By: Odesi Desko
The definition of Yoga Nidra is "deep sleep" that can be reached while one is awake. It is a state beyond dreaming. In other words a person knows what is going on, but has removed themselves mentally and became so relaxed that they are completely open-minded and receptive to freedom from the usual stresses of everyday living.
Used in conjunction with meditation it allows one to achieve enlightenment from that which is held in the deepest recesses of the mind. In this state all the thoughts and impressions one has recede to leave one in a state of complete calm.
There's nothing more powerful about the body than the mind. Its ability to regulate each and every one of our bodily functions, as well as store knowledge and allow us to think creatively and react make it extremely important. Considering this, it's understandable why the conscious mind takes part in yoga nidra as well. You are completely cognizant of your surroundings as you are in this state, but distractions are otherwise cut out completely. As you enter this state, you don't dream. You can start to feel lasting inner peace and relaxation as you use this in conjunction with meditation.
Even though it may look like hypnosis and regular meditation, this particular practice has quite a few differences to it. For instance, meditation starts with you completely awake, and forces you to concentrate on one individual thing as you drift between two states of consciousness. Reverie, on the other hand, is focused solely on relaxation and visualization. Yoga Nidra, despite its physical similarity, leaves you constantly aware of your surroundings, but puts you into a deep sleep state where you don't dream.
The conscious mind is generally overwhelmed by challenges and tasks that that must be completed throughout the day when an individual is awake. An individual can empty his conscious mind and instead fill it with soothing images that allow restfulness and a sense of peace by employing this practice, along with another technique such as yoga or meditation.
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If you use yoga nidra and meditation together, you can keep you conscious thoughts repressed, so that you can start to dip into your subconscious existence. With your distractions out of the way, it's much easier to start to relax yourself and relieve your problems that cause you to seek treatment like this out. You're not troubled with the worldly concerns you have, and you get to dip past the events in dreams that often terrify you. You get to have one on one time with your soul, reaching the furthest depths of your consciousness.
Allowing the mind an opportunity to renew itself and the body a chance to calm down, utilizing Yoga Nidra alongside these other practices aids an individual in confronting the challenges of our contemporary environment. As good as three hours of restful sleep, one hour of Yoga Nidra is equally beneficial. Although the human body requires eight full hours of relaxing sleep to renew itself, this form of yoga is certainly valuable for those that seek mind exploration to the fullest, but this practice may not be employed continuously.