Art of Relaxation
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Yoga for Complete Relaxation – Yoga Nidra.

In the last century the world has changed tremendously. It has perhaps undergone more changes than ever before. These changes have resulted in faster pace of life for everyone. Leave alone the adults; even small children have tighter schedules and jam-packed days now. On one hand this has resulted in greater achievements for the human race and on the other hand has rapidly increased the tensions and stress levels.

Tensions are inevitable in all walks of life. When there is work people are naturally tensed, but even when they are relaxing, they are tensed and guilt ridden. Sometimes relaxation is planned like an activity done for the sake of enhancing business opportunities like partying, socializing or playing golf. Simple activities of relaxation like taking a nap or spending time with the family are beset with thoughts of next day's work. So it would not be wrong to conclude that people are slowly forgetting the art of relaxation.

Tensions of any kind get accumulated in the human system. They remain lodged and affect the vital systems of the body adversely like the circulatory system, muscular system, nervous system and the digestive system. The body has no set mechanism to get rid of tensions except relaxation. Thus the need to learn to relax is mandatory. The doctors and scientists understand the real meaning and importance of complete relaxation. The lay person simply thinks that sleeping or stopping of all activities is relaxation. But in most cases the mind is working overtime during this so-called state of relaxation and therefore it cannot be called relaxation at all.

Yoga nidra is the science of relaxation which teaches us to delve deep down into the innermost precincts of the subconscious mind to experience complete relaxation and harmony between the conscious and subconscious and all the facets of the being. In yoga nidra the consciousness is in a dynamic state between wakefulness and sleep and it is not subject to either. Modern psychologists call this "the hypnagogic state". In this state the mind is exceptionally receptive. This state of mind is rapidly being used to learn different subjects especially languages. Suggestions given during this time are received by the mind very effectively. This state can be used for getting rid of bad habits and for cultivating positive thoughts and habits.

The practice of yoga nidra helps one to receive intuitions from the subconscious mind. This state of mind is considered highly fertile for origination of creative ideas and instincts. There are numerous examples of people receiving exemplary inspirations during this dream like state of complete relaxation. Noble laureate Niels Bohr 'visualized' the planetary structure of atom during this state. Einstein's famous 'thought experiments' were nothing but this state of inner consciousness whereby he could increase the speed of his thoughts to match the speed of light and gave the theory of relativity. Kekule 'saw' the circular molecular structure of benzene during this state of mind. Many artists and creative people in other fields always talk about a state of mind where they are neither awake nor sleeping and they receive immense inspirations to do exceptional work. This state of mind is actually yoga nidra. Many people just chance upon it. But the good thing is that with a little practice anyone can master this art of relaxation and reap great benefits with it.

The intuitions received during yoga nidra enable a person to find all answers and solutions to problems within him. Practicing this regularly can make a person learn to cope up with all tensions and worries and actually rid the system of their burden by finding all answers. This keeps the integrity intact and also develops a lot of confidence to be able to find the answers. This leads the consciousness to a state where it experiences the merger with the divine consciousness. This state of extreme relaxation and extreme wakefulness is known as the opening of the "third eye", where the intuition is extremely sharp and the senses are highly receptive and still the mind and body are highly relaxed.

Many diseases prevailing today are psychosomatic in nature like diabetes, hypertension, migraine, ulcers, other digestive disorders, asthma, and various skin diseases arise from manifestation of huge amount of tensions and high stress levels in the body. Even cancer is attributed to tensions and stress although scientists are still fumbling in the dark for actual reasons for all these diseases. Whatever may be, one thing is very clear that tensions are not good in high proportions and they do lead to various medical situations. So learning to relax is always good for the body.

Yoga realizes that problems of tension have to be dealt with a wider perspective. When the mind is tensed the digestive system will also be tensed. The circulatory system will also go into an overdrive and nervous system will also be adversely affected. Thus the approach of yoga is to teach a person to relax first and to calm down the other systems. Yoga just does not go about treating the diseases without targeting their root cause. All the yogic texts state that the peace can be found in the inner self and never outside. The problem of tension has a worldwide reach today. The vast range of ailments is resultant of this. Also the yogis believe that many international problems can also be solved by learning to relax and by taking into account other persons perspective. They believe that if the world has to be made into more peaceful and better place to be the problem of excessive tension has to be dealt with first and foremost.

Through the process of yoga nidra we can learn to relax and restructure and reconstruct the entire value system on which the human life on this planet is based. This process is much faster than other external ways of dealing with the situation and is also much more reliable and long lasting.

Many practitioners of various forms of medicinal practices are also realizing the stress aspect and psychosomatic aspect of various diseases and are prescribing techniques of meditation and other techniques of relaxation to their patients. There is considerable ignorance about yoga and its therapeutic effects. This is mainly because the yogic methodologies have not been logically studied and scientifically proven. Initiative in this direction will definitely be helpful in counteracting many ailments that surround the world today.

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