Of the top ten things I would most like to do without in my life, sleeplessness falls in at a solid number 3. Let’s face it, putting your head on the pillow only to find it met with restlessness and insomnia isn’t fun. What makes matters worse is that in this fast paced world in which we live, proper sleep and rest is vital to optimal performance.
In this Care 2 post, meditation favorites Ed & Deb Shapiro discuss the use of Yoga Nidra or inner conscious relaxation and its benfit as a relaxation technique and meditation of sorts to help promote restful sleep. According to the Shapiros, Yoga Nidra is different from other relaxation methods in that it’s meant to deal with resolve through the repetition of positive affirmations.
What is unique about this practice, and what differs it from other relaxation methods, is the sankalpa or resolve. The practice both begins and ends with repeating this positive affirmation, a short statement clarifying your intent. This is not just about giving up smoking or losing weight, although it can be used for this purpose, but invites you to focus on a deeper purpose.
It is important that your resolve feels right for you, as you will use it each time you practice until it has become an integrated expression of your being. Keep it short and clear…
After making the resolve, the practice continues with a rotation of awareness through each part of the body. In this way, you are connecting your body, emotions and mental awareness into a unified whole. This rotation of consciousness is important as it relaxes each part of the brain; it is through this rotation that you are able to relax so completely.
Read more from the Shapiros on how to begin a Yoga Nidra practice here.