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THE DEFINITION OF YOG-NIDRA ;- 07 FACTS;-- 1-In the modern scenario, human life has become very fast, hectic and demanding. The present lifestyle demands adjustment on the part of the individual. Each of us, as per our coping resources, tries to adjust in this changing world. Some adjust by becoming overactive and others by withdrawing from the situation. 2-When we fail to make a proper adjustment according to the demands of the situation, a state of negative stress or distress develops in our personality, which gives rise to mental or psychological problems. In most people the mind always remains in a state of arousal and tension. Yoga nidra, as a technique of pratyahara, not only provides relaxation to the body and mind but also has a number of benefits. 3-Yoga nidra is one of the practices of pratyahara ; where the awareness is internalized. Literally, yoga nidra means 'psychic sleep' i.e. sleep with full awareness. In the practice of yoga nidra the body sleeps but the mind remains awake listening to the instructions. In psychology, the state achieved in yoga nidra is termed the hypnogogic(relating to the state immediately before falling asleep)state, a state between sleep and wakefulness. Yoga nidra has its origin in the ancient tantric practice called nyasa (Point-08 ). 4-It is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the "going-to-sleep" stage. It is a state in which the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions. 5- This state of consciousness (yoga nidra) is different from meditation in which concentration on a single focus is required. In yoga nidra the practitioner remains in a state of light pratyahara with four of his or her senses internalised, that is, withdrawn, and only the hearing still connects to the instructions. 6- The yogic goal of both paths, deep relaxation (yoga nidra) and meditation are the same, a state called samadhi.Yoga nidra is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness. 7-In lucid (expressed clearly)dreaming, one is only, or mainly, cognizant of the dream environment, and has little or no awareness of one's actual environment. Yoga nidra refers to the conscious awareness of the deep sleep state, referred to as prajna in Mandukya Upanishad. Yoga Nidra has two distinct meanings 7-1. A Yoga-tantra technique;- Yoga Nidra is a powerful relaxation and meditation technique.The Yoga Nidra technique enables you to remain aware while you enter into the dream and sleeping states of consciousness. The technique is practical and easily accessible, while creating deep relaxation for health, mental peace and higher awareness. Ultimately, Yoga Nidra enables you to experience exalted states of higher consciousness. 7-2. An Indian philosophical concept Vishnu in Yoga Nidra;- Many Indian philosophical and mythological texts refer to Yoga Nidra as the state that occurs when the Indian god Vishnu sleeps at the time when creation is destroyed (called pralaya). Vishnu is the cohesive power of the universe, so when he sleeps, the universe dissolves. Modern usage of the term Yoga Nidra typically refers to the relaxation and meditation technique i.e. a short cut rather than to the state of absorption into the highest Self. 8-WHAT IS NYASA ? (Awakening subtle energy) 1-The characteristic feature of Yoga Nidra is the systematic rotation of consciousness in the body, which originated from the tantric process of nyasa (meaning ‘to place’ or ‘to take the mind to a point’). 2-During nyasa, a yogi consciously touches various parts of his or her body while repeating mantras. When this is done in the prescribed manner, the yogi can awaken subtle energy within the physical matter of the body. WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF YOGA NIDRA ?--- STAGES;-- The practice of yoga nidra is divided into the following stages:--- 1. PREPARATION :--- Yoga nidra is performed in the posture of shavasana, with the eyes closed. In this stage, initial relaxation of the body and mind is induced (convince) by the awareness of stillness, comfort, posture, position, breath, and listening to the external sounds with the attitude of a witness. 2. SANKALPA :--- When the body and mind are relaxed, then the practitioner is instructed to take a resolve according to his or her own wish. The sankalpa should be short, clear and positive. The practitioner repeats the selected sankalpa three times mentally, with full determination, conviction and confidence. 3. ROTATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS :--- In the third stage, the awareness is rotated around the different body parts in a systematic and organized manner. The practitioner is instructed to remain aware, to listen to the instructions and to move the mind very rapidly according to the instructions without making any physical movements. 3-1-The rotation of awareness in yoga nidra follows a definite sequence: right side of the body, beginning with the right hand thumb and ending with the little toe of the right foot; left side of the body, from the left hand thumb to the little toe of the left foot; back of the body, from the heels to the back of the head; and lastly the front of the body, from the forehead and individual facial features to the legs. 4. BREATH AWARENESS :--- In this stage, one simply becomes aware of the natural breath without making an attempt to change the flow of the breath. One may become aware of the breath by watching it in the nostrils, chest, and abdomen, or in the passage between the navel and the throat. The practitioner becomes aware of each incoming and outgoing breath by counting them mentally. 5. OPPOSITE FEELINGS & SENSATIONS :--- In this stage, the physical or emotional sensations are recalled, intensified and experienced fully. Usually this is practised with pairs of opposite feelings or sensations like heat and cold, heaviness and lightness, pain and pleasure, love and hate, and so on. 6. VISUALIZATION :--- In the stage of visualization, the awareness is taken to the dark space in front of the closed eyes, referred to as chidakashain yogic terminology. The practitioner is then instructed to visualize some objects, stories or situations in the chidakasha. 7. SANKALPA --- Once again the sankalpa, taken in stage two, is repeated mentally three times in this stage with full dedication, faith and optimism. 8. ENDING THE PRACTICE :--- Before ending the session of yoga nidra, slowly the awareness is externalized by asking the practitioner to become aware of the external sounds, objects and persons. They are asked then to slowly move the body parts and to stretch the body. NOTE;- 1-Yoga nidra means psychic sleep. Sleep rests the body, but yoga nidra rests both the mind and body. When you are asleep, your consciousness sleeps in your astral body, but in yoga nidra your consciousness is awake within. 2-Yoga nidra performs two beneficial functions. It removes fatigue and invigorates (refresh) the body. The stresses and strains of daily life create tensions and these rob the mind of its serenity. Yoga nidra removes tensions and restores the elasticity (ability to change and adapt)of your mind. 3-The evils of day-to-day life are deposited in our subconscious mind and in due course they exert a deleterious (causing harm) influence on our mental make-up. Just as our house must be swept daily to keep it tidy, similarly, to have a normal personality we must remove the samskaras, the mental dirt that accumulates daily in our subconscious. Yoga nidra performs this essential service for us, removing our mental abnormalities and clearing the way to spiritual progress. HOW TO PRACTICE YOGA NIDRA ?---- 1-First do a few asanas and pranayamas and follow them up with yoga nidra. This technique is best learned from the guru /guide. Not that it will harm you if you practise it on your own, the chances are that every time you begin you will end up falling asleep. Then your samskaras will not be destroyed and you will not make any progress. To be absolutely successful, yoga nidra presupposes a spirit of communion between the guide/guru and the disciple. 2-Yoga nidra should not be practised immediately after meals. Mentally sick persons should practise it three times a day for longer durations, say for one hour each session, after a preparatory round of asanas and pranayamas. 3-Trataka will increase the efficacy if practised before yoga nidra, but if it is found to be too difficult, then shambhavi mudra or nasikagra drishti can be done. These preliminaries are important to performed. Yoga nidra is a psycho-physiological therapy. WHAT IS YOGA NIDRA ?-- 1- It is a state in which you are neither asleep nor awake. If you fall asleep, it is not yoga nidra. If you remain awake, then too it is not yoga nidra. If dreams overtake you, it is not yoga nidra. Yoga nidra is a state in which there is awareness of the conscious, subconscious and unconscious fields of your mind all at one time. It is a perfect therapy. It removes all psychological abnormalities and samskaras, and helps you to become your normal, natural self. 2-Patanj