Relax your mind, body and soul with yoga nidra

By TNT Bureau

Oct 5, 2017: In the modern scenario, human life has become very fast, hectic and demanding. The present lifestyle demands adjustment on the part of the individual. Each of us, as per our coping resources, tries to adjust in this changing world. Some adjust by becoming overactive and others by withdrawing from the situation.

When we fail to make a proper adjustment according to the demands of the situation, a state of negative stress or distress develops in our personality, which gives rise to mental or psychological problems. In most people the mind always remains in a state of arousal and tension. Yoga nidra, as a technique of pratyahara, not only provides relaxation to the body and mind but also has a number of benefits.

Theory and practice of yoga nidra

The theory behind yoga nidra is that it works on something called our body of energy or life force. In India this energy is known as prana, and in China it is called chi.Nearly all spiritual traditions acknowledge the existence of a body of energy that permeates the physical body and is responsible for our health and well being. The aim of acupuncture and all martial arts, for example, is to balance and enhance the flow of life force in your body.

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Yoga nidra also aims to enhance and balance this energy. Moreover, it does so in an enjoyable and effortless way that involves no costly equipment or training. Some practitioners describe yoga nidra as a form of self-administered acupuncture.You don’t have to attend a yoga class to reap the benefits of this relaxation practice. All you need is a warm, quiet space and an audio recording of a yoga nidra.

In classic yoga nidra practice, you lie on your back with your arms away from your body, palms turned upwards. Your feet should be hip width apart, with your toes falling outwards. Your eyes remain closed throughout the practice.Make sure that your body is lying symmetrically. It may help if you imagine a centre line running between your navel and throat.

Yoga nidra puts a strong emphasis on the way your body is laying. Practitioners believe your relaxation posture influences your consciousness, and that this supine position prepares you for letting go and helps to balance the flow of life force in your body.

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Yoga nidra is one of the practices of pratyahara where the awareness is internalized. Literally, yoga nidra means ‘psychic sleep’ i.e. sleep with full awareness. In the practice of yoga nidra the body sleeps but the mind remains awake listening to the instructions. In psychology, the state achieved in yoga nidra is termed the hypnogogic state, a state between sleep and wakefulness. Yoga nidra has its origin in the ancient tantric practice called nyasa. It was Swami Satyananda Saraswati (1998) who adapted and presented the practice of yoga nidra in a systematic and scientific way in the 1960s.

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