Modern life is full of challenges and many people suffer from stress related disorders due to the demands of our hectic lifestyles, competitiveness, working long hours, meeting demands and expectations placed on us by others. Living in such a fast paced world it is often difficult to find time to really relax. Many people initially seek out yoga as a way to try to overcome the stresses and demands they face in their daily lives. Between work and domestic commitments it is often difficult for people to find the time to nuture themselves.
Taking time out to sit down and read a newspaper, watch television, have a cigarette, a glass of wine or a cup of coffee is not real relaxation in fact they are simply sensory diversions and in some cases are stimulating to the body and the mind. Real relaxation can only be expereinced when the senses are withdrawn from the stimulus of the outside word and the awareness is directed to the inner world.
A technique that has proven successful in yoga to induce deep states of relaxation is known as Yoga Nidra. The term Yoga Nidra means 'psychic sleep' or 'deep relaxation'. The practitioner is suspended in a state between sleep and wakefulness. In this state the consciousness becomes very powerful and can be applied in a number of positive ways for example: to change habitual patterns, to increase the power of memory, to increase knowledge or creativity or to transform one's nature.
Yoga Nidra induces deep states of relaxation at the physical, mental and emotional levels of one's being.
Contemplation is of three kinds; gross, luminous and subtle. When a particular figure, such as one’s Guru or personal deity, is contemplated, it is known as gross contemplation. When Brahma or the life principle is contemplated as a mass of light, it is called luminous contemplation.
When the Kundalini force is contemplated, it is said to be subtle contemplation. This third kind of contemplation lasts throughout all Eternity.