Yoga nidra

The practice

We feel far happier and at peace when we are relaxed in body and mind.  This means letting go of physical tension and some of our attitudes and beliefs about ourselves and the world around us.

Yoga Nidra is a deep relaxation process in which we can let go and enjoy a feeling of freedom and space.  We are awake, calm and conscious with our body totally relaxed, lying in savasana, the yoga relaxation posture.  The yoga teacher conducts the session using various methods to encourage complete physical relaxation and clarity of mind.  Sessions vary in length lasting from between 20-45 minutes.  Sometimes yoga nidra comes at the end of a regular class or can be a session in itself with just some gentle stretching and releasing exercises beforehand.

It is while we are in this profoundly relaxed state, when the mind is at its most receptive, that we make our sankalpa or resolve, a positive statement.

Making your sankalpa

Your sankalpa or resolve is a statement you make during your yoga nidra practice. Your sankalpa is made to help you in areas of your life. When your mind and energies are harnessed then your will-power and resolve are strong. 

Before you practice Yoga Nidra spend some time considering your sankalpa or affirmation. Be clear and concise, that way you will not disturb your relaxed state searching, and you have time to choose what is most relevant to you.

All the words in the phrase you choose will be positive and in the present tense, the aim being happiness, balance and fulfillment. The sankalpa differs from a new year’s resolution in that we don’t promise to be or to do something (and therefore have been “failing” in these aspects up to now). We enjoy the quality of the sankalpa in the freedom of the present moment: free from the past, free from the future.

Here are some examples

        I am free                                                            I love and I am loved

        I have freedom                                                 I am successful                 

        I enjoy perfect health                                     My world is a peaceful place

        I am strong in body and mind                      I find beauty everywhere

        I am confident                                                   Life is abundant

        I am positive about my life                           I am strong

        I am happy/peaceful/contented               This moment

        I am creative                                                      I have harmony in my life                                          

Your sankalpa may also be more specific and apply to a particular area in your life.

For success the sankalpa is planted with both willpower and feeling at the point when the mind is most relaxed and ready to absorb it

At relaxed times in your day or week, you can nurture your resolve by repeating it and feeling its quality - enjoy it and let go into the feeling.



Yoga and well-being with Lesley Doveton