MEDITATION & YOGA NIDRA
The Principals and the Preparation for Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra means psychic sleep. a place between sleep and wakefulness. Yoga Nidra is useful to prepare yourself for sleep, it relaxes the whole body and the mind. Sleep will be deep, one will need fewer hours and one wakes up feeling refreshed and energetic. In the state of deep relaxation that results, tension is released, the mind becomes clear and the thoughts are more powerful.
In psychic sleep, we contact our inner personality to change our attitude towards ourselves and others. It has been used by yogis since time immemorial to bring them face to face in the inner self.
A resolve or Sankalpa is made during the practice. It should be something of immense importance to you. In the state of Yoga Nidra passivity, this type of autosuggestion is very powerful. Such resolves can change your whole life.
By this method, you can change old habits and cure certain mental illnesses. example: "Every day in every way I am becoming healthier and healthier" or happier and happier.
A short statement that can be repeated word for word with the same conviction and emphasis. Your Sankalpa or resolve should be repeated several times during practice ( you will be reminded), and should be repeated in Yoga Nidra for days thereafter.
The mind should be taken up with the instructions, and requires acute attentiveness. Do not slumber and do not try to understand or rationalize the directions.
The practice should be done supine (laying), head flat on the floor (although you may use a small cushion if needed), body aligned, palms upward. Lie completely still, the body must be totally relaxed (light, loose clothing is suggested), no physical movement once the practice has begun. Best done on an empty stomach.
For recordings of Yoga Sleep or to order "Yogic Sleep" - a CD for the practice of Yoga Nidra with the sound of Crystal Bowls.
MINDFULNESS AND MEDITATION
Mindfulness is an Eastern practice to train our minds. It is a practice that cultivates sustained conscious wakefulness or presence. Mindfulness is a life discipline for raising awareness of "what is".
Practicing mindfulness is like building up a muscle, the more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. Only rather than building up a muscle, practicing mindfulness strengthens our mind.
In Eastern culture, the mind is not merely about thoughts and beliefs, as we perceive it in the West. Rather, the mind is conscious awareness itself. We may bring awareness into our thinking so we can critique our thoughts with accuracy. In mindfulness, the mind is not thought, but rather, conscious awareness, so mindfulness encourages us to learn from our own experience.
Mindfulness is a life-enhancing practice that enables us to expand our conscious awareness and general presence. Mindful awareness allows us to become more sensitive to what is occurring in the present moment, both within ourselves and also in the outside world.
Mindfulness can be defined as intentionally bringing awareness to the present moment in a non-judgmental way. This skill is developed through engaging with systematic training in regular meditation practices, and also bringing mindful awareness and acceptance into daily life and work.
Mindfulness promotes a way of being that helps both ourselves and our clients take care of ourselves and live healthier lives. Mindfulness is based on meditation practices from ancient spiritual traditions but is universal in nature. Contemporary training in mindfulness gives participants the opportunity to learn and apply these practices and principles in entirely secular ways.
For thousands of people all around the world, from all religions and nationalities, mindfulness practice helps people to nurture inner peace within themselves, improve concentration and general well-being.
Mindfulness is commonly held in high professional regard for its physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. However, due to poor teaching and attached cultural stigma, this straightforward and useful practice is often avoided, resisted, or even rejected in its entirety.
As children, most of us are taught how to remember information and store knowledge in school. However, not all of us are taught how to strengthen our minds and resultantly manage our thinking (especially throughout much of Western culture).
The practice of training our mind expands our ability to detach from thought, emotion, and body sensation enough to witness them. In turn, this allows us to better regulate our emotions, train our brains to focus more efficiently, and teach our bodies to de-stress when we lose our focus.
Ironically, when we master mindfulness practice we often do find relief from anxiety or depression, cure health problems alongside creating a far deeper sense of inner peace and disciplined concentration.
So while the aim of mindfulness is to train our conscious awareness to witness what is occurring in the now, the practice often results in improved balance and happiness in the context of our daily lives.