You may or may not have heard of Yoga Nidra before. Perhaps you have seen Yoga Nidra recordings on the internet, at a yoga class or elsewhere. Yoga Nidra is not a practice as such but a state of being. What state is this? It is a yogic sleep, a sleep that is conscious and a sleep that transports you from the waking state and the over activity of the mind into the deep sleep state but with awareness. Here, deep replenishment can imbibe and restore the many layers of your physical and energetic self.
A beautiful means of your arrival into this blissful state is through a guided awareness practice and i hope you enjoy this 20 minute guided awareness practice in honour of the Spring Equinox here in the Southern Hemisphere. How you experience this practice is perfect for you, you may be listening to my words the whole time or you may drift off and away this is all fine and perfect for you.
So how do we participate in this guided awareness practice and what do we need to support ourselves toward the state of Yoga Nidra? It is important that you take the time to be comfortable. Savasana is ideal for this but do ensure that your spine is supported and also your neck if need. I would say that if you head tilts back with your chin lifted then a blanket to gently prop your head would be ideal also. Here is an image of myself prepared for a guided awareness practice. You can also be lying on your side and I have also used my couch to elevate my legs and if I am preparing to then sleep then I may even lay in my bed.
In this new shoots of awareness practice I offer you a mantra and for this practice our mantra is also our sankalpa:
New shoots of awareness emerge from within
The sanskrit word sankalpa can be translated to an intention. Our sankalpa, imperatively grounds us to our practice, directs our consciousness and has the particular purpose of drawing us inward and potentially supporting us in resolving non beneficial thoughts, impressions and imprints, in sanskrit (samskaras). In this practice we are imbibing the joy and benefits reflected in the natural environment at spring. A time of renewal and rebirth a time to grow something new that is beautiful and unique as we begin to emerge from the cocoon of winter toward the light and potential of spring.
You may like to devote some time to the outward expression of this practice in the days following this practice. Plant something or tend to the garden. Partake in a spring clean of the house or your body. Consider the possibilities of a new hobby or giving time to that which brings you joy and fulfilment. Or simply, take a walk in your natural environment soaking in and marvelling at the growth around you in gardens and in park land.
The extraordinary nidra free from tamas, manifests when all attachments have vanished because of the superiority of ones inward awareness. Having mastered cessation of the mind while sleeping, o dear one enter that special timeless and thoughtless sleep which consists of only consciousness,
Thank you to the teachers who have gifted me much inspiration and knowledge of yoga nidra for myself and those that come to practice with me, in particular Kaya Mindlin, (yoga with Kaya) & Heena Chauhan whom I had my very first sanskrit lectures with on my yoga teacher training I will always remember that first experience of yoga nidra.
If you enjoyed this and would like more please comment and let me know. You can also attend a class in person or book a private nidra experience with me.
More information on my site.