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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Yoga Nidra

Yoga nidra means psychic sleep.  You enter this state briefly between sleep and wakefulness. During the practice of yoga nidra you enter and prolong this state. Entering this state creates a connection with the inner self, the subconscious and higher consciousness. Once envoked, this awareness promotes yogic growth and increases positive emotions of love, peace and harmony will permeate your life. During pregnancy you develop a deeper connection with your baby and gives you an opportunity for spiritual growth and rebirth. 

During the practice of yoga nidra you are directed into a state of deep relaxation and can be used before sleep; preparing you for a deeper, more peaceful and rejuvenating sleep. During yoga nidra you train your mind to rest rather than trouble it throughout the night with life's stresses. Practicing before sleep relaxes both the body and mind. Sleep with be deeper, requiring one to sleep less and wake up feeling fresh and energetic.

Once entering into psychic sleep the mind becomes clear and thoughts more powerful. The mind opens itself to suggestion. By creating a resolve or intention that is deeply important to oneself you hold within yourself the power to change your life.  During pregnancy you can use yoga nidra to overcome any fears you may have about your pregnancy or upcoming birth. Set a resolve such as "My body is strong and capable of having a happy and healthy baby" or "My body knows exactly what to do"or anything else you may find meaningful. Repeat your resolve at the beginning and end of your practice before you open your eyes and use this intention throughout your regular yoga practice to reinforce its effectiveness.  

In yoga nidra the mind should follow all directions unquestioningly and without understanding or rationalization. You must remain awake and alert, but do not try and remember the words as it will exhaust your mind and send it to sleep. Practice yoga nidra in a supine position or while pregnant side lying, supported by pillows, bottom leg straight top leg bent and resting on a cushion so that there is no pressure on the abdomen. The body should be completely relaxed and still. There should be no physical movement once yoga nidra has begun; eyes remain closed. Yoga nidra can be practiced at anytime throughout the day and vary in length from 20 minutes to one hour. 

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