The famous Indian epic, the Mahabharata, describes Yoga Nidra as the ‘deep sleep under the spell of spiritual meditation’ that Lord Vishnu (the Maintainer) enjoys at the end of every Yuga (world cycle) as he rests on the infinite ocean, dreaming the universe into existence.
In another ancient scripture, the Mārkaṇḍeyapurāṇa, Yoganidra is the name of a Goddess, who Brahmā (the Creator), approaches to wake up Vishnu so that he can fight two demons.
So what is this mysterious Yoga Nidra, which is referenced in the ancient scriptures as both a deep rest between world ages, and a manifestation of the Divine Mother herself?
Yoga Nidra usually involves lying flat on your back in Savasana, or dead man’s pose, and following live or recorded instructions. To give it a go, you can find a guided Yoga Nidra on the Sattva Meditation and Mantras app.
The process often begins with the setting of an intention, which could be a statement describing a quality you want to develop or a specific goal you want to achieve. At the point between the waking and sleeping state there is access to the subconscious mind, where the intention is planted. You then are guided to bring your attention to different parts of your body, maintaining awareness as you move into a deep state of relaxation.
This body scan not only induces a state of conscious rest, clearing the pathways to the brain. It also leads to reduced stress, calming of the nervous system and better health. The pineal gland is activated, which releases the antioxidant hormone, melatonin. It can also help manage immune function, blood pressure, cortisol levels and induce restful sleep.
Astrologically Speaking – The 12th house represents sleep and regeneration. If it is negatively impacted it can cause loss of sleep and loss of resources. Similar to donation, Yoga Nidra is an excellent remedy for your 12th house. When you do Yoga Nidra, your mind (the Moon) also gets uplifted.
Vedic astrology states that different parts of the body are connected with different planets. On the face alone the eyes are connected to the Sun, the nose to Jupiter, cheeks to Venus, forehead to Mercury and teeth to Saturn. In addition, the different limbs, tissues and organs of the body are also connected with the different planets.
By bringing our attention to different parts of the body as well as consciously relaxing the body itself, we are establishing a connection between the micro universe of our own body and the macro universe of the celestial bodies.
As Dr. David Frawley explains, “the ultimate goal of astrology is to be free from desire and to discover our true Self in all beings, not the acceptance of stars and planets as influences that we must blindly follow. Astrology shows us the manner in which these influences dwell within us so that through the awareness we may gain mastery over the entire universe.”