Yoga Nidra literally means \"Yogic Sleep.\" In this deep meditation you train your attention to leave the chatter of the Waking state of mind, go past the fantasy of the Dreaming state, and consciously, intentionally enter the stillness of the Deep Sleep state, yet paradoxically remain awake and in deep meditation. For thousands of years the Yogis have used Yoga Nidra to master the art of sleep, to balance the subtle energies, and to experience greater depths of meditation.
The state of conscious Deep Sleep or Yoga Nidra is underneath, behind, or subtler than meditations at either the Waking or Dreaming levels. This subtle state is called \"Prajna,\" which means \"supreme knowing.\" \"Pra\" means \"supreme,\" and \"jna\" means \"knowing.\" The conscious experience of this state is a doorway to higher, formless knowing that has been called the infinite library of wisdom and the teacher within.
The depth of authentic Yoga Nidra comes from inner awareness of the levels of your own self, including your body, breath, and the subtler mind, rather than diverting attention through music or inner fantasies (as pleasant as these may be). This inner exploring through self-awareness is a more refined form of meditation that leads you deeper into the stillness and silence of your own being, while remaining fully awake and aware. The Yoga Nidra methods bring you to a place of awareness where you are able to completely let go of any words, thoughts, images, impressions, or pictures in the mind. You are guided to allow your mind to \"empty, empty, empty\" though you remain fully awake and clear of mind.
The practices on this CD will gently train your ability to direct your own attention, which is the primary skill in the art of meditation. You will find that you are gradually able to use these methods on your own, without the CD, and the benefits will be with you not only during your practice time, but also during the activities of daily life.
The voice will systematically guide you to explore your physical body, then move through 61 specific points within the body, and then practice ascending breath awareness along the body and spine. Your attention will be brought to the space between the eyebrows, then to the throat, and finally to the heart center, where you will go deep into stillness and silence, beyond the activities of the mind.
The Yoga Nidra CD has five tracks. The first track is an introduction (8:02 minutes), describing the state of Yoga Nidra and the practices on the CD. The next four tracks move through four sequential practices that are listened to together, so as to form a complete practice of 57:24 minutes (CD is 65:36 minutes in total). These four tracks can also be listened to individually, as complete practices unto themselves, which allows you to have the benefits of practice when less time is available.
I am passionate about traditional Yoga meditation as a most profound path to the direct experience of the highest spiritual awakening. In addition to practicing meditation from childhood, from 1994 until the present I have practiced and taught meditation from time to time in Rishikesh, India, including one period of more than five years when I was in continuous residence. I continue to teach in both India and USA, and presently live in Florida. I was born in USA in 1948 and my education includes a BS in Management from Florida State University and an MA in Consciousness, with emphasis in Transpersonal Psychology from John F. Kennedy University, in California. I sincerely hope you enjoy these meditations.
Swami Jnaneshvara Bharati