Relaxation after a yoga class releases any physical tension, stills the mind, making concentration easier and helps to channel energy in a creative way.
Beyond mere relaxation is a technique called Yoga Nidra. Yoga meaning ‘Union’, Nidra meaning ‘Sleep’.
It is a systematic method of inducing a natural state of physical, mental and emotional relaxation and awareness. The union of a deeply relaxed body and a calm clear balanced mind.
In this state, the subconscious is accessed beyond the restless mind.
At this subconscious level, we can work on releasing mental stress and promoting feelings of well being, motivation and creativity.
How it works:
The practice of Yoga Nidra extends the transitional state between waking and sleeping known as the Hypnagogic State. This state normally lasts for 3-5 minutes with gradual deep relaxation and decrease in sensory awareness. It is recognized by the presence of alpha brain waves and is the state where intuitive ideas and inspiring imagery occurs before dreaming and deep sleep.
The stages of yoga nidra include muscle relaxation, sensory withdrawal, focus on internal rather than external awareness, visualization, imagery and autosuggestion in the form of a personal resolve. The resolve is made with feeling into the subconscious mind by the practitioner himself when the mind is quiet and calm. It is not made by the instructor who is only a guide.
During yoga nidra the mind is in a very receptive state. When relaxation is deep and the mind more withdrawn you are neither in a state of deep sleep nor completely awake. Whatever impressions enter the mind during this time will become powerful.
Memory, concentration, knowledge and creativity can be developed in this way, and any self limiting factors such as stress, fears and anxiety reduced.
For further reading: Yoga Nidra, Swami Satyananda Saraswati
“ Each must discover his own way in life, and that way lies in his heart. Let him delve deeply into the depths of his being; his true centre is not far from there. ” N. Sri Ram