Making Your Desires Come True
In the previous blog, I talked about the Creation Equation
This week is about the Art of Yogic Sleep - Yoga Nidra. Those of you who know me will know that I am a questioner and to really embody something, I have to understand it first. So my love and appreciation for Yoga Nidra grew exponentially after my training last year, where I understood and then experienced the practice on another level.
In this blog I would like to give you a taster of WHY and HOW?
Prior to my training last year, I knew that Yoga Nidra promotes deep rest and relaxation. There are a whole host of benefits including easing insomnia, decreasing anxiety, alleviating stress and so much more!
But how does it work?
The practice of Yoga Nidra (practice is key - it might not happen right away or every time) is a set of techniques to help people get into the state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. Depending on our state of consciousness, our brain emits different electrical frequencies. There are 5 main brainwave states – each have different beneficial effects. We can experience all of these during our Yoga Nidra practice:
- Normal waking state
- State where we are most identified with our character
- State where most consider being in 'real ' world - world that is solid and relatively unchangeable
- Most driven by programming of ego - 'I am ' state
- Typically experienced during waking state but can also be experienced during REM sleep
- Associated with high IQ
- Important for learning, memory and information processing
- State which gears our senses to new input - hence remembering and learning new information
- Meditation and Yoga Nidra increases Gamma brainwave activity
- Relaxed wakefulness but also dreaming and REM sleep
- Brain activity slows, thoughts are fewer and further apart
- Brain shifting into idling gear - relaxed and disengaged
- Those with excess stress, insomnia and anxiety have fewer Alpha brainwave activity when awake
- In this state, we experience relaxation and ease.
- In this state immune system is boosted so we can best fight off infectious diseases
- Associated with deep states of meditation and deep sleep as brainwaves and movement of the mind slow down
- Associated with creativity, long term memory, feeling relaxed and carefree
- Artists, inventors and children have more Theta brainwave states even when awake
- When you fall asleep and then wake up with an answer or a solution to a problem - this is a result of entry into a Theta state
- In this state we can gain access to unconscious patterns and behaviours that guide our conscious actions
- Associated with deep sleep, also experienced during anaesthesia, when unconscious or in a coma
- The best state for allowing body to heal
- Dreamless state with complete loss of body awareness
- If we get good amount of Delta brainwave states during sleep then we awake feeling particularly refreshed
- This state is most associated with empathy, compassion, intuition and spirituality - monks and meditators display Delta brainwave states during waking state
- In this state the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, is reduced
The goldilocks place for Yoga Nidra is the Alpha/Theta boundary or the hypnagogic state. In this place, your identification with 'I' is the most loose. Our Identity is so important, but sometimes can be a limiting factor to leaping for your dreams and making your desires come true. 'I am not a very good writer', 'I am not good enough for this job', 'I am scared of riding a bike' and so on and so forth!
Someone or something somehow has planted this thought in your mind and it grew roots. The roots of this limiting thought are fertilised and strengthened every time you repeat it and convince someone else that it is true. A powerful and effective way to change these identifications which stop us from achieving our dreams is what I call going down into the vault - it’s where we have access to the conscious and the unconscious mind in Yoga Nidra - the hypnagogic state.
Viktor Frankl, a prominent 20th Century psychiatrist and a Holocaust survivor said: Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.
When we make decisions out of habit or with a close identification to our limiting beliefs then our response to situations is always the same. However, when we take the time to access the vault of conscious and unconscious patterns we have accumulated over the years then we have the power to act in the purest, bravest way! We have access to choose love, to choose strength, to choose freedom and to make our desires come true!
In this pure and unhindered state planting your heartfelt desire (or Sankalpa) is not only helpful for understanding what you want in life, but resolving to sticking to positive actions to make it happen!
If you would like to learn more and experience Yoga Nidra for yourself then check out this FREE 4 part Yoga Nidra Journey.
It comes complete with the write up explaining the important elements of the practice and each week you will uncover and experience more! (This and other Yoga Nidra recordings are free as part of the Unlimited Yoga Membership!)
The Yoke Wellness Ambassador,
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