdraw the sense centers fromposition. It may last for 25 to 45 min. It is important to their objects of sensations in “pratyahara”.remain awake and aware during the practice. Feelings and SensationsRelaxation Pairs of feelings and emotions are experi-Preliminary preparation of the body. enced. Now an effort is made to bring to memory the intense physical and emo-Resolve tional feelings; they are re-experienced orA personal goal is programmed into the unconscious- re-lived and then effaced. Usually this isness. A very special feature of Yoga-nidra is ‘Sankalpa’, a practiced with pairs of two opposite feel-positive resolve about the aim in life. The relaxed body ings like hot and cold, lightness and heavi-and mind are ideal soil for making a resolve. The ‘Sanka- ness, pain and pleasure, joy and sorrow,lpa’ is affirmative autosuggestion of the statement. etc. Relaxation at the emotional level andThese are short, positive, precise about what you want building up of strong will-power are theto achieve. two major outcome of this procedure.e.g. “I am successful,” Visualisation “I am peaceful,” Images are visualised mentally. “I am becoming happier, healthier and more relaxed”, The final stage of yoga nidra relates to “I will awaken my spiritual potential”, mental relaxation. Generally such images “I will be successful in my all undertakings”, and symbols are chosen for the visualiza- “I will achieve total health”, tion that have universal significance. To “I will be a positive help in spiritual progress of others”, quote a few: the mountain, river, ocean,etc. temple, church, cross, saint, flower etc. This recitation of auto suggestions in relaxed mind (al-pha level of brain waves) sinks easily into subconscious Resolve - is repeated.mind and direct the conscious mind to transform thepositive thought into reality. Return to Full Awareness A careful return to a normal state.Rotation of Consciousness A short yoga nidra follows. You can make The consciousness is taken on a tour of the whole body your own script into a tape player or otherin a structured fashion. The person has to just visualize recording device, and play it back any-the parts of the body to rotate the awareness. one has time you wish. This particular yoga nidrato shift one’s awareness from one part to the other. The will take about 25 to 45 minutes for thewhole process should be a pleasure and not a burden. practice.There should not be any anxiety or expectation.