The Transforming Power of Yoga Nidra

Have you ever attended a yoga class that finished up with an awesome final relaxation pose making you feel totally at peace? If so, then you have experienced a form of Yoga Nidra.

Yoga Nidra is defined as “yogic sleep” but it’s really the state that hovers between wakefulness and sleep.

Richard Miller describes it wonderfully by saying, “In yoga nidra, we restore our body, senses, and mind to their natural function and awaken a seventh sense that allows us to feel no separation, that only sees wholeness, tranquility, and well-being.”

That sounds too good to be true and not that easy to attain, right?

But, it is. If you follow these five simple steps. Under the guidance of a teacher, you will be instructed to lie down in a comfortable position and avoid all distractions for 10 – 30 minutes (the longer, the more powerful the practice will be).

First, connect with the state of relaxation.

A good way to do this is to imagine a place where you feel safe and secure. Then let go. Truly surrender knowing you are under protection and can release fully.

Second, scan your body and follow your breath.

This is where the guidance comes in – either using a recorded passage or experiencing it in person with a qualified instructor.

Third, observe and welcome all emotions and thoughts.

It is inevitable that doubts, negativity and uncomfortableness will arise. Let those feelings enter and gently escort them outside your field of awareness. You aren’t that thought. In fact, you aren’t thought at all.

Fourth, welcome yourself home.

Imagine you are a special guest that you have been yearning to see. Witness your authentic self step through the doorway – everything as you are without reacting or judging. See your true state of being. This is what it’s all about – connecting with your essential nature – the unification of the self and the Self – your oneness.

I love this poem by Derek Walcott. It offers the perfect perspective.

Love After Love

The time will come 
when, with elation 
you will greet yourself arriving 
at your own door, in your own mirror 
and each will smile at the other’s welcome, 

and say, sit here. Eat. 
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart 
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you 

all your life, whom you ignored 
for another, who knows you by heart. 
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, 

the photographs, the desperate notes, 
peel your own image from the mirror. 
Sit. Feast on your life. – Derek Walcott

Fifth, show some gratitude and reflect on the practice.

Without rushing up and moving on, take a moment or two to consider the effect of this practice on your well-being. Thank yourself for honoring you.

Namasté (the light within me, salutes the light within you), Kim. 🕉

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