Ahymsin Newsletter: Yoga is Samadhi
  AHYMSIN Newsletter, Issue - Oct/Nov 2012  

Yoga Nidra, A State of Consciousness

by Tina Gatterman

Lecture on Yoga Nidra, at Pure Yoga in Vienna (www.pureyoga.at)

It was Friday evening when Swami Nitya led us to the ancient path of Yoga Nidra, or better to say, led us step by step to the understanding of what the state of consciousness Yoga Nidra is about and how we could possibly achieve it.

The studio, beautiful light and airy....was in a courtyard, with lawns and a huge big Magnolia tree in the centre. The room was packed to maximal capacity.. quite a challenge for practicing Yoga Nidra! Swami Nitya had been teaching here many times before, thus there were many friends to guide.

She painted a picture of a pulsing source of pure consciousness and the inner Self as a spark  of that ultimate source within us, by which ,through the filter of our brain, we experience  the interaction between waking - dream - and deep sleep  states and possibly the state  of pure consciousness - turiya.

Swami Nitya based this so called picture on measurable brain waves coming from alpha to beta and delta - and finally flat waves -showing how memories and consciousness work. But more than that, she gave us parallels to the first universal Sound AUM and the centers of consciousness within our energy body.

Over the weekend a transparent picture evolved of the interaction between the gross and the subtle, the energetic and physical body - showing what it means to go beyond the different states step by step which will then lead us to the state of Yoga Nidra as the doorstep to samadhi. Similar to the path of meditation which can lead us to samadhi, the path of Yoga Nidra leads us to the doorstep; both are ways to get to the awareness of the All-One; both are spiritual paths, having full consciousness in full relaxation and full mind control. In the talks it was also pointed out that the state of Yoga Nidra, called the yogic sleep, is strongly connected to our heart center of consciousness, where the state of deep sleep resides.

Swami Nitya gave us a range of non-movement exercises such as 31-.points, 61-points, shitili karana, etc.  in order to reach that "cave  of our heart", the "hub of the universe".

The many tools, although practiced in shavasana, rest finally in the heart center of consciousness, the place of deep sleep, brain in delta waves, the silence after AUM ; the state  of conscious sleep..

I enjoyed the several practice sessions, which  guided us to the doorstep of Yoga Nidra,  conscious sleep; and we explored how these practices can be used  to increase our creativity, or be used for healing - or for reprogramming our personality, letting go of our conditioned Ego-mind. From the subtle awareness beyond mere mind control, in our subtle body one can recreate oneself and bring back a new gestalt, new thoughts, intuition materialized.

 To widen our minds and show the universal, timeless meaning of Yoga Nidra, Swami Nitya gave us at the end of the workshop an overview of cultures from all parts of the world, and throughout times where the "healing sleep" was part of spiritual paths. It became very clear that all comes from the One consciousness wherever and whenever it manifests itself.

My personal experience can be described as deep diving, as a whale going deeper and deeper into the immense ocean.... where one exceeds one’s own feeling of body, skin and yoga-mat...

Thank you, Swami Nitya, for giving light and love to all of us.

Editor's Note:

Swami Nitya’s full name is Swami Nityamuktananda Saraswati. We invite you to visit her website at http://www.athayoga.info/