This particular form of Nidrā Yoga comes from the lineage of Kashmir Shaivism and finds its origins in the Mandukya Upanishad. It is based on the understanding that inherent within each of us is the ability to come into a sublime state of consciousness beyond mental comprehension. Nidrā Yoga triggers this state by deepening the ability to relax while at the same time intensifying the ability to concentrate.
In daily life, when one is deeply relaxed, one is often absent. When one is intensely concentrated, one is often tense. Nidrā develops the ability to be both deeply relaxed and intensely concentrated to the point where, all of a sudden, time, space and the Ego all dissolve, and there is nothing left but the experience of oneness. It is very psychologically purifying. Gradually, the normal ups and downs of life begin to affect us less and less as we attain a joyful equanimity.
There are two sets of practices in Nidrā classes:
- the relaxation practice – Sithalikarana - which involves lying on the floor, consciously relaxing the muscles, organs, bones, sense organs (eyes, ears...), and faculties of the five senses (vision, hearing...). Then, one continues to release mental tensions with a structured sequence of visualization exercises.
- the concentration practice – Dharana – which involves sitting on the floor, very much as in meditation, the difference being that the mind focuses on selected objects to hone one’s degree of concentration. The first objects indicated have an effect on the three domains of human experience: one's vitality, one's emotion and one's thought where energy blockages, called granthis, can diminish one's potential experience of feeling deeply alive, present and joyful.
To be as comfortable as possible during Nidrā sessions, please bring something thicker than a yoga mat (perhaps a yoga mat and blanket). Wear comfortable clothing that does not restrict your breathing. Finally, a blanket to cover yourself during the relaxation practice.
Please arrive on time so as not disturb the relaxation practice which begins shortly after the start of the class since moving consciously into a subconscious state is a very delicate process. If you are more than 10 minutes late, it is requested not to come.