by Mia Park
Yoga nidra is referred to as "yogic sleep", "dynamic sleep" or "psychic sleep" where you learn to relax consciously. In yoga nidra, the body, mind and intellect are completely relaxed and one appears to be sleeping. In the state of yoga nidra, however, the consciousness functions at a deeper level and the subconscious and unconscious realms of the mind are more open. Yoga nidra is a very deep form of relaxation and has been found to reduce tension, anxiety and headaches and is used to help soldiers with PTSD.
The process of yoga nidra is truly accesible for anyone who can lie comfortably on the floor. To practice yoga nidra, you will lie on the floor and are welcome to use supportive props to make the body as relaxed and comfortable as possible. A cushion under the head, a bolster under the knees to release the lower back, or a blanket over the body can greatly enhance the yoga nidra experience by facilitating effortlessly relaxation.
In yoga nidra, practitioners are safely guided through relaxing breath work and visualization by spoken word. Then, they are safely brought back to the conscious state. In this yoga nidra class, we will also work on setting a sankalpa, or focused resolution.
The deeply relaxed state yoga nidra cultivates is an excellent place to seed an intention, a sankalpa. The sankalpa is a short mental statement which is impressed on the subconscious mind when it is receptive and sensitive to autosuggestion during yoga nidra. Your sankalpa is a goal you want to fulfill in the next six to eighteen months and should be a goal to help you fulfill your dharma, your purpose in life. The most effective sankalpa is made when you are not intellectually active, but when your mind is calm and quiet.
In this one hour yoga nidra class, there will be 15-30 minutes of discussion and easy yoga postures to loosen the spine and increase breath capacity. The practice of yoga nidra will take place during the last half of class, so if you need to arrive late, you are still able to practice a full yoga nidra session.