Monday, December 21, 2015

New Year's Eve Dream Temple - Part 6 - Yoga Nidra and Nyasa

During the New Year's Eve Dream Temple Program, Nya Patrinos will lead a Yoga Nidra Session with Reiki performed by Jennifer Kelly.

Many Indian philosophical and mythological texts refer to Yoga Nidra as the state that occurs when the Indian god Vishnu sleeps at the time when creation is destroyed (called pralaya). Vishnu is the cohesive power of the universe, so when he sleeps, the universe dissolves.

Yoga Nidra is a modern form of the ancient practice of Nyasa. Nyasa is the original practice of yoga nidra found in the ancient tantric texts. The word nyasa means 'to place'.It is a practice in which specific mantras are placed and felt at different parts of the body.

Nyasa is intended to induce pratyahara (sense withdrawal) in preparation for dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation). All these methods of nyasa are very powerful. They can be practised externally (bahya) when the parts are physically touched, or internally (antar) when the mantras and awareness are mentally placed. The mantra chanting and rotation of awareness harmonizes the nervous system, balances pranic flows and renders the mind one-pointed. Each part of the body is systematically charged with the energy of the mantras. The whole body and mind are purified and prepared for meditation.

The modern form of yoga nidra has been adapted from these traditional practices of nyasa by Swami Satyananda Saraswati to meet the needs of modern society. Though the mantras have been omitted to make the practice acceptable to all people of the world, the present version has been carefully designed to retain its power to transform the personality and receptivity of the practitioner. Nya studied Yoga Nidra under disciples of Swami Satynananda Saraswati at the Yoga Academy of North America.

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