Complete relaxation - one-hour class:
- 15 minutes of very easy exercises (light stretches and joint rotations) and breathing relaxation.
- 45 minutes of the Yoga Nidra technique from supine position, with guided meditation, music and visualisations.
This is the best way release the stress accumulated throughout the week, to rest and relax on a deeper level (even deeper than in sleep) and re-charge for the weekend.
Lucid relaxation has multiple beneficial effects on nervous and immune sytems, on the ability to relax and meditate, and on deepening of the spiritual experiences.
What is lucid relaxation?
Lucid relaxation is a therapeutic method of relaxation that we oftentimes practice at the end of our yoga classes. It not only relaxes the body, it also brings the mind to a deep state of rest and harmony. Since it involves "floating" between sleeping state and being awake, it allows access to the subconsious mind.
What happens during a lucid relaxation?
The mind becomes quiet, and the psycho-somatic tension is being released. After some minutes, the heart beat slows down, the breath becomes subtle and the mid deeply calm. This is why it is believed to be more healing than the regular, unconscious sleep.
What is the difference between lucid relaxation and meditation?
Lucid relaxation IS a form of meditation, but because it is done lying down without any physical effort, it is a very good preparation for the meditation. One develops the capacity to have full awareness, even in very deep states of mind.
What does the deep conscious relaxation consist of and how does it affect us?
There is a rotation of awareness on various parts of the body, awareness of the whole body, of the breath, of the pace and energy, as well as various visualizations. The whole time we remain in a state between waking and sleeping, gaining access into the subconscious. Sometimes there is a Sankalpa – a resolve as a seed of change. When we decide something, e.g. to stop smoking on a conscious level, but the subconscious mind resists our decision, our decision usually ends up fruitless. In conscious yogic sleep though we have access to subconscious and the decision we make in the form of a short positive sentence, is being imprinted in the subconscious. This becomes possible because the mind is receptive and sensitive to auto-suggestion. We make the resolve with feeling and strong will-power. With regular and persistent practice, the changes we decided upon start to manifest in our lives. These changes may concern our behaviour towards ourselves or other people, repetitive unwanted reactions, the state of our physical and/or mental health and so on.
What is a dedication of practice to some other person?
As our yoga practice matures, we begin to feel deep gratitude for our life and appreciation towards other people. This awakens a desire to offer and to share the sense of wellbeing and health with others. Yoga practitioners oftentimes dedicate their practice, and their sankalpa becomes a wish for health and balance in the life of another person, or even of the humanity as a whole. In conscious yogic state of deep relaxation and mental floating between the conscious and subconscious states, our thoughts have great power, and the positive energy that we “send” influences positively both ourselves and he person we wish well to.
Hints for deep conscious relaxation practice:
- Stay awake. In the beginning say to yourselves: “I will not fall a sleep. I will remain awake throughout the whole practice”.
- Do not try to concentrate on various parts of the body. Rather, you will experience the awareness effortlessly flowing from one part to another.
- Don’t try to go deep or to have special experiences. Be spontaneous, relaxed and receptive.
The origins of this tecnique are found in Puranas, ancient Indian scriptured dating back to 3-5 century CE. Its official name "Yoga Nidra" is very well defined by Adya Sankaracharya in his text Yoga Tadavali. Hatha Yogic Text Hatha Yoga Pradipika also used this term in different context. Later on, contemporary Yogis like Swami Rama, Swami Satyananda and Pandit Sriram Sharma Acharya propagated their own techniques, which are very common today. More recently, several scientific studies are going on in different parts of the world relating to this technique.