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What is NSDR or Yoganidra and why should you adopt it immediately? 5 Techniques of NSDR

What is Yoga Nidra ? 

Yoga Nidra is an ancient form of yoga and meditation that has been practised for centuries by yogis and spiritual seekers around the world. It is a practice that combines yoga postures, meditation techniques, and breathwork, offering a comprehensive system for physical, mental and spiritual well being. Yoga Nidra offers a unique approach to yoga, combining physical and mental exercises with spiritual practices.

Yoga Nidra is an ancient form of yoga that is believed to have originated in the Himalayan mountains thousands of years ago. It combines postures, meditation techniques, and breathwork to bring about physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. The practice is based on the Vedic philosophy of yoga, which emphasises the integration of body, mind and soul.

What is Non Sleep Deep Rest or NSDR ? 

NSDR or Non Sleep Deep Rest  is just another name for Yoganidra given by researcher Dr Andrew Huberman, neuroscientist and researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine. 

Recently when Sundar Pichai was asked about his stress reliever – he pointed out Yoga Nidra as a disciplined practice that he follows. 

History and Origin of Yoganidra 

Yoga Nidra has been practised for centuries. It originated in ancient India and has been passed down through generations. Traditionally, it was practised by yogis and ascetics for spiritual enlightenment. Over time, Yoganidra was adopted by lay people as a way to improve their physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing.

Yoga Nidra is an extremely strong practice with exceptional healing ability. The technique starts with physical practices such as Shavasana, but deepens with mental exercises of visualisation and stilling various energy points of the body. 

It is one of the major techniques followed in the Himalayan Tradition. It is followed and taught by practitioners of Himalayan Yogic Techniques such as those at Swami Rama Sadhaka Gram (SRSG). 

NSDR Or Yoga Nidra Benefits 

Yoga Nidra is an incredibly powerful and effective practice that offers a range of benefits to those who practise it regularly. Some of the most notable benefits of Yoga Nidra include improved flexibility and strength, stress relief, increased energy, and improved focus and concentration.

Stress Relief

Yoganindra also offers great stress relief. The breathing exercises and meditation techniques involved in the practice can help to reduce stress levels, as well as promoting relaxation.

Increased Energy

Yoga Nidra can also help to increase your energy levels. The practice helps to improve circulation, which can help to provide your body with the energy it needs.

Why does Yoga increase Energy while Physical Exercise exhausts energy  ? 

The practice of Yoga is designed to balance energies at all levels of your existence – body, mind, and breath. Whether it is physical postures or asanas, or breathing exercises, or relaxation techniques starting with observation of mind – all of them have a single goal of finding unified energy ( or prana) that feeds our consciousness and re-balancing it in the process. 

On the other hand, physical exercise is more of an energy consumption play. While it has strong benefits on body and mind as well, it consumes energy and therefore, one feels exhausted after exercise. 

Improved Focus and Concentration

Finally, Yoganindra can help to improve your focus and concentration. The postures and breathing exercises involved in the practice can help to clear the mind and promote clarity.

5 techniques of NSDR or Yoga Nidra Techniques

Diaphragmatic Breathing 

The primary technique used for Yoganidra is diaphragmatic breathing. This type of breath is deep and slow, focusing on the abdomen area. When done correctly, this type of breathing can help to relax the body, quiet the mind, and reduce stress. During the practice, the practitioner should focus their attention on their breath and become aware of the sensations in their body.

Once the practitioner is comfortable with diaphragmatic breathing, they can move on to more advanced techniques. These techniques can include visualization, mindfulness, and other relaxation methods. Visualization is a way to relax the body by imagining a peaceful place, such as a beach or a mountain. Mindfulness is the practice of being aware of and accepting the present moment without judgment.

Observation of Breath

The first step in the practice of Yoganidra or NSDR is to observe the breath. The focus should be on the sensation of the breath entering and leaving the body and the feeling of calmness and relaxation that arises when one is paying attention to the breath. It is important to become aware of the breath when it enters and leaves the nostrils, the chest and the abdomen. It is also important to be aware of the natural pause that occurs between inhalation and exhalation.

Guided Relaxation

After the observation of the breath, guided relaxation can be used to further relax and bring awareness to the body. During guided relaxation, you can focus on different parts of the body, starting from the tips of the toes and gradually working your way up to the top of the head. As you move your awareness to each part of the body, you can mentally scan it for any tension and then use your imagination to mentally “release” the tension from the body. It is important to focus on the feeling of relaxation rather than the idea of relaxation.

Mantra Chanting

Mantra chanting can be used as a tool for further deepening the relaxation process. Mantra chanting is the practice of mentally repeating a particular sound or word that has a calming effect. It can be used to help clear the mind and bring awareness to the present moment. For example, you can choose to mentally play the sound “Om” or the word “Peace” while focusing on the breath. 

At Swami Ram Sathaka Gram, the beginners like us were asked to mentally chant “So-ham” which means “I am that ” with successive inhalation and exhalation cycles. If you are an atheist looking to start meditation, you can also play numbers in your mind like 1-2 with each cycle repeatedly. 

Whatever be your mantra, the idea is to focus the mind’s power onto a single thought or substance. 

Points Relaxation

Points relaxation is a technique that helps to further relax the body by focusing on specific points of the body. The points to be focused on are important points of energy that can be used to bring awareness and relaxation to the body. For example, the point between the eyebrows, the points in the palms of the hands, and the points between the shoulder blades are all important points for relaxation.

In conclusion, Yoganindra is an ancient form of yoga that has many physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. It combines postures, breathing, chanting, and meditation to create a holistic approach to physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. If you’re looking for a way to improve your flexibility, reduce stress, increase your energy, and improve your focus and concentration, Yoganindra is an excellent practice. With regular practice, you can experience all of the benefits that Yoganindra has to offer.

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