“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love
By Amanda KiddYoga nidra can be called the best method of relaxation for the body, mind, and soul. This is performed by sleeping, physically but not mentally. Nidra, which means sleep in Sanskrit, rejuvenates your body and mind of all the stresses that you face in your day to day life. There are specific ways in which this yoga asana is done and to master it you need to practice it regularly. While various other postures of yoga will make your body fit and healthy, yoga nidra will ensure that your inner self is cleansed and your mind is healed of any stress and pain it may have.
The difference between normal sleep and yoga nidra is that when you sleep your conscious mind is dormant and not working while your subconscious mind takes over. The subconscious mind does not leave behind the stresses or pains you might have faced during the day. Yoga nidra does exactly the opposite. When performing yoga nidra, your conscious mind is still awake and relaxes the body and mind completely without reminding you of the worries you have faced. It is like meditation, which will heal your inner pains. Here are five steps to get started..
1. Preparation of body: Loosen up your body and prepare it for yoga nidra by settling down on an undisturbed and quite place.
2. Making a ‘Sankalpa’ or resolve: This is very important before starting yoga nidra. You have to make a resolution as what you want in life, which will give you satisfaction. Make a resolution, say, “I am successful” or “I want to achieve complete health.”
3. Rotating your consciousness: In this step, your mind or consciousness should be made to take a trip through your whole body. Your mind should visit all parts of your body relaxing them step by step and slowly. This whole process should relax the body and should give you pleasure. It makes your mind aware of all the body parts and how they function.
4. Breathing: This is done slowly and through the nostrils only. Breathing slowly and deeply will help your body parts to lose their sensitivity and go into a trans like state, but with your conscious still awake. All the sensory nerves will be relaxed and will make your body feel light and relaxed.
5. Feelings: In this step, you need to think about the pleasures and emotions you might have faced earlier in life. These feelings are experienced again by thinking about them and then they are eradicated. Feelings of opposite nature are used to make you re-live the experiences, like feelings of pain and joy, and light and heavy; this will make you overcome the experiences and emotions to relax the mind. This step will not only help you relax, but also build up will power.
6. Visualization: In this last and final state, you are made to visualize some really pleasing scenes like a mountain, sea, lake, a holy place or anything, which gives you peace of mind. This will help relax your mind of any left over tension.
After all these, the ‘Sankalpa’ is repeated once again and this ends the session. The whole session can last for about 45-50 mins or even more, and you can do it yourself, buy a yoga nidra CD, or get help from a teacher. After the whole session, you are made to come back to consciousness. The feeling is of waking up, but it was not actually sleep that you were in.
The goal of raja yoga is to teach how to concentrate the mind, then find the most secret places of the mind and finally put it all together and get to your own conclusions. This meditative search conduces to a transcendent reality that is beyong thoughts, images, adoration and prayer.
1. The sound of OM encompasses all words, all sounds in human language
OM is a matrix of all sounds, when in its diversified form gives rise to all words used in language.
Linguistically, all audible sounds are produced in the space within the mouth beginning at the root of the tongue and ending at the lips. The throat sound is A, and M is the lip sound; and the sound U represents the rolling forward of speech articulation which starts at the root of the tongue, continuing until it ends in the lips.
To pronounce OM correctly, remember, the sound vibration is pronounced “oom” as in home.
2. AUM and OM
In Sanskrit, the sound “O” is a diphthong spelled “AU”. A diphthong is the blending of two vowel sounds where both are normally heard and make a gliding sound. As a result, the difference between OM and AUM is simply one of transliteration.
3. AUM represents the 3 Fold Division of Time
A – is the waking state
U – is the dream state
M – is the state of deep sleep
At the end of AUM is a pause, a silence. This represents the state known as Turiya, or Infinite Consciousness
4. The visual symbol represents the meaning of AUM
The symbol OM visually consists of three curves, one semicircle, and a dot.
The large bottom curve symbolizes the waking state, A.
The middle curve signifies the dream state, U.
The upper curve denotes the state of deep sleep, M.
The dot signifies the fourth state of consciousness, Turiya.
The semi circle at the top represents Maya and separates the dot from the other three curves. It signals to us that it is the illusion of Maya that is an obstacle to realization of the Highest.
5. OM is associated with Ganesha
The physical form of Lord Ganesha is said to be that of OM. The upper curve, of OM, is identified with the head or the face of Ganesh. The Lower curve his belly. The twisted curve, on the right side of OM is the trunk.