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The Art of Relaxation
Excerpts from Yoga Nidra Swami Satyanada Saraswati
During the last hundred years or so, the way of life has significantly changed throughout the world. The social systems and other systems are no longer the same as they used to be in ancient times. This has brought about the dispersion of human energies at all levels. The mind of humans has lost the point of balance and harmony in every sphere of existence. We are so engrossed in the material world that we are unaware of what has happened to us.
Within the last century or two, diseases have sprung up with new dimensions, expressions, and manifestations, which peaked in the past few decades. Medical science has put an end to the plagues of the past. Still, we face a new epidemic of stress-related disorders caused by our inability to adapt to the highly competitive pace of modern life.
MENTAL TENSIONS become common and are the result of excessive mental activity. Our mind becomes burdened by a lifetime collection of our experiences accumulated within the mental body. The mind oscillates with thoughts constantly. The underlying cause behind our emotional state and behavior lies in accumulated tension on the mental plane.
YOGA NIDRA is the science of relaxation that enables us to dive deep down into the realms of the subconscious mind, thereby releasing and relaxing mental tensions and establishing harmony in all facets of our being. Yoga Nidra is the scientific method of removing stress from the mind and body.
RESTING more efficiently.
Many people think relaxation is straightforward, just recline and close your eyes, but you are still holding on to the stress and tension. Therefore, upon waking, you still wake up feeling exhausted.
Yoga Nidra is the practice of releasing all tension. In order to relax completely, we must remove the inner tensions of the body, emotions, and mind. Then the actual state of relaxation dawns.
SECRET OF TRANSFORMATION through the practice of yoga nidra, we are relaxing, restructuring, and reforming our whole personality from within. Every session, we burn the old samskaras, habits, and tendencies to be released from mental bondage.
YOGA NIDRA means sleep with a trace of awareness. It is a state of mind in between wakefulness and dream. When you practice yoga nidra you are opening the deeper phases of your mind. Your intellectual mind is operating, but you’re able to relax, the subconscious and unconscious levels of the mind open. The natural nature of your mind can be changed and your creative genius can be restored. The subconscious and unconscious mind are the most powerful forces in the human being. The simple practice of yoga nidra has the capacity of penetrating into the depths of the human mind.
The subconscious mind is a very obedient disciple, and immediately carries out the orders that you put to it. If you know how to practice yoga nidra, you can train your subconscious mind completely. Then the ordinary mind and intellect will follow suit.
SANKALPA sowing the seed of change. In yoga nidra the most effective means of training the mind is found in sankalpa, which you make for yourself during each practice. Sankalpa is a Sanskrit word which translates to resolve or resolution. It is an important stage of yoga nidra and a powerful method of reshaping your personality and direction in life along positive lines. If you know what you wish to achieve in life, sankalpa can be the creator of your destiny.
HOW TO PRACTICE Yoga nidra can be practised in a yoga class or at home. It should be performed in a quiet, closed room in a comfortable temperature, with dim lighting., as lighting has a profound effect on the mind. Lay comfortably in savasana alone, and separate from others, cover the body with a light blanket as the body temperature tends to drop when relaxed. Ideally [practised at the same time daily, either in the morning hours between 4-6 am, or in the evening before bed in order to induce deep and refreshing sleep.
Finding a qualified teacher is very important. Dharma Mittra who learned from Swami Satyandanda Saraswati teaches every Saturday morning and Rahda at Lightrail Yoga on Sunday midday. A perfect way to be introduced into this powerful practice and a wonderful use of your time on the weekends.
There are many yoga nidra downloads available through spotify and soundcloud, our favorite is by sonic yoga linked here Yoga Nidra Guided meditation.
The tools and techniques learned over many years in Eastern Philosophy can improve our western mindset and assist us in managing the stress of our daily lives. Eastern practices are rooted in healing and provide a vast array of healing practices. We just need to learn how to be receptive to the teachings and open our hearts to a different understanding so that we can thrive in our daily lives.
We hope to inspire those of you who haven’t tried this great practice so that you too can release your mind and body of tension and stress and thrive with abundance and love.