Yoga Nidra: Guided Meditation Practice
Yoga Nidra (the sleep of yogin or psychic sleep) is a guided meditation and visualization practice done lying on the back in a corpse postion. Unlike seated meditation, which requires conscious will to keep the spine erect, during Yoga Nidra the body is allowed to completely let go, fully relax, and naturally restore itself. Physical, emotional, and mental tensions release, dissolving karmic and psychic stress, often in more profound ways than achieved in sleeping. Yoga Nidra’s far-reaching potential can be used for deep healing, insomnia, and stress management, as a conscious dying practice, or as a subliminal learning tool. I was trained in this practice by my teacher Dharmanidhi Sarasvati who learned directly from one of the originators of this profound practice, Swami Satyananda Saraswati.
The Yoga Nidra MP3 recordings were done at various retreats that I have led at different locations. They have ambient sound unique to that place–crows, rain, Tibetan bells, a babbling acequia, and yes, the occasional snore or cough. While each practice has similar parts to it, all have a one of a kind aspect running from :20 – :45 Yoga Nidra is a daily practice of mine, usually in the afternoon, and is a different experience than my morning seated meditation. I would encourage you to experience in its rich offerings and make it part of your daily self-care.
At one point in this practice you will be asked to make a San Kalpa, an affirmative heartfelt desire. This positive thought or direction that you want to cultivate in your life should be felt with the whole body and repeated to yourself three times. You can repeat the same phrase or word at the end of your practice using the exact words for best results.
"Hi David! I just wanted to let you know - my daughter, who is working her way out of a deep depression, complete with insomnia, is irritated by most guided meditation voices and refuses them. The only thing that helps her fall asleep is your yoga nidra recordings. And, yes, I know using them for sleep isn’t the point, but please know you are having a big, positive impact on her, and our family. You rock!!!"
Recorded at the Deliberate Stillness Retreat 2016
Green Gulch Zen Center
Length: 41:39 min
Rain, Tibetan Bells, Crows
Bodhi Manda Zen Center 2016
Jemez Springs, New Mexico
Length: 27:51 min
Zendo Hall, Serenity