An important instrument
of peace, tranquility and general improvement is the technique known
as Yoga-nidra. Yoga-nidra is a kind of sleep when one is fully conscious
and awake - The mind is fully conscious, and devoid of any tension,
but the body is completely relaxed and every nerve is relaxed. The right
time for doing Yoga-nidra is after a hard day's work, when one is most
tired. Yoga-nidra can be practiced by anyone who is overworked or stressed.
procedure is quite simple. It is always preferable to do Yoga-nidra
with the help of an instructor, even when one knows and is quite conversant
with it. Often while doing Yoga-nidra one goes to sleep. Even when one
is drifting into sleep, the statements made by the Yoga-nidra instructor
goes into the mind and get embedded deep into the subconscious.
To start with, one lies down with his face up, legs slightly apart,
hands by the sides, eyes closed breathing slowly and deeply. The yoga-nidra
instructor guides the mind from one organ of the body to another, instructing
each organ to rest. The student rotates the consciousness around the
organ, feeling it, experiencing the relaxation of that part, and the
draining away of all pain and stress in and around the organ.
First you call upon your Ishtadevata, the deity of your choice, whom
you like most, or your Guru or a Saint or Jesus Christ or Prophet Mohammed
to come to your mind in front of your mind's eye, in the Chidakasa (the
sky of the mind - when one closes his/ her eyes, and looks ahead one
can feel the infinite depth or expanse of the Chidakasa in front). Imagine
your Ishtadevata in vivid splendor, as best as you can. Make your Sankalpa.
Sankalpa is a statement made by oneself to oneself regarding one's targets
or goals, a reminder of what one wants to achieve, in order of priority.
One can change one's Sankalpa depending upon the changing scenario -
for example a newly emergent urgent problem, which is imminent and needs
immediately to be solved can form the top most priority.
But all yoga-nidra will start with the recitation of one's goals or
Sankalpa, prefaced with the statement that "the Sankalpa made during
yoga-nidra will never fail". Such a statement and a mental reassurance
to oneself goes a long way in ensuring that one's fears are removed
and the body and mind cure themselves with redoubled internal capabilities.
The internal healing mechanism which retreats into the background when
fear and negative expectations take charge of one's mind and its direction,
comes back into full play.
Then one starts with instructions to the body organs, one by one, to
rest, to remove all pain and tensions and to heal oneself. The order
of calling is to be the same every time. There should be no change in
First, say 'Right thumb relax', rotate the conscious around the right
thumb, feel it relaxing and being relieved of all pain, pressures, tension,
stress and uneasiness, if any. Then say 'First finger relax', feel the
first finger of right hand relaxing and all tension and pain there,
if any, going away. Then 'Middle finger relax'. 'Ring finger relax'
and 'Little finger relax'. After this, bid the right hand palm to relax
followed by the back of hand. Then the wrist, lower arm, elbow, upper
arm and finally the shoulder joint. After the right hand, come the collarbone,
shoulder blades, rib cage, chest, right lung, the heart, the alimentary
canal from mouth to stomach, and the diaphragm. If there is any particular
health problem, rotate your consciousness around the organ contributing
to the problem. Feel the problem vanishing or at least reducing. For
example, for stomach pain, feel the stomach relaxing and the pain reducing.
For irritation in the throat or cough, feel the throat relaxing and
the conscious rotating around the area of irritation, with the discomfort
slowly reducing. Feel the muscles around the named organs relaxing.
Feel deep inside the bones, the flow of blood and nervous energy.
Then come the organs of the abdomen. Depending upon the affliction the
concerned abdominal organ is to be made to relax and return to its normal
Next the right hip, the hip bones, the right thigh muscles, the knee
joint, the calf muscle, the leg, the ankle, the right foot, the heel,
the sole and the toes of the right foot. Finally sweep the conscious
around the whole of the right side of the body.
Now move on to the left side and repeat all the above. Some organs of
the chest and abdomen will be repeated in this process. It does not
Finally rotate the conscious around the facial muscles, the eyes, the
nose, the neck, the top of the head, inside the head - the brains, the
back of the head and all along the back - from the top to the bottom.
One can also use the yellow prana (that is, feel a yellow colored glowing
sphere enveloping the organ concerned) during this practice for relaxing
and healing an organ.
After relaxing the whole body thus, one takes away the conscious from
the body. Come out of the body and look at your own body from outside.
Move your consciousness away from the body and feel the outside world,
the land and the topography, the evening sun, or moon or the clouds
- whatever gives total relaxation and sense of well-being. Create an
atmosphere or a scenario, which gives a tremendous amount of satisfaction
and peace of mind to you - like a temple, church or mosque, or a beach
or a lake and totally peaceful atmosphere suiting your mental make-up.
Hear the sounds, songs, prayers or bhajans (devotional songs), which
should fill your mind and the whole of your being. After practicing
this for about ten minutes, the instructor slowly brings you back to
your body consciousness. If you have gone to sleep by that time, it
does not matter. Your subconscious is listening to all this and healing
Yoga-nidra should be practiced daily to derive the maximum benefit.
It is also to be practiced whenever one is very tired, worn-out or mentally
fatigued. Normally one is tired in the evenings and hence yoga-nidra
is best done in the evening hours. It is preferable to do it before
dinner. However, if time is a constraint one can do it also before sleep.
You can have a cassette on yoga-nidra produced by Bihar Yoga Bharati
from the AMC Trust or from the Bihar School of Yoga costing Rs. 50/-
(approx) (Handling charges extra).