My name is Rita Burgos and I practice and teach a method of progressive relaxation that brings you into what can be called a Yoga Nidra state. Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep, is a state of complete awareness in deep relaxation. There is no scientific test that can measure this state of being. An EEG can give some insight, but ultimately, a Yoga Nidra practice is an act of bringing our awareness within that provides a doorway for transformation.
The actual practice is approximately 40 minutes long. During this time, I guide each student starting with their breath. Take one deep breath; then a second breath. As one begins to settle, Yoga Nidra is like entering into another zone. Subtle layers of light may emerge. Each body part changes with each observation. We visualize what we deeply want to create and manifest in our life. An inner smile may permeate the body, like every cell knows what is possible. The entire body moves into a deep state of relaxation. The ego is dropped and consciousness is fully present.
The great yogi, Adi Shankaracharya, wrote – “When mind has transcended maya (delusion), when ego has become static, when senses are no more functioning, and when all communication between the mind and the senses has been cut, when I and you no longer exist for a period of time, Yoga Nidra exists.”
What does this feel like in terms of an actual experience?
In the classes I’ve taught over the years, these are some frequently shared experiences:
- Observing the body and its corresponding sensations without any need to act or react.
- Feeling that time has stopped.
- Experiencing both not being confined to the body but being so deeply relaxed in the body that you are aware of even the smallest movement.
Having these experiences strengthens inner tools that can change your life, like having muscles that you rarely use which are getting stronger with each practice. Some of these inner tools include:
- Accessing your deep relaxation state. Stress impacts our personal and professional lives and our overall society. Knowing that you can access a deep relaxation state at any time is powerful.
- Learning to master your actions and reactions. When you lay in this state of stillness and experience sensations without reacting, you are increasing your internal ability to master your actions and reactions in everyday life.
- Reducing Judgment in Our Lives. A regular practice of observing sensations in our body without judgment increases our capacity to move through experiences in life with more ease.
A Yoga Nidra practice can bring you immediate benefits, but a regular practice creates long term shifts that will surprise you. Join me at LYFE Yoga to explore this Yoga Nidra journey together.
This post was written by Rita Burgos