Yoga Nidra: How to make this ancient practice work for you
Years of 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 that day.
When the Sankalpa’s I repeated for a week or so never really realised, I started doubting the promised efficiency of the Sankalpa, even though Yoga Nidra in general made me feel more alert and energised. Did I miss something???
Yes, I did.
I approached my Sankalpa much like a set 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 a few hours later.
The fast pace of our society is reflected everywhere, even in our FIRM intention, or SANKALPA.
We are taught to expect results instantaneously, not over months, years or even over a lifetime. So did I.
I went back to my study material and realised I had to meditate about my Sankalpa, my most inner heart felt resolve, which truly resonates with my aim in life!
But what was my aim in life? I have so many.I am sure this sounds familiar to many of you.
When I started teaching Yoga Nidra regularly, I wanted to FEEL the power of this mysterious Sankalpa. I took some time out to reflect , and to uncover the answers deep within me, to the 4 questions below.
If you follow a few simple steps, and give yourself the time to find your Sankalpa, you will soon discover the amazing power of your Sankalpa! The questions below will guide you.
1) 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??
2) WHAT ARE MY INNER VALUES?
What is really important to me so that I can feel truly happy? As always, this will be personal, and not always easy to discover, or to decide which one of our many aims resonates most within....
3) WHAT ARE MY VERY UNIQUE QUALITIES?
What makes me so different from everyone else, and therefore unique? And how would others describe me? Based on your answers, you will get a better idea for your Sankalpa.
4) 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. Until you really find a Sankalpa that feels right, you can definitely use another one that can help you. This can even be something like: 'I find and feel what my aim is in life'.
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! It really is important to know exactly what you want to change or improve in your life and trust with all your heart that your Sankalpa will realise. How or when is not important to know, I realised.
Once you feel it has manifested, or it needs to evolve with your inner evolution, you can change or adapt it. Yoga for me is never rigid. Life flows, and our Sankalpa flows with 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 sessions, (each about 30 minutes) you can purchase from me, so you can practice at home.
I also have a free Flemish Yoga Nidra on the Insight Timer app. Look for Ann Verhaeghe, enjoy my guided meditations and the Nidra!
I was trained to teach Yoga Nidra by Swami Pragyamurti, in Cape Town in 2008.
She is a disciple of Swami Satyananda Saraswati and a truly enlightened teacher.
May your intention be sowed like a seed in the fertile soil of your heart...