Some of you have heard of Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep. This transformative meditation practice was brought to us by Swami Satyananda Saraswati of Rishikesh, who began teaching westerners in the 1960’s. This ancient practice is possibly first mentioned in the Manduka Upanishad scribed in the 1st Century AD. During yoga nidra the body sleeps, the mind relaxes, only awareness and hearing remain awake. Simple directions given by the teacher take awareness through each of the koshas, the physical body, energy body, emotional body, and both lower and higher mental bodies …. then into higher awareness, anadamaya kosha or bliss body. Yoga nidra brings relaxation, integration and healing to the whole self, and is said to be equivalent to three hours of sleep.
When I first heard of Prana Nidra I wondered what it was about, but no surprise, the practise works mainly with movement of prana through the body. I enjoy it as an alternative to yoga nidra, which I practise regularly while lying down. Prana nidra arises in the Satyananda Yoga tradition, and follows similar lines to yoga nidra. Teacher Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati explains that working with pranic sleep balances and harmonises the pranic (or energy) body, bringing about better health and wellbeing. I have been really enjoying the practice, following Dr Swami Shankardev Saraswati on his cd ‘Prana and Pranic Healing Meditation, increase vitality for health and healing‘. The notes online say :
These practices form the basis of a profound journey that reveals the link between the breath, the life force and the mind. You will learn how to use your breath to to generate energy and to direct this energy for greater health and healing. This energy is the basis of a more vital, creative life.
Prana and Pranic Healing teaches how to consciously generate and direct the energy (prana) in your body to achieve greater vitality and health. You will learn to identify and remove blockages from your body, mind and emotions that prevent the natural flow of energy. You will feel invigorated.
As you increase your energy and your body becomes healthier, you are better able to cope with the stresses of everyday life. This reduces the effects of ageing and supports the management and healing of chronic illnesses. Pranic healing meditations are the beginning of self mastery.
Just thought you might like to know. I am not teaching my yoga classes this year, because we have travel plans, and I need a break after eleven years. But obviously I still need to pass on some information through my blog! Namaste, Christine