We all know get-rich-quick scams work about as well as weight loss from a pill. While these enticements are tempting for most people in this country, there is another camp of people who always seem to want to make things harder for themselves. Be it working, dieting, or exercising, the old adage “less is more” often takes a back seat to the preferred “no pain, no gain.”
For those of you who are tired of experiencing pain for your gain, an ancient yogic practice called Yoga Nidra may help loosen your fierce grip on your need to achieve your goals.
Yoga Nidra is essentially the yoga of sleep, but it is not the type of sleep we engage in while napping, or at night. It is a relaxation induced, conscious sleep.
The benefits of attaining a super-restful yet fully awake state of mind reach far beyond just putting your feet up and enjoying a cup of tea. Yoga Nidra settles the nervous system and slows brain waves for an overall feeling of euphoria and inner peace.
A typical Yoga Nidra class may involve some guided imagery, body scanning techniques, or gentle pranayama practice. To aid in relaxation, participants are instructed to lie comfortably with their eyes closed and listen to the teacher’s vocal directions.
While some may confuse Yoga Nidra with hypnotism, the two are not alike. The goal of Yoga Nidra is not to slip into a trance-like state, it is to remain fully alert, but deeply relaxed.
However rapidly gaining popularity in the West, the practice of Yoga Nidra has been documented as far back as 500 BC. The Mandukya Upanishad, an ancient yoga text, refers to four stages of Yoga Nidra. In the fourth stage the practitioner is said to reach enlightenment.
Even if the quest for enlightenment is not on your to-do list, you can still enjoy the health benefits of Yoga Nidra. From relaxation to inner peace, Yoga Nidra is sure to shift your intention away from hurting yourself and guide you toward pacing yourself.
If you are feeling painfully overworked, why not try and calm your nerves with some Yoga Nidra? You might be surprised to learn how much more productive you can be when there is no pain associated with your gain.
December 4th, 2012