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[Yoga Home][Postures][Breathing][HolisticOnline Home][Meditation][Prayer]

Yoga Nidra - Yoga Relaxation


Meditation is another powerful technique you can use to augment yoga nidra to achieve a deep relaxation. You can do meditation before the yoga nidra or any other time by itself. Meditation also helps you to fine-tune your breathing skills that is required in yoga nidra.

In meditation you aim to reach a state where you are aware of an inner peace, and experience a sense of release from everything impeding that peace.

Meditation is a healing process. Meditation heals the effects of psychological stress by:

bulletAchieving an inner calm 

and then

bulletIn a peaceful state of mind, contemplating the problem, its cause and how to resolve it.

Practice Nadi-Sodhana and Ujjayi breathing exercises (pranayamas). 

Now, sit relaxed for a couple of minutes. Loosen up your shoulders, neck and legs. Assume the Easy Pose (sukhasana). Sit cross-legged with your hands resting lightly on your knees, the tips of your index fingers touching your thumbs. If you wish, you can place a cushion under your buttocks for increased comfort.

If you prefer a chair, choose one with a straight back. Keep both your legs together with the weight of your feet equally distributed.

Place your hands in your lap, one on top of the other, palms facing up, or on your knees, the tips of the index finger and thumb together, palms either facing up or down.

Keep your eyes closed. Feel peaceful, and detached. Do not feel the need to do anything. Breathe spontaneously. After a minute, become aware of your breath, the coolness of the in-flow deep inside your head, and the warmth of the out-flow inside your lower nostrils. Train your mind to be more and more aware of the breath.

By concentrating on the flow of your breath, you will notice your breathing automatically slowing down.

In a relaxed state of mind, focus on prana, the vital energy of the breath. Allow your thoughts to flow undisturbed. Experience the alternating coolness and warmth of the breath. After a couple of minutes, associate your awareness of peace with the feeling of coolness, and the release of inner tension with the warmth.

Now move on to the next stage, which you should do for at least five minutes. 
Repeat to yourself, inhaling and feeling the coolness, "Peace is my real nature", and exhaling and experiencing the warmth, "not conflict". Try to believe in what you are saying. Then, letting your mind gently float with the breath, be aware of the breath, the coolness absorbing and making grooves of peace in the subconscious, and the warmth smoothing and easing any thoughts or feelings of conflict, stress and inner tension.

After a minute, pause and just be aware of the breath for the next minute. Then resume the repetition slowly and clearly. When thoughts persist in floating into your mind, repeat to yourself "I am full of inner peace", inhaling, and "I am a free soul", exhaling.

You may choose phrases to suit your specific need, depending on the cause of your stress.

Select a few affirmations for each session and use them for as long as you need to. From time to time, alter the affirmations to suit your mood.

Detach your mind, and relax for two minutes, breathing normally and feeling peaceful and restful, before getting up.

Other Phrases or Assertions You Can Use

You can use a variety of phrases or assertions. We suggest that you use a phrase or assertion that has some significance to you, to correct the situation you want changed. Use the following as a guideline to come up with your own set of assertions.

"Harmony, profound inner harmony", inhaling; "all tension is draining out", exhaling.

"Gathering in the fullness of peace", inhaling; "smoothing out all conflicts", exhaling.

Goodness, beauty, grace and poise flowing in", inhaling; "pain, unhappiness, anxiety and stress flowing out", exhaling.

"Detachment is my real nature", inhaling, "not attachment", exhaling.

"Freedom is my real nature", "not bondage':

"Humility is my real nature", "not self-importance':

"Patience is my real nature", "not impatience':

"Tolerance is my real nature", "not intolerance':

"Love is my real nature", "not resentment", (or "hate").

"Truth is my real nature", "not dishonesty':

"Caring is my real nature", "not selfishness':

"Light and shadow are part of life. We all possess the capacity to develop excellent qualities, and there are many positive aspects of life from which we can learn. The essence of yoga is to learn to appreciate the happier moments in life and to take in our stride the unhappier ones without rancor. In the spirit of St Francis of Assisi, we should have 'the courage to change what can be changed and the serenity to accept what cannot be, and the wisdom to know what can be changed and what cannot be.'"

Swami Shivapremananda, "Yoga for Stress Relief"

See Also: Meditation Infocenter in Holisticonline.com

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