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A HOME PRACTICE   for  Yoga Nidra

Preparation

Find a clean, relaxed space. If you use the bed you will fall sleep. We want to keep from sleeping. Make sure it is a place where you will not be disturbed. If you get cold easily, cover yourself with blankets. If you have lower back issues place a blanket or two under your knees. The purpose is to be perfectly comfortable. It is OK to place a small blanket under your head.

Move into ṡavasana, the corpse pose.  On your back with legs at least hip width apart and your arms out a little by your side and palms up, but not forced.

Physically Relax the Body

First stretch the legs and point your feet and toes … now relax. … Now flex the feet and squeeze the legs and inhale as you lift them about an inch off the floor … hold the breath a few seconds … now exhale completely through the mouth and let your legs fall to the ground.

Roll the legs and let them find their resting place.

Now stretch out the arms and hands and splay the fingers … Relax … Now make fists. Squeeze the arms and lift the arms off the floor an inch holding the breath for a few seconds … let the arms drop while exhaling completely through the mouth.

Roll the arms and let them find their resting place. Let the hands be palms up but do not force.

Inhale and squeeze the buttocks and lift them a little off the floor while holding the breath … relax.

Inhale and blow the belly up like a balloon … Hold the breath … Open the mouth and exhale completely.

Inhale again and puff up the chest as much as you can …. Take in a little more… exhale through the mouth completely and relax.

Gently lift the head lengthening the neck and gently bring the head back to the floor.

Roll the head from side to side.

Open the eyes and look between the eyebrows. While doing that open the mouth wide stick the tongue down and out and roar from your belly. This is a Lion.

Now bring all the muscle of your face to the tip of your face like you are making a prune face… Relax.

Make any adjustment you need to make.

This is a time to offer your sankalpa, your resolve or affirmation. This short statement should be in the present tense. Say your sankalpa quietly three times to yourself … the let it go.

Mentally Relax the Body

This is where a tape recorder comes in handy.

Bring your awareness to your toes … the soles of your feet, the tops of the feet, the ankles … Now move up to the shins and calves … the knees … behind the knees …. then bring your awareness to the thighs and hamstrings … If there is tension have no judgment just be aware… adjust if needed.

Notice the hips … the buttocks … and the pelvis.

Bring your awareness to your fingers, your palms, backs of the hands and wrists. … Allow the awareness to move up and around the forearms, the elbows and upper arms.

Bring your awareness to the belly and the internal organs…  Whatever emotions may arise let them without judgment. Just feel them as much as you can … Let the awareness move to the chest, the heart, around the heart and the lungs.

Notice what is happening with all the muscles of the lower back … Notice the middle back …. and notice the upper back … Be aware of the shoulder blades … and let EVERYthing fall off your shoulders.

Bring your awareness to the neck and throat …, the jaw …the chin. Notice the lips, the tongue and the mouth. … Notice the nose  …become aware of the eyes and around the eyes and even behind the eyes…. Notice between the eyebrows … notice the forehead.

Notice the sides of the head … Notice the ears … The upper jaw … Bring your awareness to the scalp.  The top of the head.

Notice the entire body …. Notice the space around the body.

The Energy of the Breath

Notice the smooth energy of the breath effortlessly flowing in and out of the body. You may want to count down the breath starting with the number 27.. 27 inhale, 27 exhale, 26 inhale, 26 exhale, 25 inhale, 25 exhale … and so forth. If you lose count start over at 27…..Do not fall asleep.

Notice the Mind

Notice the thoughts, but just watch the thoughts without attachments. Watch them rise. Watch them fall. Watch them come into existence and out of existence with no judgment. You can watch them lift away with no strings and no attachments.

Experience Your Wisdom

Sink even deeper… Deeper than the body …. deeper than the mind … Move to that place where you are truly you. Move into that mystery which is you … no definition, no judgment, merely experience this which is you.

Bliss

Notice this mystery that is you … Observe this love which is you … notice peace which is you …. Observe this bliss which is you

Rest in your true being.

At Least Five Minutes of Silence

Soft music is OK, but silence is better.

 

Return

Bring your awareness back to the room …  State your Sankalpa three times to yourself.

Wiggle your toes and fingers ….  Open and shut your hands  …..  move your feet…. Now, roll your arms and legs. Stretch and move in any way to bring you back awake. ….

When you are ready roll over into a fetal position.

When you are ready use your hands and arms to push yourself up. Do not use your head and neck to pull. Let the head be the last thing to roll up.

Sit in a comfortable position for a few moments and concentrate on deep and long breathing.

This is an opportune time to sit and meditate.

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Yama and Niyama

Yama refers to five ethical guidelines regarding behavior toward others:
Ahimsa (non-violence)
Satya (truth)
Asteya (non-stealing, non-cheating)
Brachmacharya (self-restraint, moderation)
Aparigraha (non-coveting, non-jealousy)

Yama can be considered “undoing behaviors that do not lead to growth” or “self-restraint”

Niyama refers to five ethical guidelines regarding behavior toward oneself:
Sauca (cleanliness)
Santosa (contentment)
Tapas (discipline)
Svadhyaya (self-study)
Isvara pranidhana (surrender)

Niyama can be considered “behaviors and observances to cultivate growth, health and balance”

Yoga Sutras of Patanjali