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I first discovered yoga nidra after doing the relaxation exercise after a yoga class. Although I really loved the workout with all the different postures, it was the yoga relaxation that I realised was of great significance. We live in a fast paced world, full of stress. As we go through life we seem to get more anxious more tense, here was a way of wiping out weeks of stress build up, in just a short time.
I decided to look into the whole world of relaxation and discovered that most of it was inspired in some way by yoga nidra. Yoga Nidra is a deep state of concious sleep. The hypnogogic state is reached when a person is neither sleeping nor awake but inbetween. The effects of this type of relaxation seem to be many and varied from person to person. For some people it takes a few or more sessions to really experience this hypnogogic state. Sometimes we have a better experience than others.
What I have found is that whatever the personal experience it is always a good one. From deepest relaxation to a mild one. Whatever the experts think or feel about the depth of this experience or the true practise or it’s relationship to the purification of Karma etc, etc, my own interest is a purely practical one. As an Alexander Technique practitioner I have met many different people through my private practise and also the many workshops I have given. What struck me as odd (I have been doing one form of relaxation or another since I was eighteen) was the abscence of any method or experience of relaxation whatsoever in around 95% of the people I have met. Since we live in such a stressful society with fears about everything; relationships, debt, family, friendships etc it stands to reason we should all be doing regular relaxation classes. This is why I have since been giving the guided relaxation at all of my workshops. The response has been overwhelmingly positive and I have now launched a regular class at The North London Buddhist Centre.