Are you working hard to create and manifest your ideal body, relationship and life of your dreams? What if I told you that there is a magic map for manifesting that is not only available for you to use anytime, but is also one of the most powerful and accessible forms of yoga. It is called yoga nidra. Chances are you’re interested; however, you may be thinking: “how come I haven’t heard about this before” or “what is this yoga nidra all about anyway?”
Maybe you're already accustomed to manifesting and co-creating your reality, but this amazing manifesting tool still eludes you. Certainly, we have all heard about using positive affirmations, vision boards and setting intentions as practicable means for consciously manifesting money, love, health, abundance or whatever it is you want to bring into fruition. These are all great modalities, and I have personally used each of them in the past with some success, but the level of success that I've achieved through yoga nidra is unprecedented and incomparable to anything I have used before. I’m very results-driven and the practice of yoga nidra meditation definitely did not fall short of my expectations, in fact, it was quite the opposite experience.
Yoga nidra – which literally means yogic sleep – takes us beyond our limiting beliefs and conditionings, so that we can live a contented life that is free of conflict, anxiety, fear, dissatisfaction and suffering. During the practice of yoga nidra, we also work with sankalpa, and the resolves or intentions which are born from the heart. This is the stage of the practice where you set your sankalpa – your intention. Through sankalpa, anything that you want to work on or work with can be realized and resolved.
During the practice, we relax the body and mind enough to drop down into a lower brain wave pattern, such as Alpha or even Theta. This is where the manifesting magic happens.
Working with sankalpa is not only useful for clearing out old past wounds, but will also help you to manifest and create your future. My own life began to improve on so many levels after starting this practice. Not only did I lose thirty pounds, but I also emotionally improved my relationships.
I made a commitment to practicing yoga nidra every night before bed, and have done so for the last few years. It’s been said that all can fail you in life except for the resolve made during sankalpa -- it’s really that powerful. I do all of my manifesting by setting my sankalpa during yoga nidra practice.
Yoga nidra works holistically on the level of our whole being, not just with our physical body, which also allows the practice to offer a broad range of healing benefits. Accordingly to yoga philosophy, we are more than just our physical bodies. We are multi-dimensional beings, made-up of many different interactive levels. These levels are referred to as sheaths or koshas. Like peeling the layer off an onion – starting from the outside and working your way into to the core – the koshas proceed from the outer to inner layer in greater levels of subtlety.
With this map we work from the outside-in -- just like with the eight limbs or steps for practicing yoga.
We work from the outer most layer to the deepest inner knowing of who and what we are.
The First Five Koshas Explained:
1. Annamaya kosha
This is the physical body, and it is the most familiar aspect of our being. We start here by setting our intention. As we acknowledge our motivations we become aware of distractions, which otherwise might disturb our attention. Then we affirm our desire that no matter what, we remain attentive and motivated. This is the sheath of physical awareness; the physical body is welcomed into awareness as a vibrant and tactile sensation. Physical sensations are recognized as messengers – or pointers – to deeper underlying perceptions, and the body is realized to be an expanse of non-localized radiance.
2. Pranamaya kosha
This is the energy body, and it is your awareness of breath and energy. The breath is the most physical expression of prana – which is closely related to the breath. Here, your thought-created guidance system falls away, and physical well-being and joy start to arise. Every perception is recognized to be in perpetual motion; everything is constantly changing (parinâma).
3. Manamaya kosha
This is the mental-emotional body, and it manifests itself in our reliance on subtle thought (sarvichara). Often, we draw our attention to feeling imperfect (râga), rather than saying to ourselves: ‘I am perfect as I am’ (pûrñatvam-vairagya). Work to recognize your feelings and emotions as messengers. They are available to send us messages anytime we quiet and tune into them. Physical well-being, joy and equanimity are present now. The changing energy exposes the subtle world of feeling and emotions, which are comprised of polarities of opposites: warm versus cool, tense versus relaxed, joy versus sadness, fear versus courage. As opposites are received, they are recognized as messengers underlying unity and reveal profound levels of understanding.
4. Vijnanamaya kosha
This is the wisdom body and is otherwise known as the "sheath of intellect." It is the fourth kosha and is considered part of the subtle body. Vijnana means knowing, and this sheath denotes the higher mind -- the faculty of wisdom which lies underneath the processing, thinking and reactive mind. The revelation of a [deeper underlying strata of being nirodha parinâma samyama, and the relinquishment of subtle thought (nirvichâra), can now occur.
5. Anandamaya kosha
This is the bliss body and is known as the kosha of joy, bliss and love. Ananda means bliss – not bliss in the sense of emotions (such as pleasure or desire), but bliss in the sense of a long drawn-out, unbounded experience of reality. The ancients viewed the experience of the bliss body as an experience of the deepest level of our being: an unbounded, blissful state. As attention is liberated from being bound to emotions, positive thoughts – which allow for pleasure, joy, bliss and love – naturally arise. Joy, bliss and love are causeless, and saturate the body.
With the practice of yoga nidra, we learn to live a life of absolute and unconditioned freedom. The five senses and mind function as before: projecting separation. But now, that separation (dvaita) is realized to arise in non-separation (advaita). The world rises, but the mind no longer believes in its inherent solidness and permanence. The world exists but has no underlying reality. This is where real change can begin and the manifesting magic plays out.
I would recommend starting with a short 22-27 minute yoga nidra practice daily, and work your way up to a full 44-60 minute practice (which can be done at any time of the day or night).
I have found that setting my intentions, during my nightly practice of yoga nidra, has increased my manifesting abilities tremendously – so much so that I have to be very careful and conscious about what I want to create or manifest because I know that it usually happens quite quickly.
Stay working with one sunkalpa until you see it manifest in your life. I’m interested in knowing how your experience with yoga nidra plays out. If you’re using it as a manifesting tool, and it's working for you, please comment below. All comments are most welcome.