Practicing guided relaxation using a recording is a wonderful way to let go of tension and get out of your busy mind. There are so many recordings available, but did you know there is a science behind the techniques used?
What is Yoga Nidra?
In the yoga tradition, Yogis practiced a form of guided relaxation called Yoga Nidra which translates from Sanskrit (the ancient language of India) to Yoga (union) and Nidra (sleep). Yoga Nidra is a state of dynamic sleep in which you remain aware and hover between the threshold of sleep and wakefulness. Once you enter this state your mind is more open on the levels of sub-conscious and unconscious receptivity. Listening to the meditation regularly will create a fertile ground to reprogram some of your negative thought patterns and to reestablish a more positive and balanced inner dialogue.
Creating Your Intention or Sankalpa for your Guided Relaxation
One of the most important elements to working with Yoga Nidra is to develop an Intention (Sankalpa in Sanskrit) for your practice that you will repeat three times both at the beginning and at the end of your guided relaxation. While you may be tempted to jump ahead get started, I suggest that you create the Intention that you would like to work with first.
The Sankalpa or Intention is a statement in the affirmative that is concise and harnesses your determination to achieve a specific outcome. Take some time to reflect and write down some ideas to change a particular behavior. If you are chronically late, the Sankalpa or Intention can be, I am punctual. If you struggle with establishing a healthy sleep routine you might work with the intention of I prepare for sleep an hour before bed by turning off all my lights and devices. Remember to keep it in the affirmative and practice the guided Yoga Nidra a few times a week, perhaps at a time when you are not extremely fatigued so that you remain aware throughout the practice.
Yoga Nidra/Guided Relaxation Practices for You to Try.
I am posting a long and a short practice of guided relaxation for you to try. The long practice will be best used in your home. The short practice is something you can use during the day if you need a break from the stress of life or work. Either one will quiet your mind and relax your body and give you time to reset before moving on to the demands of your day.
Please enjoy these recordings and send us any feedback or questions. They are in mp3 format. Simply click from your computer or device to begin playing.