The Practice of Yoga Nidra and its Application in Psychotherapy
The process of Yoga Nidra can unfold in as many as 12 stages.
The client is invited to describe the presenting issue and to affirm his/her intention to participate in the process of Yoga Nidra. This affirmation includes the intention to describe, experience, listen and welcome into awareness whatever arises rather than trying to fix or change the presenting issue.
- Negative and Positive Beliefs
The client is asked to affirm both a statement of negative belief that is believed to be true about his/her self in relationship to the presenting issue, and its opposite as a positive statement about his/her self if the negative belief were no longer true.
With the help of the therapist, the client rotates attention through body sensations that arise in relationship with the presenting issue, first in one part of the body and then in an opposing location. For instance, if there is sensation of contraction in the abdomen, the abdomen is split into opposites, i.e., left and right sides, front and back, bottom and top, inside and outside and sensation is systematically enlivened first into one half, then in the other.
After sensing the body, attention moves with the breath into each of the opposing areas where sensation is being experienced in relationship to the presenting issue (or where it has moved as the process of Yoga Nidra unfolds) to further enliven the attendant body sensations. This stage evokes a letting go of concepts about the issue and facilitates the deepening of an energetic relationship with the underlying sensations associated with the issue.
Opposing feelings, such as heavy-light, comfort-discomfort, tense-relaxed that have to do with the presenting issue are welcomed into awareness by first locating and then rotating attention through each feeling and its opposite.
Opposing emotions that have to do with the presenting issue such as sad-happy, angry-calm, resignation-accepting are welcomed into awareness and attention is rotated through these opposites of emotion.
Opposing thoughts and beliefs having to do with the presenting issue are welcomed into awareness and attention is rotated through these opposites.
Opposing images and memories having to do with the presenting issue are welcomed into awareness and attention is rotated through these opposites.
Opposing experiences of pleasure-pain, joy-sadness or peace-upset having to do with the presenting issue are welcomed into awareness and attention is rotated through these opposites..
Opposing experiences of separation-oneness, isolation-relationship or abandonment-closeness, which have to do with the presenting issue are welcomed into awareness and attention is rotated through these opposites.
The original beliefs that were present at the beginning of the process of Yoga Nidra are welcomed into awareness and explored to see how or in what form they appear in this present moment.
New insights are integrated into awareness with the emphasis upon the embodiment, across all levels (including sensation, feeling, emotion, belief, joy and I-ness) of the insights rather than merely upon their intellectual fortitude.
About The Author
Richard Miller's teachings come out of his direct experience of living truth as echoed in the timeless teachings of nondualism found in Advaita, Zen and Chan. He is recognized as a leader in the field of nondualism, honored by Yoga Journal
and featured in American Yoga and Will Yoga
and Meditation Really Change My Life
? Richard is the founder and director of the......more