Yoga Nidra or the yogic sleep is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the “going-to-sleep” stage. It is based on the biology of the body: your body knows how to sleep! Progressively we are emptying the content of our minds. You know that when you want to sleep, the only thing you must do is to let go of your thoughts. The beauty of it is that it is effortless because your body knows how to do it. When exercising Yoga Nidra you will enter profoundly deep states of consciousness, just as deep as experienced meditators will do. Yoga Nidra is a combination of body, mind and awareness technics. You will slide into the state of being, being pure awareness itself.
This state of consciousness differs from meditation because when you meditate a single focus is required. In Yoga Nidra we withdraw 4 of our 5 senses inward (which is called Pratyahara in Yoga) – only the hearing sense is still active and listens to the instructions that are given. So, it is a kind of guided meditation.
With Yoga Nidra you will learn to step back from the content of your thoughts, feelings, struggles, and reactions so that you can choose if you want to get involved or not. You learn that you can choose when impulses, cravings or old habits appear. You can say: “No, not now. I am not gonna eat this ice cream, I rather take a tea” or “I not gonna shout back to that mean person, I gonna take a deep breath instead”.
Working with an intention
In Yoga Nidra you have the chance to set an intention for your practice. This intention is called Sankalpa. As we go to very subtle states of our being, we use this place to make mini shifts. The Yogis believe that your body and your surrounding are a mirror of your inner being. If you want to change anything in your life you need to start inside yourself. This means going to the cause and not trying the change the symptoms. Science found that stress if more mental than physical. In our days there is no real tiger threatening us anymore. There are only mental tigers coming. With Yoga Nidra we learn to handle the psychological aspects of our stress and restore the excess tension that has been built up in the body and rebalance it with relaxation.
When to practise Yoga Nidra and how often
It is said that 45 minutes of Yoga Nidra equals 3 hours of sleep! Nevertheless, my Yoga Nidra session here to download as mp3-file is only 20 minutes, so that you can inherit it more easily into your everyday life. Try to practice Yoga Nidra 3 times per week for 4 weeks and you will feel a difference 😊
If you want to practise Yoga Nidra in live with me, please get in contact with me.
Actual text of the Yoga Nidra MP3 recording:
We will now practice Yoga Nidra, the sleep of the yogi. Make sure you are for around 15 minutes not disturbed, put your mobile on silent or flight mode.
Lay down on a soft, warm yoga mat and cover yourself with a light blanket. If necessary, put a pillow under your head and a cushion or a bolster under your knees. Palms are facing up and arms are away from the body. The legs are a bit spread. Make sure that you are warm enough and that your body is comfortable. Then close your eyes softly. Open your mouth very wide and move your chin from right till left, and if you want to yawn please do so. When you close your lips make sure that your mouth is slightly open, or the lips touch each other only very soft. Make yourself comfortable in such a way that nothing bothers you anymore and you can be left motionless in the following. Try really to stay motionless throughout the practice.
Sankalpa for this Yoga Nidra practise
As your SANKALPA tell yourself three times now: I’m practicing now Yoga Nidra – I will stay awake… I’m practicing Yoga now Nidra – I will stay awake… I’m practicing now Yoga Nidra – I will stay awake…
Now go with the awareness to the right side of your body – walk through your body with your awareness in quick succession – right hand – thumb – index finger – middle finger – ring finger – small finger – palm – back of hand – wrist – forearm – elbow – upper arm – armpit – shoulder – right shoulder – right shoulder blade – right buttock – back of the right thigh – knee – calf – heel – sole of the foot – big toe – second toe – third toe – fourth toe – small toe – back of the foot – shin – knee – front of the right thigh – groin – right lower stomach – right upper stomach – the right side of the chest.
… then the left side of the body – left hand – thumb – index finger – middle finger – ring finger – small finger – palm – back – wrist – forearm – elbow – upper arm – armpit – shoulder – left shoulder – left shoulder blade – left buttock – back of left thigh – knee – calf – heel – sole of the foot – big toe – second toe – third toe – fourth toe – small toe – back of the foot – shin – knee – front of the left thigh – groin – left lower stomach – left upper stomach – left side of the chest.
Then the back of the body: feel the complete back of your body touching the ground – your head – your neck – your shoulders – upper back – middle back – lumber area – pelvis – back of thighs – knees – calves – heels – soles of the feet – all toes
Now the front of the body: the crown of your head – your forehead – right eyebrow – left eyebrow – eyebrow center – right eyelid – left eyelid – right eye – left eye – right ear – left ear – right cheek – left cheek – nose – nose tip – upper lip – lower lip – chin – neck – right chest – left chest – navel – stomach – pubic area – front of right thigh – front of left thigh – right knee – left knee – right shin – left shin – right ankle – left ankle – right ankle – back of the right foot – back of the left foot – all toes.
Now the large areas of the body
– the whole right leg – the whole left leg – both legs together – the whole right arm – the whole left arm – both arms together – the whole back – buttocks – spine – shoulders – the whole torso – abdomen – chest – the whole head – the whole body – the whole body – the whole body
Stay awake – perceive your body as it lies on the ground. The body lies on the ground – see it there – laying completely calm – here in this room – Become aware of your breath – feel how the breath flows into and out of the lungs. Do not change the rhythm, the rhythm is natural and automatically, let it happen – the breath happens without effort – realize your breath – now bring your perception to the movement of your navel. Your navel lifts and lowers with every breath. With each breath, the stomach expands slightly and tightens again – concentrate on this movement in conjunction with your breathing – continue to observe this calm breathing movement.
Now find an inner image
that is pleasant to you: a meadow, a beautiful beach, a clearing in the forest, a lake, find a landscape that is pleasant to you and settle in it – stay there and let the peace grow, let the peace of this inner image fill you completely, enjoy being here.—————-
Watch your mind relaxing more and more in this landscape ——-–
To leave the exercise
let a slow and deep inhale reach your chest, put your hands on your stomach – just breathe quietly and deeply for a while now – feel your breath under your hands – it is calm coming and going – Then start circling with your fingers, with the wrists and ankles – move your head very slowly from right till left – let the movements grow bigger, stretch in all directions – pull the knees to your upper chest …. and lie down on your right side – and then come up to the seat – take the helpful inner image with you into everyday life, like a refuge, where you can retreat again and again when you need a break –
come to a comfortable sitting position
let’s sing one Om together to end the class: Ooooooommmmm”