- Christina Manfredi
Psychological Counsellor; Clinical Psychotherapist
Yoga & Qigong Practitioner
Yoga Nidra is a practical and safe technique that can offer powerful self-healing in addressing different ailments that the mind, body, or spirit may experience. Some of the many ailments that Yoga Nidra may offer relief to include physical pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, headaches, digestive problems, asthma, and illness.
Yoga Nidra is also respected as a process that assists with manifesting goals, desires, and dreams. Hence Yoga Nidra works at both spectrums of healing continuum, resolution of problems, manifestation of desires, and ultimately spiritual awakening in the realization of your true Self.
The word ‘nidra’ in Sanskrit means ‘sleep’ however the sleep of Yoga Nidra is very different to our usual nighttime biological sleep. Throughout the practice of Yoga Nidra the practitioner is fully conscious and yet in a state of ‘conscious or psychic sleep’.
Yoga Nidra was originally practiced in ancient Indian as a deep relaxation and spiritual awakening practice within a broader system and discipline of Yoga. The focus is on creating an altered state of consciousness allowing the person to promote deep physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual restoration. It is a method that allows safe entry into the sub/unconsciousness mind, the realms of the imagination and transpersonal in a way similar and yet different to Western hypnosis, lucid dreaming, and meditation to induce positive change and healing. Most commonly Yoga Nidra is now facilitated as an end practice in most contemporary yoga classes in a more limited form, however in its fuller form it is a stand-alone practice lasting up to one hour in duration.
Unlike other forms of yoga practice more commonly known that involve assuming a certain active asana or posture, Yoga Nidra is typically done whilst lying down on a mat on the ground in a still position. The back remains in contact with the ground. The body is surrendered to the mat and ground. For pregnant women or people with back injuries it can be undertaken whilst lying on the side.
The breath and Witness Consciousness are engaged. Witness Consciousness is that part of our awareness that can observe all aspects of our experience moment by moment without attachment, judgement, or merger with any particular aspect of our experience.
In Yoga Nidra practice the body, mind, and emotions are completely relaxed via very specific induction of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is one branch of the autonomic nervous system that promotes nourishment, regeneration, and healing of the body, mind, and emotions.
Once a parasympathetic state is induced our sub and unconscious mind becomes highly receptive to creative and healing autosuggestions. The auto-suggestions are initiated by way of setting what is known as a “sankalpa”. A sankalpa is a deep commitment, determination, and intention to bring about an inner resolve. It is similar to an affirmation and yet much more than this. The focus is on that which the practitioner wishes to heal, to change, or to grow more of within and manifest in their life. Hence the ‘sankalpa is like a seed that is planted within the rich fertile soils of the sub/unconsciousness and transpersonal body-mind matrix that is primary generator of self-healing.
There are many potential benefits of Yoga Nidra practice some of which include:
Yoga Nidra is an empowering self-healing practice that assists us in restoring our health and wellbeing.
The Yoga Nidra sessions offered at Fremantle Counselling & Psychological Services are facilitated as a stand-alone self-healing practice.
If you are interested in a Yoga Nidra session combined with psychological therapy please call Christina on 9430 9533 or 0422 648 243. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article Author: Christina Manfredi