Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra, may be rendered in English as "yogic sleep" or "sleep of the yogis". There are numerous traditions of Yoga Nidra sadhana that have been transmitted through parampara within the Indian religions. These aspects may include disciplines and traditions of dream, sleep and yoga. Fundamentally, Yoga Nidra is engaged to prepare and refine a sadhaka spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically prior to seeking sublime levels and aspects of consciousness and awareness through meditation, trance and other sadhana not constituted by sleeping and dreamwork. In some Himalayan lineages, Yoga Nidra as Yoga of Clear Light, is a sublime sadhana and transmission modality in its own right. However, general traditions of Yoga Nidra have related a version of the practice that has become synonymous with yogic relaxation and guided visualisation techniques.

The true Yoga Nidra is a state of consciousness in which the yogi is in direct communion with the Divine energy, that may be understood as Dharma, pervading the whole phenomenal Universe and beyond.Fact|date=October 2007 In the Vaishnava sampradayas this deified "energy" is Vishnu, the sleeping lord. This energy is beyond space and time, allowing the yogi to potentially access by grace, past, present, future and beyond. Fact|date=January 2008 A tantrika engaged in this sadhana may also become aware of their past or future lives (refer bhumi).Fact|date=October 2007 Through Yoga Nidra, as other sadhana, the practitioner may work through karma and samskara, cleansing the store consciousness. In some traditions, Yoga Nidra is employed to purify the unconscious mind through use of certain vows and commitments, samaya, known as shankalpas. Experienced tantrikas employ Yoga Nidra for astral travels and thoughtform projecting and in its advanced and refined practice, it may lead to samadhi and satchitananda.Fact|date=October 2007

Adherents of the Yoga Nidra as guided visualisation technique, hold that half an hour of Yoga Nidra may yield the benefit of up to three hours of standard sleep, although the regular engagement of this sadhana as a sleep substitute is contraindicated as the bodymind still requires sufficient rest through standard sleep. This tradition of Yoga Nidra should not be conflated with techniques of autosuggestion and autogenous training, etcetera, though there is a palpable commonality in process if not in application.

Vishnu: the sleeping lord

In a number of texts such as the "Devi Mahatmya" and the "Bhagavata Purana", Vishnu reclines on the nāga shesha during yoganidra. The phenomenal world is the dream of Vishnu.Fact|date=October 2007


Yoga Nidra refers to yogic sleep and yogic lucid dreaming.Fact|date=January 2008 Yoga Nidra has been practiced as a sadhana for millennia by sadhu and rishi.Fact|date=October 2007 Of the three states of consciousness of waking, dreaming and deep sleep, as expounded in the Upanishads, particularly the Mandukya Upanishad, Yoga Nidra refers specifically to the conscious awareness of the deep sleep state, referred to as "prajna" in Mandukya Upanishad. [cite book |title=Mandukya Upanishad: Enlightenment Without God |last=Rama |first=Swami |isbn=0893890847 ] This is the third of the four levels of consciousness of Omkara mantra, relating to the state represented by the M of AUM. The four states are waking, dreaming, sleep, and turiya, the fourth state. The state of Yoga Nidra, conscious deep sleep, is beyond or subtler than the imagery and mental process of the waking and non-lucid dreaming states. As a state of conscious deep sleep, Yoga Nidra is a universal principle, and is not the exclusive domain of any specific tradition.Fact|date=October 2007

However certain teachers and lineages do emphasize the sadhana of Yoga Nidra more than others, and have more experience with training adepts in its practice. Paramyogeshwar Sri DevpurijiFact|date=October 2007 was an early modern proponent, who passed it on to Sri Deep Narayan MahaprabhujiFact|date=October 2007 and it was taught to his disciples since 1880.Fact|date=October 2007 On his journeys to the Himalayas, Sri Devpuriji met, among others, Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh, who is well known in Europe and conveyed the technique of Yoga Nidra to several Yogis and Swamis, such as Swami Satyananda Saraswati.Fact|date=October 2007 Swami Rama was another proponent of the sadhana. [cite book |title=Mandukya Upanishad: Enlightenment Without God |last=Rama |first=Swami |isbn=0893890847 , cite book |title=Path of Fire and Light, Vol. 2 |isbn=0893891126, cite book |title=Conscious Living |isbn=8188157031 cite book |title=Om the Eternal Witness: Secrets of the Mandukya Upanishad |isbn=8188157430]

Swami Satyananda particularly began popularizing the practice about 40 years ago.Fact|date=October 2007 He drew a connection to the ancient tantric practice called nyasa, whereby Sanskrit mantras are mentally placed within specific body parts, while meditating on each part (of the bodymind).

With Mahamandaleshwar Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda's and Swami Satyananda's extensive worldwide tourings and teachings, Yoga Nidra gradually spread throughout India, Europe, Australia and the United States and is taught in the system in Satyananda Yoga and Yoga in Daily Life.Fact|date=October 2007 Swami Rama's teachings on Yoga Nidra continue to be taught via his Himalayan Institute and several of his non-affiliated students.

The form of the Yoga Nidra practice taught by Swami Satyananda includes eight clearly defined stages (Internalisation, Sankalpa, Rotation of Consciousness, Breath Awareness, Manifestation of Opposites, Creative Visualization, Sankalpa, Externalisation); some stages of the Yoga Nidra practice deepen pratyahara.Fact|date=October 2007 Pratyahara is an effect as well as a state which is induced by the withdrawal of awareness from sensory perception (refer drishti). According to some traditions, Yoga Nidra is best engaged as a guided, facilitated practice, that is, with an experienced yoga teacher who verbally delivers the instructions.

cientific evaluation

Rosch & Fallah (undated PDF) in a critique of Harrington & Zajonc (2003) mention Swami Rama and the Menninger Foundation and state that: 1970 Swami Rama, a Hindu yogi, was extensively studied at the Menninger Foundation where he demonstrated a variety of extreme abilities, including the voluntary death-like state of physiological arrest called yoga nidra (Anand, Chhina & Singh, 1961, Kasamatsu & Hirai, 1969, Boyd, 1995). [Rosch, Eleanor & Fallah, Eman (undated). "Review of "The Dalai Lama at MIT". Source: [] (accessed: January 31, 2008)]

ee also

*Bihar School of Yoga
*Bihar Yoga Bharati
*Paramahamsa Satyananda
*Swami Niranjanananda
*Mandukya Upanishad
*Ösel (yoga)Yoga nidra is a useful tool in getting the relaxation to the mind and body. It has been used to help soldiers from war cope with PTSD. [Eileen Rivers, Washington Post Tuesday, May 6, 2008; Page HE01 ]



* "Yoga Nidra" by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, Bihar, India; first edition published 1976 by "Sri G. K. Kejriwal", Honorary Secretary, Bihar School of Yoga; printed by "Bhagwati Prasad Drolia", Sharda Press, Bhagalpu 5; sixth edition 2001, ISBN 978-8185787121
* "Science of Soul" by Swami Yogeshwaranand Saraswati; first edition published 1964 by "Yoga Niketan Trust", New Delhi, India; printed by "Navin Printers", New Delhi
* "Lila-Amrit" by Dharmsamrat Paramhans Swami Madhavananda, Nipal, Rajasthan, India; published 1998 by Paramhans Swami Maheshwarananda, Vienna, Austria, ISBN 3-85052-104-4
*Anand, B.K., Chhina, G.S., & Singh, B. (1961) "Some aspects of electroencephalographic studies in yogis". "Electroencephalography Clinical Neurophysiology", 13, 452-56.
*Boyd, D. (1995). "Swami: Encounters with modern mystics". Honesdale, PA: Himalayan Publishers.
*Brown, K.W., Ryan, R.M., & Creswell, J.D. (in press). "Mindfulness: Theoretical foundations and evidence for its salutary effects."
*Kasamatsu, A. & Hirai, T. (1969). "An electroencephalographic study on the Zen meditation (zazen)". Psychologia, 12, 205-25.

External links

* [ Yoga Nidra Information and Teacher Training] Yoga Nidra Information
* [ Yoga Nidra Demo MP3] Yoga Nidra Testimonials and Free Demo MP3
* [ Yoga Nidra Articles and Information] Yoga Nidra Articles and downloadable Yoga Nidra practices
* [ Yoga Nidra: Yogic Conscious Deep Sleep] Article on Yoga Nidra
* [ Yoga Nidra MP3 Downloads] Authentic Yoga Nidra MP3s by Certified Teachers
* [ Free 46 minute Yoga Nidra MP3] Free 46 minute Yoga Nidra MP3
* Pictures of the brain's activity during Yoga Nidra] Bindu Magazine article on Yoga Nidra research from The State University Hospital in Copenhagen

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