Updated: Jul 17, 2022
by Sara Atia
July 17, 2022
Yoga means union with God - cosmic consciousness, and the basis of all yogic practice stems from the belief every human being possesses great potential from the divinity within that can only be accessed and utilized with proper training and awareness. Yoga Nidra is a state of mind between wakefulness and sleep; a guided meditation practice in which you lie down in shavasana with eyes closed and maintain awareness as the conscious mind and body go into a deep sleep. It is a very systematic process, starting with sankulpa, tuning in to surrounding sounds, moving through and relaxing each part of your body in a specific order (starting with right hand thumb), then once in deep relaxation, guided imagery for subconscious invocation, and closing sankulpa. Yoga Nidra means “sleeping consciously”. There are no limits to this practice’s capacity to heal, nourish, and liberate your mind. As this practice relaxes the intellectual mind, it allows this barrier to fall through to deeper layers and have practitioners gain awareness of the subconscious and unconscious layers of the mind - the most powerful driving forces of the mind that can be transformed when properly accessed and directed.
This practice is a guide to turn inward and liberate the self from deeply rooted negativities that drain our life force. Tensions, insomnia, and psychosomatic disease that are normalized in modern life are caused by an unstable mind; causing us to unintentionally hurt ourselves and blame other people or circumstances for our suffering. We can break through the mind's blind conditioning, rid ourselves from its negative residual impressions that caused these maladaptive traits to develop by going into this deep state of mind and planting a seed - a sankulpa. Sankalpas are the resolution you make at the beginning and end of Yoga Nidra to realize true divine nature that is already within, it is a short phrase that contains just essential information to unleash your greater potential. Examples of sankalpas are :
I am awakening my spiritual potential.
I am whole, healed, and healthy.
I am peace itself.
It is most beneficial to have sankalpa with “I am” statements that are rooted in the core qualities the soul already possesses, as sankalpas are bringing you into alignment with your divinity, uncovering the potential within you that is already there. Once this seed is planted in the deeper layers of the mind, the sankalpa can transform habit and personality to align with conscious desires.
A diagram for layers of Self - In Yoga Nidra, imagery that is held within the collective unconscious is purposefully utilized to unlock repressed memories.