Yoga Nidra is one of the most effective and least common or explored technique of getting in tune with the depths of the unconscious mind. When literally translated, ‘Nidra’ means ‘to sleep’. However, rather than the unconscious sleep that we experience at nighttime, Yoga Nidra is a dynamic state – one in which we are present, aware, and capable of reprogramming our intuitive minds. Like unconscious sleep, this method of yoga both renews and restores; yet unlike the rest we receive while asleep in our beds, Yoga Nidra allows us the possibility of deep and lasting personal revelation.
Yoga Nidra and Trauma Recovery
Many believe that meditative practices such as Yoga Nidra require years of practice and profound intellectual understanding. Fortunately, this is not the case! All that is truly required is an authentic trust in the process and a dedicated focus of attention. This specific method of yoga uniquely combines deep relaxation and acute alertness. On the most basic level, Yoga Nidra relaxes and rejuvenates the body while renewing the mind. It empowers the practitioner to eliminate unconscious obstructions and energetic blocks that may preventing ultimate fulfillment and contentment. When one practices Yoga Nidra on a regular basis, he or she will begin to achieve an integrated state – one that allows for the realization of personal intentions and the instinctive movement towards self-healing.
Yoga Nidra works by immersing the brain in the healing rhythms of the alpha state. In this state, an individual is able to simultaneously access the power of both the logical left brain and the insightful and intuitive right brain, aligning the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and restoring the mind and the body to a blissful state of homeostasis. This is a state of harmony and coherence, in which the healing powers of the mind (beyond the ego) will be tapped into, and healing will begin to occur on a mental, emotional, and physical plane. We at Next Chapter have incorporated this proven method of healing into our recovery curriculum, introducing all of our patients to the benefits of Yoga Nidra and utilizing its healing powers to help them overcome past hang-ups, traumatic experiences, mental illnesses, and addictive disorders.
It has been estimated that stress is the underlying cause of up to 80 percent of all physical and mental illnesses. Stress comes in many shapes and sizes, and often becomes such a ritualistic part of our daily routine that we fail to see it as a problem – it simply becomes the norm. The hidden stressors of day-to-day life constantly barrage us, and cumulatively result in a wide range of serious health issues. These issues include (but are certainly not limited to) premature aging, indigestion, insomnia, degenerative diseases, heartburn, high blood pressure, and a wide range of addictive disorders (both chemical and behavioral). Many individuals will subconsciously turn to drugs, alcohol, and tobacco as a means of self-medicating high stress levels.
Yoga Nidra and Stress Release
The vast majority of the stressful and self-destructive behavioral patterns that we engage in are deeply embedded into what is frequently referred to as the karmic body. Attempting to work against these patterns often proves ineffective, seeing as they are so deeply engrained into our subconscious minds. In order to successfully release these blockages, we must dismantle them at their very core. Yoga Nidra works to bring practitioners beyond the barriers of the five senses, allowing them to tap into a realm that is essentially free of all worldly stressors. Once one has reached this place, he or she will have the ability to realize all personal intentions, affirmations, and prayers.
Yoga Nidra initiates a shift that originates from the deepest core of one’s being, while providing the powerful tools necessary to eliminating stress, banishing self-destructive behavioral patterns, and destroying hindering fears, beliefs, and habits. At once, life begins to synch up with intentions. The fight that we are all in – the fight against ourselves – finally comes to an end.