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Quieting the mind is not easy as you would imagine. It takes practice, dedication, and principles to help you attain a deep level of self-awareness and consciousness. To achieve this level, negative imagery and thoughts that plague the mind must be eliminated. When you get past unhappiness, you will embrace peace, joy, and calm. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) is meditation but with an extra pump to the process. Let us look at it through the prism of science and understand the methodology.
Balance of Meditation and Nidra
There is a fine line between Nidra and meditation. As you start the process, the first step is to distance yourself from distractions or noise. Find a dark room - block out any light. Once you slip into a comfortable position, on the floor, a bed, or a lounge you can start. Timing is crucial. You cannot practice Yoga Nidra during the day in between work or chores. You need to take time to concentrate. During the session think of something and stick to the thought. Do not deviate, this can clutter the mind.
Find Your Center
Once you find your center, for instance, a part of the body that needs healing, stay with this thought. Scan that part through imagery as you practice breathing. This is the time when you engage with your physicality. For instance, if you have a deep-rooted pain in a part of your body, concentrate on the pain. Do not shift to why, what, when, concentrate on the pain, and breathe - inhale and exhale. Through the visualization technique, you will be able to self-heal, without waiting for a crutch to help you through the pain. Many a time, thoughts or situations cause the body to rebel resulting in various ailments.
Pranayama is Different
You should not confuse Yoga Nidra with pranayama - during pranayama you are awake and your eyes are open. However, in the yogic sleep state, your eyes are closed. It is where you incorporate a breathing pattern and concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. Meditate on each breath and as you do you will find the core of your problem.
Embrace the Feeling
Your feelings at this time may play havoc with your need to get into Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep). Do not shy away from the feeling but embrace it - the feeling. As you find yourself thinking negative thoughts, think of the opposite. You may find yourself agitated - concentrate on your breathing. Inhale and exhale. At this point, you will loosen your negative emotions and embrace the positive response to your thoughts.
Do Not Get Out of the Trance
You may want to wake up, but this is precisely when you need to continue. Deal with your feelings. Do not block out negative emotions that come to the fore. You can strike a balance between the happier you as the unhappy state slowly fades away. Continue with the breathing and keep on with the technique of inhaling and exhaling.
The Observation Process
This is the part when you figure out the thoughts and emotions that stream through your core. You can get in touch with your inner self as you look at yourself as an observer. You will be surprised to meet the person within as s/he may differ with your perception of self. It is at this stage that will get you to a level of comfort resulting in a deep sleep, now wake up and feel bright. If you practice Yoga Nidra before hitting the sack, you will sleep like a baby.
In a Nutshell
The five-stage process of Yoga Nidra helps you engage with your inner physical self. As you meditate, concentrate on your breathing and deal with emotions and visualization. You will be able to heal yourself.
To learn the art, follow the process online or seek the counsel of Yoga Nidra experts. At the end of the day, if this is the path for you, you will be enlightened as you relax and embrace your inner core.