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Yoga Nidra (dream yoga)

A conscious exploration in a state of dream

Origin

The literal translation of Yoga Nidra is “Sleep Yoga”. Sometimes called “dream Yoga”, Yoga Nidra is an old technique in the tantric tradition, from which Natha Yoga also comes. It is not present in classic Yoga. Yet it has been better known to the general public ever since Swami Satyananda Saraswati wrote his book “Yoga Nidra”, thus allowing better visibility in the public sphere.

Purpose

Sleep represents about one third of our lives, where we live in our unconscious world. From this subterranean world, only a few dreams surface to the conscious mind and leave a trace, sometimes a very fleeting one. In other words almost one third of our life eludes our consciousness.

The aim of Yoga is to merge all the levels of the being into one single whole. That of Yoga Nidra is to unite the conscious and the unconscious minds by means of a conscious exploration of sleep that is meant to observe what happens inside during these periods of time devoted to sleeping.

Form

Yoga Nidra techniques can be divided into three categories : day techniques, night techniques and Yoga Nidra sessions. Our classes mainly focus on the latter aspect of Yoga Nidra.

Yoga Nidra sessions

It is a form of meditation in which the practitioner lies in deep relaxation. Relaxation is not synonymous with Yoga Nidra, yet it is the indispensable prerequisite.

In Yoga Nidra sessions, practitioners  are going to make symbolic travels in which they will be both actors and observers. These travels hinge on given scenarios, expanded through the images and other sensations coming up. It is in these sensations that the practitioner will discover (or rediscover) some parts of his inner self. While the body and the ordinary mind are asleep, there remains a thread of consciousness that can witness the various explorations, be they sensorial, energetic or imaginary.

Day techniques

These techniques aim at rooting markers in the conscious mind, apt to become active at night.They will act as reminders enabling our conscience to shed some light on the shady zones of sleep.

Night techniques

The purpose of these techniques is to take advantages of night wakings to plant various markers into the conscious mind.

Both day and night techniques allow to spot the key moments when one falls asleep or wakes up. These moments are particularly interesting for the mind floats between two states and it becomes easier to observe and even to direct what is happening.

 

Why Yoga Nidra is so interesting

In the first place, Yoga Nidra helps detect and observe mental processes, especially the passage from the waking state to the sleeping and dreaming state, from the conscious to the unconscious worlds. Deep consciousness (on a spiritual level) remains alert, a fact that Swami Satyananda Saraswati highlights as the fundamental difference between Yoga Nidra and hypnosis.

An even more savory fact: Yoga Nidra reinitiates and develops the connexion between the conscious and the unconscious minds and these two parts of ourselves communicate more and more naturally. Messages from the unconscious more easily pass the sometimes rigid frontiers that we have forged. Just as dreams do, these messages give access to intuitive comprehension from inside and thus allow to gradually eliminate the various mental tricks we have created.

The links between these messages from the unconscious and our daily life become clearer and clearer and the latter becomes more fluent. Intuitive intelligence becomes sharper. Our vision of ourselves and of the way we relate to others also becomes clearer and more relevant. Explanations and evidence appear, thus making space for personal freedom and self-mastery. Progress on our way is then facilitated and accelerated.

 

Practice Yoga Nidra La Note Epicée

A weekly class
Yoga Nidra is also integrated to the Hatha Yoga classes

The sessions are then shorter and come at the end of the Hatha Yoga sessions, in continuation with the relaxation.

It is also integrated to the Yoga workshops