Yoga Nidra | How to Stay Sane and Deeply Relax
The word Nidra means “sleep”, so Yoga Nidra means “yogic sleep.” It is an extended relaxation practice of body, mind, and spirit. We gently move the body. We breathe. We lie down comfortably tucked under a warm blanket for 45 min. We aren’t in a deep sleep. It is a lucid dream. It’s a balancing act between consciousness and unconsciousness. It’s not hypnosis. We are invited into a pleasant state of bliss that allows us to drop into the body and calm it. We leave our thoughts alone, we let them flow, we let them go. We meet our emotions as they are and release mental, emotional, and physical tensions we may store in our bodies. The silence accompanying deep relaxation means the lack of negative stimuli, the lack of noise, but also the lack of those stimuli that fuel our thoughts, imaginations, and emotions. This does not mean that there are no sounds, thoughts, emotions, and ideas during the Nidra yoga experience. They are present, they appear in moments of peace and inner calm, so they do not cause chaos and disharmony. We can go deep into our emotions and slowly “dissolve” them, and work with them.
Yoga Nidra is not a kind of escape from real responsibilities and the real world. It is a method that helps to inspire the process of introspection and mindfulness. It is a set of physical and mental exercises that lead us to calm down and get to know ourselves more fully. I am fascinated by Yoga Nidra. It was a big discovery for me and my first impressions were very intense. In the beginning, sometimes I just fell asleep and didn’t hear any instructions. Suddenly, I heard the instructor’s voice that the class was over and I wondered what happened, where I had been for the last half hour. I even had a moment when my chest felt tight after the first week. What could have happened to me when I was lying comfortably and practically doing nothing? I learned that unresolved emotions are often stored in the chest. I wanted to know how to get rid of this tightness, I wanted a solution. My teacher told me – “relax, just be and observe.” A few weeks later, the pain went away, my breath deepened, and I felt lighter than before. It occurred without me analyzing and obsessing about what was happening to me. The body did its job. The more we obsess and identify with physical or emotional pain, the more resistance, and suffering is created. When we let go, miracles can happen in the body. Yoga Nidra practice is an attempt to tune into, listen and understand the body. It is worth giving yourself time and space for it. We push and push all the time, we want more and more, we relentlessly improve ourselves. The pace of life is fast, we keep running, planning, we’re always busy doing something. We dream about doing nothing but when this moment arrives, we panic and we can be terrified. When we come to Yoga Nidra, we find out that when we let go of the grip we may have on the body and mind, when we relax, we go to the sometimes difficult meeting with ourselves, but I if we make this effort, we can only thank ourselves.