Yoga Nidra has been entering the main stream now for nearly a decade. Few however know what it is. Those who do associate it with deep relaxation. Indeed, a successful practice of Yoga Nidra brings a person into an unrivaled state of relaxation. No wonder Yoga Nidra translated is “yogic sleep.” Those who know more have heard that one hour of Yoga Nidra practice will refresh your body as deeply as three hours of regular sleep. I can tell you that this is true. For seven years following a severe disease I could not sleep. Instead, I practiced Yoga Nidra three times per day for an hour each time and it kept me alive and well.

Many people know Yoga Nidra as a form of guided relaxation or meditation performed while laying down. This is only partially true. Yoga Nidra is, first and foremost, a state of consciousness. The method one uses to arrive is inconsequential. The method is not the practice. There are many methods that have been used traditionally in Yoga. Some are quite difficult. Others like the use of guided relaxation are relatively easy. Yoga Nidra is a heightened state of awareness. It is a state of consciousness different from waking, sleeping or dreaming. It is a state of deep relaxation combined with acute awareness. In that state, a person can perceive the subtle flow of energy in the body and using this awareness, can remove blockages, support proper flow, and stimulate their own healing. In addition, the state of consciousness known as Yoga Nidra is a creative state. A person can consciously set into motion the forces of the universe to create a life of physical and emotional harmony. When properly practiced, Yoga Nidra is a tool for erasing negative samskaras (habits) and healing the karma that created it.

Yoga Nidra is not a means of falling asleep.  If a tired person falls asleep they may be grateful and they may awaken refreshed. However, the person who falls asleep did not enter the state of Yoga Nidra. To be in the state of Yoga Nidra, one must be awake and aware!

In the Yoga Nidra module, students will be guided into the state of Yoga Nidra and then learn how to guide others into the same state. Students will study the science, art and philosophy of Yoga Nidra and be ready to teach immediately following the program.

Dr. Halpern is a pioneer in the field of Ayurveda and Yoga Nidra. The president of the California College of Ayurveda, he is the author of the CD: Yoga Nidra and Self Healing. He’s been teaching and practicing Yoga Nidra since 1987. Dr. Deerheart is a psychologist and mythologist who has been utilizing Yoga Nidra to assist clients suffering from anxiety and grief. She is the Founder of the non-profit Heartway; Embracing Life and Honoring Death. ayurvedacollege.com

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