Yoga Nidra, Sankalpa & the Sub Conscious Mind

Yoga Nidra will take us beyond the dream state, into the subconscious mind and beyond - the practice is a portal into our timeless, immortal truth. Source: http://swamij.com

Yoga Nidra will take us beyond the dream state, into the subconscious mind and beyond - the practice is a portal into our timeless, immortal truth. Source: http://swamij.com

This is the 2nd Instalment in the blog series, Yoga and The Art of Change - for the full story, first read this one…

Within the Practice of Yoga Nidra we have some potent tools to support us in the journey to create meaningful and lasting change. Yoga Nidra takes us into a Turiya state, in many ways this is a timeless state, where the memories of the past and the obligations of the future do not exist - there is only This. This experience is deeply relaxing, so much of our existential anxiety is bound up in our perceptions of time.

When we achieve this resting or hypnagogic state (very similar to the experience of hypnosis) our mind is far more receptive to suggestion.

With the practice of Sankalpa a resolve that supports the change we would like to make in our lives - we frame it as a short clear statement, as though it is already true, for example if I wanted to decrease stress I might create a Sankalpa that says “Peace is my true nature”. I would support this sankalpa by practicing yoga nidra often and repeating it regularly.

Sankalpa and Yoga Nidra are a potent combination of two supporting yogic techniques. Sankalpa is the seed and yoga nidra is the water that will support that seed to grow.

What happens when the Sankalpa is embedded in the subconscious mind, is that is begins to influence our conscious choices, often without us even noticing that it’s happening. (Yoga Magic right here folks!)

Example: say I want to no longer smoke ciggies, to experience complete health, I have made my Sankalpa that ‘I have radiant health.’ News Flash: Radiantly healthy peeps don’t generally smoke ciggies. So rather than make my Sankalpa ‘I don’t smoke ciggies’ - a negative - I’ve made it about the positive outcome: ‘I am radiant and well.’

Grow your Garden! - Community Yoga Nidra Free Class every Wednesday at 1pm at Bamboo Yoga Byron Bay!

Grow your Garden! - Community Yoga Nidra Free Class every Wednesday at 1pm at Bamboo Yoga Byron Bay!

So I’ve been practicing my Yoga Nidra regularly and embedding the Sankalpa nice and deep. Next time I’m feeling like a ciggie, rather than wrangling with the justification/guilt complex in the conscious mind, the little angels voice from my subconscious will chime in and remind me, ‘I have radiant health.’ And guess what? Radiantly healthy people don’t smoke ciggies…

And if it doesn’t work that time, if i do have that cigarette, rather than slipping into the guilt/remorse saga, I just accept that it has happened, and gently go back to my practice, my Yoga Nidra sadhana, and keep watering that Sankalpa until it is absolutely, emphatically and undeniably true.

Growing a Garden

Growing a garden is the same as changing karma. We plant the seed, water the seed, and as our plant begins to grow we offer it care and attention, continuing to give it water and love.

But mostly we give it time. Despite us giving it the best treatment and conditions favourable for growth, a plant can only grow as fast as a plant can grow.

Real change takes time, to make lasting, meaningful change we need to allow time. As the plant grows strong, it becomes more resilient to drought and weeds, it will still need care, but less intensive and not as often.

Make peace with our past, accept the truth of the present, and make a clear positive intention for the future.

Water that intention with Yoga Nidra , Patience and Love.
Peace, Health and Prosperity is your True Nature.
Relax into Freedom, you’ve got this.

Yoga and the Art of Change

This is the first instalment in an ongoing blog Series, Yoga and the Art of Change.
If you want to stay tuned in be sure to subscribe to our mailing list of follow us on zee socials…🤙

So WHERE do we go from HERE?

Man sows an action or thought and reaps a habit of doing or thinking. He sows a habit and reaps a character. He sows a character and reaps a destiny. Habit is second nature or rather first nature itself. Man has made his own destiny by thinking and acting. He can change his destiny. He is the master of his own destiny. There is no doubt of this.
— Swami Sivananda Saraswati

Yoga is full of quirky paradox, seemingly opposing ideals, that are somehow supposed to make sense.

One such twist of ideals is the idea to ‘Be here Now’ juxtaposed against the aspirations of Self Evolution’ and ‘Personal Growth’.

It seems like conflicting advice, non? To be content with what is, yet at the same time to aspire for something better..?

I’m here to tell you that these two aspirations can joyfully co-exist and show you how a practice of yoga can use the art of ‘Being Here Now’ to realise the dharmic quest of ‘Living your Best Life.’

Yoga and Karma

This is a part of a Blog Series, so for the juice on Karma - please jump in a read the full blog on Karma (WTF is Karma Anyway? - coming soon) - but for the moment, let’s suffice to say that Karma is Action. Karma is the sum total of all actions ever taken - in many ways Karma is the effect of our actions. We are affected by karma of our present actions, our past actions, and indeed the karmas of many others people all over the planet. The fact that you exist is the simple karma caused by the action of your parents at one point doing the deed of procreating you. Some good karma right there!

When we begin to delve deep into studying Karma - we realise that it is existing on very subtle levels, and we are creating Karma in very subtle ways. There is the Karma of our physical actions, the Karma caused by our Speech, and indeed Karma caused by our thoughts.

karma.jpg

The Karmic Web

I like to look at Karma as the web of life - an infinitely large web, that travels across all space and time interconnecting the sum total every action made by every being, ever. Cool huh?

Bad Karma = Poor Choices

At the risk of becoming simplistic, many of the ‘undesirable circumstance/bad karma’ that influence us is due us making poor choices, perhaps they are our own choices, perhaps it is the choices of others being imposed upon us (all karma is interdependent) if karma is pre-existing, we can’t change it, the only thing that we can change is how we respond to it, which will influence future karma.

Often, despite not knowing that it’s a bad idea, we choose to do something anyway, or respond to something in a way that we kinda know is not really constructive - we do this mostly because that’s the way we’ve always done it, these old behaviours are like the grooves worn into a path, in many ways it’s easier to follow the old path, even a dysfunctional one, that put in the effort to forge a new path, yogis call these patterns of behaviour, samskara.

And let’s face it, change is hard.

So how do I CHANGE things?

The important thing to realise is that we can only change our future reality, by becoming fully present in this reality. And this is where yoga become wonderful, it not only gives us a poetic philosophy for understanding life, it offers some pragmatic techniques that will support us to change.

These techniques are essentially working around a framework to achieve these goals;

  1. Balance the physical, energetic and mental body.

  2. Understand the influence of Karma and Samskara in your life.

  3. Cultivate the wisdom, energy and resilience to make the changes as they need to be made, bringing full awareness into the next dharmic action, make each action with full awareness and from a space of love - creating new positive Samskaras and freedom from the obligations of Karma.

Yoga is a system that requires both stillness and action. Through conscious action we experience stillness, and through cultivating stillness, we support conscious action. There are many actions espoused in the vedic traditions of yoga, vedanta and tantra all of which have a value and purpose to this effect.

A short summary of the core practices offered to cultivate this change through the tradition of yoga are;

Asana - balancing the physical body, explore and expand our physical potential, connect the physical to energy and mind, learning to become fully present within this physical reality.

Pranayama: Literally meaning Restraint of Energy Prana=Energy, Yama=Retraint - The breath serves as a portal to ‘prana’ - our subtle energy body. We learn to observe, then balance, control, expand and direct this potent life force, developing mastery over our latent power of manifestation.

Mudra/Bandha & Kriya: Intrinsically connect to pranayama, the techniques of Mudra/Gesture, Bandha/Lock and Kriya/Action serve as sophisticated system of controlling and directing Prana, along with the practices of asana and pranayama, these techniques are the mechanism of Tantric or Kundalini Yoga - in which we seek to awaken and elevate the dormant potential of Kundalini.

Meditation: We learn to still the fluctuations of the mind, developing insight into the nature of our own karmas and samskaras - ultimately through awareness of these forces we learn to discern and detach from them (Vivek & Vairagya).

Yoga Nidra: These can be included in meditation but we will treat is separately because it is so important and I make a big fuss about it in the next blog. Yoga Nidra gives us a toolkit for deep mental and physical relaxation, through the use of Sankalpa we create of potent catalyst for the evolution of our humane potential.

You can read lots more about this in our next blog here;

Yoga Nidra, Sankalpa & the Sub Conscious Mind

Looks like we ain’t doing much, but sometimes,  not  doing is everything…

Looks like we ain’t doing much, but sometimes, not doing is everything…