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A Written Guide To Yoga Nidra:

Posted Dec 14 2009 4:31pm

This is a guest post by Dr. Rita Khanna

from the Yoga Studio in Secunderabad (Hyderabad, India).

 

Rejuvenate Your Mind: 

Time is non refundable.  Spend it wisely”

Yoga Nidra means, “sleep with awareness.”   It is an effective way of achieving relaxation physically, mentally, and emotionally.   In fact, a single hour of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to many hours of quality sleep and is much more resorative and rejuvenating.

Modern medical science accepts that a calm mind can act as a healing force for many conditions. These conditions include heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, digestive problems of all kinds, arthritis, acute cough and cold ailments, as well as other chronic degenerative conditions.

 

 

savasana.jpg

  Photo by Tarnalberry

 

 

How to prepare yourself for Yoga nidra:

Gently lie down on your back in Shavasana posture (as above), legs apart, arms a little away from the body, with palms up. If you want to cover yourself with a cotton sheet, you may.   Close the eyes gently, while adjusting your body.

There should be no movement during Yoga Nidra. Try to listen to your heartbeats…   Be witness to all the sounds of the surrounding nature…Watch the incoming and outgoing breath for some time consciously… As you breathe in, the abdomen is rising, and as you breathe out, the abdomen is falling… Feel great comfort, ease, and relaxation…

 

 

Set your intention:

Before beginning the practice of Yoga Nidra, make a short resolve.  It is an important stage in Yoga Nidra. Resolve is a determination to become something, or to do something, in your life. Everyone has desires and ambitions.   For example, you may like to give up any of your habits, or you want to practice something new to better yourself.    You may resolve that you will remain healthy all your life or that you’ll follow the path of Yoga from now and onwards.  Whatever resolve you make, repeat it three times to yourself, thinking that God is witnessing you.

 

 

Next, move your awareness through your body:

• Face.  Be aware of the top of the head…   the forehead…   both sides of the forehead…   the right eyebrow…   the left eyebrow… the space between the eyebrows…  the right eyelid…   the left eyelid…   right eyeball… left eyeball… right ear… left ear… right cheek… left cheek…the nose… upper lip… lower lip… and the chin…

 

• Right side Visualize the right hand thumb… index finger…middle finger… ring finger… little finger… feel the tips of the fingers… Be aware of your right palm… wrist… forearm… the right elbow… upper arm… the shoulder… the right chest… right side of the stomach… the thigh of the right leg… its knee…the calf muscles… the ankle… the heel… the sole… the right big toe… the second toe…the third toe… the fourth toe… the fifth toe… the whole right foot.

 

• Left side Now take your consciousness to the left side. Repeat as you did above with the right side.

 

• Back.  Your body is touching the floor… be aware of the points of contact between the body and the floor… Relax your heels… calf muscles… back of the knee… thighs… hips… lower back… upper back… right shoulder… left shoulder… shoulder blades… back of palms… back of the arms… the neck… and the back of the head…

 

Now move your awareness to your major body parts:

 

Bring your awareness on the main parts of the body… full right foot… left foot… feel both feet together… the right leg… the left leg… both legs together… full right hand… full left hand… feel both hands together… the right arm… the left arm… both arms together… your full back and spine…complete abdomen… chest… and the whole face… the face is totally relaxed and peaceful… now feel your whole head and body together.

Visualize your body lying down on the floor completely relaxed.

 

Concentrate on your breathing:

Now become aware of your natural and normal breath.   The breath is coming in and going out freely… you move with the breath fully consciously.

 

Do not force the breath… Be the witness… Concentrate on the abdomen…

 

With each inhalation, it is expanding…with each exhalation, it is sucking in… Now, as you are aware of your breath, start counting backwards with each in breath and each out breath, as follows:

 

“I am breathing in 27 (or 10); I am breathing out 27 (or 10); I am breathing in 26 (or 9); I am breathing out 26 (or 9); and so on, from 27 (or 10) to 1.

 

Say the words and numbers mentally as you count your breaths.  After completing the counts, pause for about 5 minutes if you started counting from 27 and for about three minutes if counting started from 10.

 

Keep your awareness on the sensations in your body:

Be aware of your body and of your sensations.  Feel, with each inhalation, that cool air is entering your nose, and the body is becoming more energetic.

You are getting strength, power, courage, good health, and happiness.

Feel as with each exhalation, warm air is coming out of your nose, and you are releasing all the toxins, stress, ill health, all the weakness from your body.  The body is becoming relaxed, and you feel as if you are sinking into the floor.

 

Nature visualization:

Mentally select a place of natural beauty, which you have ever visited and liked, such as a park, a garden, a lawn, or a riverside.  Feel as if you are mentally present at that place.  Take your mind to that place, and feel as if you lying at that place and are breathing the air of that environment.  Keeping the mind involved with the same environment, feel as you are experiencing and enjoying the same happiness again.

 

Repeat your resolve:

Repeat your affirmation and resolve, mentally, three times, with total involvement and awareness.

 

 

Culmination:

Unwind all efforts…  draw your mind outside…   become aware of your breathing…   become aware of your surroundings… the room you are in…  do not open your eyes… lie quietly until your mind is completely awake and externalized.

When you are sure that you are wide awake, turn the body to left side and sit up slowly.  Rub your hands, massage the face gently, and open your eyes.  The practice of Yoga Nidra is now complete.

 

 

Note:

Keep your cell phone and landline phones off during the resting period to avoid distraction.

 

This is a guest post by  Dr. Rita Khanna’s of the Yogashaastra Studio in Secunderabad, Hyderabad, India .  Dr. Rita Khanna’s was initiated into this discipline over 25 years ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh (India) and is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy.    Her email address is: yogashaastra@gmail.com

 

I really appreciate the time you’ve taken to read our guest post, Carole.

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