Behind yoga nidra is the idea that there are Koshas, veils or coverings that obscure our view of our true essence. In order to tap into our unconsciousness/true essence, we need to first peel off the layers…
In yoga nidra, there is a setting of your sankalpa, your intention. Your sankalpa is a positive statement of intent. It starts with I AM. It requires a gentle enquiry. A tapping into what is going on for you. A listening that allows you to set your sankalpa to what is important for you in that moment. I found this hard to start with but you get better at it, more in tune with what your body is telling you. Your sankalpa might be, I am calm, safe, loved, free, well,strong etc. This listening and setting of your sankalpa can have a profoundly positive effect on your being, it can stay with you. I often repeat my sankalpa, long after my practice has finished.
Yoga nidra, often referred to as yogic sleep, rocks! It rocks on so many levels. If you haven’t tried it… You are missing out.
I first tried yoga nidra when I was really unwell, Lyme Disease. The symptoms were so debilitating that I went from 6-8 hrs of physical exercise every day to not being able to sit up. I was told meditation would help. To be honest there is not much you can do when you have a headache that lasts for weeks, unrelenting joint pain, a heart that feels like it’s about to burst forth and so little energy that going to the toilet is an epic journey. Iexplored meditation (a lot) and found yoga nidra.
What do I like so much about it? Firstly, it is unexpected. I have many years of meditation experience yet yoga nidra took me by surprise. The different parts to it are like a journey; an internal enquiry. There is an unpeeling which leads you deeper and deeper into relaxation. It is clever too, how it works on different levels of awareness. Senses and sensations, emotions and feelings, imagination and visualisation.