Yoga Nidra: How to make this ancient practice work for you
Years of studying, practicing and teaching Yoga Nidra have taught me the following things:
- Be patient and keep practising regularly. You will notice changes in your daily life.
- You cannot do an entire Yoga Nidra on your own, you need to follow vocal instructions.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you fall asleep. You will still benefit of the deep rest, and over time, you will remain awake. Practice a few mindful asanas before Nidra, it helps!
WHAT IS THE MOST VALUABLE LESSON I LEARNT OVER THE YEARS?
To choose your Sankalpa VERY carefully and DON’T be rushed to find it.
Finding the correct Sankalpa has been the most challenging aspect for me. For a long time, I had a few Sankalpa’s, depending on what was important to me on the day I practised…
When the Sankalpa’s never really realised, I started doubting the effectiveness of the Sankalpa, and even though Yoga Nidra in general made me feel more alert and energised, I became sceptical about the efficiency of Sankalpa. Did I miss something???
Yes, I did.
I approached my Sankalpa much like a box of affirmation cards. You know, every day, you draw a card, read the affirmation, get a feeling about it, and it may be just right for today! Then, it goes back to the bottom of the pile, and you forget about it the next day.
Our fast-paced society, where we get praised for our productivity, is reflected even in our inner practice of our FIRM RESOLVE, or SANKALPA. We are taught to expect results in a week, NOT over years or even over a lifetime. I did, too.
I went back to my study material and realised I had to meditate about the my Sankalpa, my most inner heart felt resolve, which truly resonates with my aim in life!
I am sure this sounds familiar to many of you. But if you follow a few simple steps, you will soon discover the amazing power of your Sankalpa!
When I started teaching Yoga Nidra regularly, I wanted to FEEL the power of this mysterious Sankalpa. I took some serious time out to meditate and to ponder the questions below:
WHAT IS THE MEANING/ DIRECTION OF MY LIFE?
As I went about my daily activities I wondered what REALLY gives meaning to my life.
HAVE you ever even wondered what this is for you???
WHAT ARE MY INNER VALUES?
What is really important to me so that I can feel truly happy?
WHAT ARE MY VERY UNIQUE QUALITIES?
What makes me so different from everyone else? And how would others describe me?
WHAT WILL I SEE, HEAR, FEEL WHEN MY SANKALPA MANIFESTS?
These questions are not easy to answer with our intellect. NO, they require time to marinate inside us, we need to spend time alone to contemplate about them, and BE LOVINGLY PATIENT!! It may take days, weeks or even months before you have that YES!!!! Moment about your Sankalpa.
My wish for you is that you may find a Sankalpa that truly resonates with your inner values and give it at least 6 to 18 months to start manifesting in your life! Once you feel it has manifested, or it needs to evolve with your inner evolution, you can change or adapt it.
Using the Sankalpa in the practice of yoga nidra allows the Sankalpa to go very deep into the psyche, however, it is advised to use your Sankalpa daily, during daily activities or before any Sadhana (spiritual practice); as well as at the beginning/end of the day, when the mind is in a restful state. This gives it a deeper sense of direction and purpose.
I have a few recorded Yoga Nidra’s, (each about 30 minutes) you can purchase very cheaply from me, if you want to practice at home.
I was trained, with a handful of other Cape Town teachers, by Swami Pragyamurti in 2008.