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Yoga nidra

Historical and Ancient Usage of Yoga Nidra: – Yoga nidra has roots in ancient times, mentioned in texts like the Mahabharata and Upanishads. – It […]

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Historical and Ancient Usage of Yoga Nidra:
– Yoga nidra has roots in ancient times, mentioned in texts like the Mahabharata and Upanishads.
– It is associated with Lord Vishnu’s deep spiritual meditation and the goddess Yoganidrā in the Devīmāhātmya.
– In medieval practices, it was linked to meditation in Shaiva and Buddhist tantras and described in texts like Amanaska and Yogatārāvalī.
– The Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā mentions the practice of Khecarī Mudrā, and Haṭha Ratnāvalī introduces Yoganidrasana as an asana.

Evolution and Modern Usage of Yoga Nidra:
– Modern usage of yoga nidra has been influenced by Western relaxationist techniques and authors like Annie Payson Call.
– Dennis Boyes and Satyananda Saraswati played significant roles in spreading yoga nidra worldwide.
– Current practices include its application by the U.S. Army for soldier recovery from PTSD, with limited scientific evidence supporting stress relief benefits.
– The techniques have evolved over time, incorporating stages like internalization, breath awareness, and creative visualization.

Contributions and Methodologies by Notable Figures:
– Satyananda Saraswati developed an eight-stage practice of yoga nidra, emphasizing relaxation through guided meditation.
– Swami Rama introduced specific body movements and breath work in his yoga nidra teachings.
– Richard Miller developed the iRest methodology for rehabilitating soldiers in pain, endorsed by the Surgeon General of the US Army.
– Post-lineage concerns were raised by yoga teachers Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and Nirlipta Tuli regarding commercialization and abuse in the practice.

Applications and Benefits of Yoga Nidra:
– Yoga nidra is beneficial for stress relief, insomnia, and enhancing creativity and emotional balance.
– It has been integrated into modern therapeutic practices and stress management programs.
– Notable applications include its use in therapy, rehabilitation, and mindfulness practices, suitable for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.

Research, Health Benefits, and Scientific Studies:
– Scientific studies show that yoga nidra promotes deep relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, and improves various health markers like heart rate variability and blood pressure.
– It has been found effective in managing chronic insomnia, improving sleep quality, and boosting self-esteem.
– The practice has been integrated into research studies focusing on stress management and its impact on physical and mental well-being.

Yoga nidra (Wikipedia)

Yoga nidra (Sanskrit: योग निद्रा, romanizedyoga nidrā) or yogic sleep in modern usage is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, typically induced by a guided meditation.

Shavasana, the usual pose for the practice of yoga nidra

A state called yoga nidra is mentioned in the Upanishads and the Mahabharata, while a goddess named Yoganidrā appears in the Devīmāhātmya. Yoga nidra is linked to meditation in Shaiva and Buddhist tantras, while some medieval hatha yoga texts use "yoganidra" as a synonym for the deep meditative state of samadhi. These texts however offer no precedent for the modern technique of guided meditation. That derives from 19th and 20th century Western "proprioceptive relaxation" as described by practitioners such as Annie Payson Call and Edmund Jacobson.

The modern form of the technique, pioneered by Dennis Boyes in 1973, made widely known by Satyananda Saraswati in 1976, and then by Swami Rama, Richard Miller, and others has spread worldwide. It is applied by the U.S. Army to assist soldier recovery from post-traumatic stress disorder. There is limited scientific evidence that the technique helps relieve stress.

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