Yoga Nidra

By Heidi Scheer

Yoga Nidra is not a Buddhist practice. Yoga Nidra is a Tantric Meditation; it is also a Pratyahara practice (Sense-Withdrawal, the Fifth Step in Raja Yoga). People meditate because they are stressed out and want to relax. This is good. What is even better is to be relaxed in the first place, even before we start to meditate. Then, we are able to go deeper into our regular meditation practice.

Yoga Nidra is a type of guided meditation which dissolves tension and deeply relaxes the brain. This helps our sitting meditation practice to go much smoother and to be more pleasant than it would be without a deep relaxation practice like Yoga Nidra as a tool.

Remember: The Mind Is Luminous!

The mind is NOT a dark swamp with monsters in it, like Sigmund Freud might have believed. Nothing against Freud, but the mind the Yogis and the Buddha speak of is bright, pure, and luminous – and this is YOUR mind.

Come fully into this room, into your body. Let go of everything. Drop it. Let go. Whatever is good will stay with you; the good can never leave you. It is an intrinsic part of you.

Spread a wave of relaxation through your body, from top to bottom, from front to back.

Notice your breath flowing in and out of your body. With each inhale: expand; with each exhale: relax.

SANKALPA Intention – 3 times – choose only one

I will not fall asleep. I will not fall asleep. I will not fall asleep.
I am calm and peaceful. I am calm and peaceful. I am calm and peaceful.
Pure Love is all around me. Pure Love is all around me. Pure Love is all around me.
I am awakening Kundalini who dwells in Muladhara Chakra, and makes its headway through Sushumna Nadi up to Sahasrara Chakra. I am awakening Kundalini who dwells in Muladhara Chakra, and makes its headway through Sushumna Nadi up to Sahasrara Chakra. I am awakening Kundalini who dwells in Muladhara Chakra, and makes its headway through Sushumna Nadi up to Sahasrara Chakra.
I am awakening my Kundalini. I am awakening my Kundalini. I am awakening my Kundalini.

BODY SCAN

Move your attention quickly from body part to body part, following the audible instruction:

Right Side: Bring your attention to your right hand; right thumb; index finger; middle finger; ring finger; little finger; all five fingers of the right hand; palm of the hand; back of the hand; the entire right hand; wrist; forearm; elbow; upper arm; shoulder; arm pit; waist; right hip; right thigh; knee; (lower leg) shin and calf; ankle; heel; sole of the right foot; top of the right foot; big toe; second toe; third toe; fourth toe; little toe; all five toes of the right foot; the whole right foot; the whole right side of the body.

Left Side: Bring your attention to your left hand; left thumb; index finger; middle finger; ring finger; little finger; all five fingers of the left hand; palm of the hand; back of the hand; the entire left hand; wrist; forearm; elbow; upper arm; shoulder; arm pit; waist; left hip; left thigh; knee; (lower leg) shin and calf; ankle; heel; sole of the left foot; top of the left foot; big toe; second toe; third toe; fourth toe; little toe; all five toes of the left foot; the whole left foot; the whole left side of the body.

Posterior/Back: Bring your attention to your back side. Right buttock; left buttock; right shoulder blade; left shoulder blade; the whole right side of the back; the whole left side of the back; the entire spine – from tailbone to head – the entire spine; the entire back; neck; back of the head; top of the head; the entire back of the body.

Anterior/Front: Bring your attention to your forehead; right temple; left temple; right eyebrow; left eyebrow; center between the eyebrows (Bhrumadhya); right eye; left eye; right ear; left ear; right cheek; left cheek; right nostril; left nostril; back of the nose; the entire nose; the tip of the nose; upper lip; lower lip; teeth; tongue; chin; throat; right collarbone; left collarbone; right chest; left chest; the entire chest; upper abdomen, navel; lower abdomen; the whole abdominal area; the entire front of the body.

Whole Body:
The whole right leg; the whole left leg; both legs together;
The whole right arm; the whole left arm; both arms together;
Both arms and both legs together;
The whole torso; the throat and neck; the whole head;
The entire body: from head to toes; from toes to head; and from head to fingertips.

Heavy / Light:
Now, the entire body becomes heavy, very heavy, extremely heavy.
Now, the body becomes light, very light, extremely light.
Now, the body becomes Ice-Cold; 1. Focus on your left nostril, 2. Focus on your neck (Vishuddhi).
Now, the body becomes Hot; 1. Focus on your right nostril, 2. Focus on your navel (Manipura).
Remember a strong Pain – Remember a feeling of Great Joy.

CHAKRA SCAN (Kshetram)
The Kshetram is the field of the Chakra.

Go three times through the Chakras, from bottom to top:
1. Location; soft flower touches location;
2. Color;
3. Symbol.

1. Muladhara: Red
Perineum – a Red Inverted Triangle, i.e., the tip of the triangle facing downward
2. Swadhisthana: Orange
Pubic Bone – the Night Ocean illuminated by the Orange Full Moon
3. Manipura: Golden Yellow
Navel – a Luminous Sunflower
4. Anahata: Green
Center of Chest – a Bright Shining (Blue) Candle
5. Vishuddhi: Blue
Throat – Cooling Rain Drops
6. Ajna or Agniya: Purple
Forehead, between the Eye-Brows – Immense Brightness – like a thousand suns
Bindu: Silver or Golden
Upper Back of the Head – the (Full) Moon
7. Sahasrara: White
Top of the Head – Burning Bon Fire

VISUALIZATION

Imagine walking through a lush green meadow with beautiful golden-yellow flowers in it.
The warmth of the sun is shining on your face.
A cool breezy wind gently strokes your face.
Now, you are coming to a deep well. Bright flowers, blue, purple, orange, red, and yellow flowers growing lavishly in lush green grass, are surrounding the well. Colorful butterflies are playing at the well, soaring high, flying up and down all around the well.
There is an empty bucket on top of the well. The bucket is clean and (of the purest color) white. A long new rope is tied to the bucket.
You take the bucket by the rope and, gently, lower it down into the well. The well is very deep. You lower the bucket deeper and deeper into the well – until it finally reaches the bottom of the well with its pure fresh water.
The white bucket gets filled completely with this pure fresh water of the well.
Now, you draw the bucket back up. It takes a while for the bucket to come up. It was very deep down in the well. You keep pulling the rope for the bucket to come up.
Finally, you can see the pure white bucket and the clean crystal-clear water from the well in it.
You place the bucket on top of the well.
You feel marvelous. Your mind is bright and clear. You are happy and peaceful.
Notice what you are thinking now. Don’t try to think. Just notice the thoughts that come up. Notice the thoughts without judging them. Allow them to be exactly as they are. Give them your attention unconditionally. See the thoughts arise and cease, arise and cease, without getting involved in them. Just be aware of them, fully – and lovingly.

Sankalpa Intention – 3 times – choose one option

(I will not fall asleep. I will not fall asleep. I will not fall asleep. )
I am calm and peaceful. I am calm and peaceful. I am calm and peaceful.
Pure Love is all around me. Pure Love is all around me. Pure Love is all around me.
I am awakening Kundalini who dwells in Muladhara Chakra, and makes its headway through Sushumna Nadi up to Sahasrara Chakra. I am awakening Kundalini who dwells in Muladhara Chakra, and makes its headway through Sushumna Nadi up to Sahasrara Chakra. I am awakening Kundalini who dwells in Muladhara Chakra, and makes its headway through Sushumna Nadi up to Sahasrara Chakra.
I am awakening my Kundalini. I am awakening my Kundalini. I am awakening my Kundalini.

Coming Back

Bring your attention back into this room. With your eyes closed, imagine the room, its furniture and windows. See yourself lying on the floor.
Wiggle your fingers and toes.
Roll to one side, and press your hand down to help yourself sit up.
Open your eyes.

Please note:

1. This is one version of Yoga Nidra meditation which I put together. It could also be a different version, e.g., instead of the chakra scan there could be a yogic breath meditation with counting backwards from 54.

2. Sankalpa: Please, choose only one option as a Sankalpa. I have mentioned several options in the script. Choose only one. You can also make up one for yourself and use this one.

3. Heavy/Light: I didn’t include the painful experience switching to joy on the retreat. It is in the script, but most people don’t like it. You don’t have to do it.

4. In many regions of India, the “a” at the end of a word is silent, i.e., not pronounced.
This is also true here – for the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th chakras, e.g., the 4th chakra, Anahata, is pronounced Anahat.
It doesn’t apply to the 6th chakra, Aina (or Agniya), though.
The 5th chakra ends with an “i”, Vishuddhi, so it also does not apply to it, because it doesn’t end with an “a”.

5. For the physical postures, I found something which is similar to what I had learned. Not all of it is the same, though.
The spelling of the postures in the box under the YouTube video also differs a bit from what I learned. But it is good.

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