Yoga Nidra ~ The Practice of Dissolution Written by Terri Ryan
Yoga Nidra is not a new form of meditation. It is a practice derived from ancient Tantric texts. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, chapter 1, sutra 38 states: “<em>by taking as the object of meditation the images of dreams or the state of dreamless sleep (the mind of the yogin gets stabilized)</em>. My training in Yoga Nidra follows the Saraswati lineage and the Bihar School of Yoga. Swami Satyananda Saraswati brought Yoga Nidra to the west in the 1960’s and presented it in the systematic and scientific way that is the foundation of my teaching and practice.
Yoga Nidra translates into “psychic sleep”, or “sleep with awareness”. During the practice the body sleeps but the mind remains awake at the same time.
A Yoga Nidra session begins with relaxation of the body and mind, and then as we move through the practice, we aim to separate from the body and the mind. As we deepen in the practice we learn to let go and trust a new-found awareness. Perhaps we might see solutions to some problems or conflicts; perhaps be able to dissolve what no longer serves, or to allow the third eye to open so that we see that we were all born infinite, eternal and whole. Yoga Nidra is about releasing our associations with the body, mind, and all our inherent tensions and thoughts.
Through Yoga Nidra we learn that a mind free from tension is a healing mind and that Yoga Nidra is a practice we should visit more and more frequently.
On my next blog we will look at what steps we take to let go in the practice.
Yoga Nidra classes with Terri Ryan are held every Tuesday evening, 7:30-8:30. Pre-registration is required.