Introducing the unique tantric meditation technique of Yoga Nidra, popularized by Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of Yoga
Doctors, gurus and neighborhood do-gooders are all in the habit of prescribingrelaxation as a remedy for taut nerves, work pressures and emotional upheavals. But very few know, or will tell you, how to accomplish the deceptively simple task of relaxing.
Yoga Nidra seems to have the answer. Although it finds mention in old tantric texts, it was rediscovered 20-odd years ago by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga (BSY) in Munger, eastern India. He translates Yoga Nidra as psychic sleep and describes it as a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation, while maintaining awareness at the deeper levels.
Indeed, the practice is so relaxing that it becomes almost impossible to remain awake. But you come out feeling more rested than you do after a good night’s sleep, and injected with large doses of gumption to tackle the day’s tasks. The Swami says that prolonged suspension between wakefulness and sleep—called the hypnogogic state—in Yoga Nidra may have untold benefits that go beyond the therapeutic.
You practice YogaNidra while lying prone and follow the spoken instructions of a teacher. It is, of course, convenient to use the Yoga Nidra tape, or record one yourself. In the first phase of the session, you progressively relax your muscles by quickly running attention through different parts of the body. This is followed by an awakening of sensations of pairs of polar opposites, such as heaviness and lightness. The last phase is a rapid visualization of some nature images and abstract symbols.
But what is the purpose of each phase of the practice ? From neurophysiology we know that each part of the body has a different control center in the brain—curiously, small ones such as the fingers or armpits claim a large brain area. The movement of awareness through different parts of the body not only relaxes them, but also clears nerve pathways to the brain.
The alternating of opposite sensations such as heat and cold, heaviness and lightness, helps to improve the body’s ability to regain balance and brings the related involuntary functions under conscious control. Visualization is a method of consciously using a symbol our image as a catalyst to provoke a reaction in the unconscious mind. But since no time is given for the conscious mind to react, you remain detached and the ego becomes temporarily inactive. This phase helps to resolve suppressed conflicts, desires, memories and sanskaras.
In each session, you also repeat a sankalpa, or resolve. It should be a short statement, phrased in positive language and in the present tense. For example, your resolve could be: “I am taking full care of my family.” The resolve gets embedded deep in the subconscious and is bound to bear fruit in time.
There are as many types of meditation techniques as there are wonderful flavors of ice cream. This allow each person to find a flavor that is delicious to them. In this article series I will provide an overview of many of the different meditation techniques that exist and hopefully this will help you find the style that is sweetest to you.
Some meditation styles suit those of an intellectual disposition, while others are more attractive to those who prefer the path of love and surrender. Still others, with an active approach to life, may like the meditation techniques involving movement, while those with a strong mind would enjoy the approach of visualization and concentration. Overall, there are several broad categories under which we can capture most of these various meditation practices and in Part 1 I will explore Insight Meditation Techniques and Sound (Mantra) and Intention Meditation Techniques.
1. Insight Meditation Techniques: These are the meditations of choice for the Gyan Yogis or those drawn to the intellectual path. It incorporates the advanced meditation techniques from the Zen school of Buddhism, the Advaita Vedanta school of Hinduism, certain schools of Western Religions among others.
A. WHO AM I Meditation Technique: This techniques comes from the school of Advaita Vedanta (Non-Dualism / End of Knowledge). The meditation was popularized by Shri Ramana Maharishi and is based on negation of the false self in order to realize one’s True Nature. Here is an example of my experience with WHO AM I Meditation Practice.
B. Koan Meditation Technique: These meditations come from the Zen school of Buddhism and are designed to break down the ordinary pattern of conceptual, dualistic thinking. By breaking down the interference created by the thinking mechanism the practitioner is brought to confront the non-dual reality of “what is” directly and thus Awaken.
C. Contemplation Meditation Technique: These meditations utilize introspection, self-study, reflection, self-dialogue and contemplation to cut through the layers of false conditioning and false understanding that deludes the mind. These meditations have their roots in many Western Religions and are also a part of Eastern philosophies.
D. Silent Mind Meditation Technique: This meditation technique is my contribution to this category and it involves directly perceiving the fact of what is by acute observation of the thinking process. This is the flavor that I enjoy best and I have explained it in detail in the The Silent Mind Meditations, which are part of the Silent Mind Meditation Program. These meditations are an extension of the teachings of Jiddu Krishnamurti.
2. Sound (Mantra) & Intention Meditation Techniques: The meditations that fall under this category use the science of sound and thought vibrations (Naad Yoga), along with rhythm and music (Laya Yoga) to purify the heart and mind. These meditations have a wide range of applications, from bestowing Enlightenment, to improving health, wealth, happiness, peace etc…
A. Mantra Japa Meditation Technique: This meditation method uses the repetition of a mantra (a particular sound, word or phrase) verbally or mentally to create the necessary conditions for purification, refinement or expansion to take place. Mantras are essentially keys which allow one to tune into the individual energy field or tune into the Universal Energy field to produce certain desired results. Here is an example of using OM Mantra to activate the Third Eye Chakra.
B. Rhythm Meditation Technique: This form of meditation uses the combination of rhythm, chanting, music and breath to calibrate and perfect the system. The excellent Three Step Rhythmic Breathing (3srb) meditation technique of Sage Pantanjali and many Kundalini Yoga meditations fall under this category, among others.
C. Meditation via Song: Most of the meditations from the path of Devotion (Bhakti Yoga) and Love, designed to dissolve the ego belong in this category. This is a path most dear to those who are emotional in nature and feel a deep love for the divine. Christianity, Gospel, Sufi Meditations, Hare Krishna Meditations, Kirtans and Bhajans are some examples of techniques in this category.
D. Meditation via Prayer & Intention: All religions have meditations involving prayer and worship. The meditations that also use the power of intention to manifest desires fall under this category.
So you can see from above, these is a rich diversity to the Art of Meditation and certainly something for everybody. If one of the styles above does not catch your fancy, not to worry, I will be serving up more tasty flavors in part 2 of this series.
Yoga meditation is a very vast and effective meditation technique. It requires your mind to focus on any one thing and control its thought process. Yoga meditation is a powerful meditation technique that anyone can use to increase physiological balance, clarity of mind and awareness. Yoga meditation is not merely about the physical postures. The modern day Yoga class focus on merely the postures. Anyone who has taken a few yoga classes will attest that even the gentlest series of yoga postures, if gone through under the guidance of an experienced teacher in a pleasant environment, can make you feel much better at the end of a yoga session than you did at the beginning. The yoga practice is merely more than a structure of physical exercise for health. It was an ancient course to spiritual growth which originated from India it is widely practiced.Come to Yoga retreats to leave behind a world that is hectic and fruitlessly runs after materialistic things that might have no value at all. Rather communicate and connect with the inner self and be relaxed and happy all the time. All of this and much more is possible at the wonderful Yoga retreats.
Safe Yoga is different from traditional yoga in that the poses link in a fluid heat-building way. Breath is linked with movements heating your body the natural way and without chemicals. Rest is encouraged whenever required. Warm ups are very important as fitness rooms are usually chilly. Warm up the body totally with large body moves before participating in any complex or flexibility oriented posture.In modern times it has become a money making industry around the globe. In the western world today, it is used to help improve a persons health with exercise in the form of yoga positions and poses, to make the body more flexible and to help with the control of the body and mind by the individual.
What causes this feeling, which can actually border on euphoria? Recent science points to several causes of the “feel-good” effect.The modern yoga is associated mainly in practicing Asanas. It came from the Sanskrit term “Asana” or practicing the corporal postures or poses of yoga itself. Every Asana pose has its distinctive benefits and is held for a period of time and is coordinated with breathing exercise. Its full session has a combination of relaxation, meditation and Pranayama (breath control).The asana should be steady and light. The breath is the key, and will indicate with either a steady breath, or an erratic one, or not at all, as in holding the breath. In the last two cases, the body is not comfortable in the position, and the mind will not be steady either. Such health benefits are numerous, but what mainly draws people towards laughter clubs is a simple realization that they seldom laugh and they want to laugh more.Yoga is still immensely popular all over the world as a physical fitness regimen primarily because of the strength and flexibility gained by regular practice.
Getting Started With Meditation Can Be Easy and Relaxing!
Medication is an extremely special and devotional experience. The main purpose of each meditation technique is to guide our consciousness completely towards a positive direction. Meditation is all about concentrating on our inner selves.
The process of meditation has generally three stages, concentration, meditation and enlightenment or absorption. Starting off by concentrating on a certain point and then getting engaged, concentration turns into meditation.
Meditation nowadays is being used as a personal growth for stressing towards a more positive attitude towards life
The basic aim of most meditation styles basically the same, but some may vary according to the various religious needs. Forms of medication depend upon the preparation, posture, length of period of meditation, particular verbal or visual elements. Some of the most common forms are, transcendental, yoga nidra, vipassana and mindfulness meditation.
Personally, I use meditation as a relaxation technique. It calms my body, reduces my stress and lowers my heart rate. I find when I am feeling overwhelmed with problems at work, meditation really helps me re-center so that I don’t feel so much anxiety. All of my problems seem more easily overcome after a meditation session.
If you’ve never meditated before, and easy way to stay focused is with some formal practice. Different methods are prescribed, but the main preparation is always on the concentration exercise. These methods can include praying, chanting mantras, performing pranayama or visualizing. I listened to a Wayne Dyer “Meditation For Manifesting” CD that was helpful in this regard.
Once the mind gets trained for concentration, then the real meditation can proceed, such as sitting quietly or doing devotional meditation.
Meditation is basically meant to make you at feel and be at peace. It does not do any miracles or solve problems suddenly. It`s an art, which introduces you with the person you really are.
Advanced Principles – Harnessing The Power Of Your Mind With Meditation
There are various ways of harnessing our mind through meditation. Mainly, most rely on practicing mental exercises, which can capture the nature of our minds.
Dharana is unidirectional, meaning `immovable concentration of the mind.` The main aim of Dharana is to keep the focus of attention in any one fixed direction. Remember this can’t be forced, like when we try to solve a mathematics problem. It steadies the mind.
Dhyana, is a perfect thought when mind gets engaged with the object of focus. It involves concentration on one point and aiming to know the truth about it.
Attainment is the ultimate stage in Ashtanga Yoga also called samadhi. It means “to unite, to merge or to bring together”.
At this step, we realize on how to retain our individuality.
While this may seem complicated, you don’t have to understand all the terminology to reap the benefits of a regular meditation practice. Just practice on a regular basis, and if you can stick with it beyond a week or two, you may be pleasantly surprised to see how quickly you progress.
If you need a deeper “Meditation How To” guide, I would suggest you head on over to my website to learn about the very special yoga music I use when I am meditating. These very relaxing meditation CD’s actually have an almost magical power to induce a trance when you listen to them in stereo headphones. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s because of the way that sound waves interact with your brain waves to instantly and automatically create a meditative state. No more wondering if your meditation is working, no more getting bored or antsy, just plain old-fashioned deep meditation – in only a fraction of the time it takes to learn.
Yes, it’s out there, but I have tried it and been very pleased with the results. In fact, in order to share this more effectively, I put up some videos that explain how this automatic meditation principle works.
Warning Extremely Powerful Meditation Experience Click Here: www.pathways-to-peak-experience.com Uncover the Amazing Benefits of Guided Yoga Nidra Meditation
Meditation techniques give peace and calmness in a spiritual way. It enlightens the human life. Meditation techniques nurtures and transforms the qualities of an individual by relieving him from stress of daily life. Meditation technique changes the negative thoughts into positive and it is done just by focusing within a one’s self and not outside.
Here are some popular forms of Meditation Techniques:
Concentrative Meditation Technique is performed by focusing the attention on an image, a sound (mantra chanting) or on the breath. Concentrative Meditation technique stills the mind and results in a better clarity and awareness. Concentrative meditation technique can be done simply by focusing on the breath; it is a very basic step. It is believed that there is a direct connection between the state of mind and the breath. When an individual gets agitated, frightened, and anxious or distracted, the breath shallows. But, when the mind is focused and calm, then the breath is deep, regular and slow. If an individual focuses on the rhythm of the process of breath intake and out, it gives an object for meditation. When the breath is focused, the mind gets absorbed in the process of breath intake and out. In result, the breathing becomes deep and slow. It makes the mind more alert.
Zen Meditation – Zen Meditation technique is performed by focusing the attention on the feelings and sensations, sounds, thoughts, images and so forth without thinking about these elements. While meditating, there should be no thinking about the worries, images, thoughts, and memories. Zen meditation technique results in a better state of mind that is clear, calm and non-reactive. Zen meditation technique is done by observing sensations and breathes non-judgmentally and very keenly. Zen meditation technique gradually takes an individual to emptiness & stillness, but it takes some time to master this technique. Zen Meditation technique is the easiest and most effective technique.
Japa Meditation – Japa Meditation technique is mainly performed for easing the tensed and stressed life. Japa Meditation results in a peaceful and calm life. Also it evokes the happiness from within an individual\’s self. Japa meditation technique involves the God’s name. The mantra chanting can be done softly or an individual may chant the mantra loudly. While sitting in a posture of meditation, the Japa meditation technique can be done in addition ot the worship in group or any other peaceful sitting activities.
Mostly, the Japa Meditation technique is performed counting a bead string that is known as Japa Mala. The Vaishnava devotees mostly chant by using a bead string that is made of Holy Basil (Tulsi). There are 108 beads in a Japa Mala. People also wear the Japa Beads around the neck while some wear them on their wrists.
Chakra Meditation – There are energy focal points in our body that are use by us in a conscious or unconscious state if mind. These energy focal points are called Chakras. The focal points are located in the body parts like head or heart. In the Chaka meditation technique, the different postures are used in order to open the Chakras. The hands are placed in a specific position and the body is relaxed, the eyes are closed; the charka is asked to open. Then it is visualized in the mind that the chakra color emanates and the size of the charka becomes larger. As the color becomes brighter, the color’s warmth is easily felt; also the charka emotions are felt. The body organs are felt filled with light and energy.
Bhuta Shuddi is a form of Chakra Meditation of Yoga and Tantra practice through which the five elements (bhutas) are balanced or purified (shuddhi). Bhuta refers to the past, and shuddhi refers to purifying that past, or the samskaras that operate in conjunction with the five elements. This is a very useful practice, whether you think of it as preparation for kundalini awakening, or simply as a practice for feeling balanced, centered, or tranquil, etc. (One of the two foundations of Yoga is Abhyasa, practices seeking of tranquility; Yoga Sutras 1.12-1.14).
For the Chakra Meditation of Bhuta Shuddhi, it is necessary to understand how the five elements relate to the chakras. The five bhutas are the five elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space, and they operate in conjunction with the lower five chakras (at subtle level they are called tanmatras, which are part of tattvas, or subtle constituents). The sixth chakra is of mind, and is beyond or prior to the bursting forth of space, air, fire, water, and finally earth. Consciousness itself (or whatever you want to call it) is prior to, or the source of manifestation of mind, and is the seventh chakra (surely there are other chakras, including between sixth and seventh, but the bhuta shuddhi practice itself need not focus directly on these).
Transcendental Meditation or yoga nidra (popularized by the Bihar School of Yoga), which owe its origin to ancient Hindu meditative techniques, aim towards a totally detached frame of mind. These forms encourage the practitioner to retreat within the inner-self, into the \”real\” world, away from the \”illusions\” (maya) of outside influences. Meditative practices like Mantra yoga, for example, induces the mind to concentrate on a sacred sound by ritualistic chanting, until it attains the trance-like state of samadhi (a state of mind, where it is only responsive to subjective impressions).
Healing Meditation – Healing meditation is practiced after sitting comfortably. It is a belief that the body is filling with light slowly, starting from the feet and then slowly moving upwards. As the light moves up the body, the light is felt like is relaxing the muscles and also the mind. I feel the light moving upwards until my entire body is filled with light and every muscle of my body is feeling relaxed.
Healing meditation calms the mind and gives it a balance state. Healing meditation increases the self esteem and confidence in a person. Healing meditation improve the memory and concentration of the mind. It reduces the tension quickly. It improves the attitude, mood and outlook on life. Healing meditation increases an individual’s problem solving ability.
It is felt like the body of light is radiating the light out from the eyes, the light is shining like a torch is shinning out directly from the eyes. Feel that the soul is directing the light towards the body part that causes discomfort and pain, it represents as a shadow on the body. Imagine like the painful body areas have dark shadows around them. Now feel like you are attracting a healing light to the painful body area, so that the darkness is vanished.
You can feel that this healing light is returning you to health and vitality.
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The Yogic Sleep that comes from a state of conscious deep sleep is the recluse to subtler spiritual realization and to combat sleep- and stress-related disorders. Yoga Nidra helps in providing relief from stress, insomnia, blood pressure, heart ailments, depression and mental illnesses and in unveiling a path of happiness and serenity. Click www.rajshri.com to watch more Baba Ramdev Videos.