What is Intermediate Yoga Nidra?

Is there such a thing as beginners, intermediate, and advance Yoga Nidra? If so, what are the signs that you are, say, at an intermediate stage?

The reason I write this article is because it came up as a query in a Google search and I thought I would share my view on this question of “What is Intermediate Yoga Nidra?”

I am not a teacher of Yoga Nidra so I am sharing this as someone who loves the practice and who explores this journey or Yoga Nidra at home in his own way. So let me share with you six points that you are entering what might be referred to as an intermediate stage of Yoga Nidra.

  1. Embodiment
  2. Greater power of focus or concentration
  3. Reading
  4. Exploring Scripts
  5. Deepening Sambalpa
  6. Exploring a course
  1. Embodiment

If you are regularly practicing Yoga Nidra then your sense of yourself will become more of an embodied presence. You will begin to notice how much you really live in your head. You will begin to recognise that this voice rarely, if ever, shuts up.

One of my favourite ways to spend my time is to build what I refer to as a Garden of Grace. I take this wish from a song by the group Snow Patrol where they sing

I need your grace to remind me of my own.

 

Gardening gives me an opportunity to feel embodied. The daily practice of Yoga Nidra has lead me to spontaneously engage in a walking meditation. This is especially when I reach the flat from the slope down to the door of our polytunnel (hoop house.)

At an intermediate state of Yoga Nidra I think you are beginning to awaken to the possibility of what the poet David Whyte calls “living in a body full of presence.”

  1. Expanding Focus

In my personal experience after about four months of regular Yoga Nidra practice I can say that I am now learning how to stay awake for longer and for most of the allotted time.

In the beginning, I found myself drifting off into sleep or getting distracted by the constant thoughts streaming through my over-thinking mind. I think this is something the beginner goes through. So I encourage you not to give up and say that you cannot do it.

Like any new learning experience you are creating a neural network in your brain. A neural network is where neurons in your brain fire together to form a pattern. With regular practice these neurons fire together and wire together. In this way, the pattern of falling asleep changes as a new pathway is formed.

In order for this neural network to be created you need to practice every day whether or not you think you are good at it or feel like it. The focus for the beginner is just to turn up and do the practice. This then allows you to create a habit where you become more focused and can thus go deeper into the state of relaxation.

  1. Reading

If you are interested in developing Yoga Nidra as a gateway to presence and increased well-being, then it is likely you will begin to read what those who are more experienced have to say about Yoga Nidra.

Such reading will take you into a deeper understand of

  • The difference between intentions and goal setting
  • The eight stages of Yoga Nidra
  • How to develop Sambalpa

I have read various books on Yoga Nidra. I have like most of what I have read, although there are many more titles to come. However, there is, in my opinion and overall clear favourite. I love the book written by XXXX XXXX, entitled Yoga Nidra: Transformational Sleep.

For me, this is a kind of reference book that I will return to again and again had I not given my copy away! I gave it to the local open prison library where I had the opportunity to teach mindfulness meditation to some inmates.

If you like audio books then you might like to listen on Audible or on Scribe.

  1. Exploring Yoga Nidra Scripts

There are various ways in which you can listen to Yoga Nidra Scripts. As someone who is moving beyond the beginner stage you would likely be interested to many of the scripts on offer. This is no you might practice yoga Nidra at anytime you want to and need to. You could do I on the train or bus if necessary.

There are yoga Nidra scripts for different intentions. There are various yoga Nidra scripts relation to the length of time you practice. In my opinion, a beginner should avoid practicing scripts that are less than thirty minutes long. Less than that is not giving you time to move through the eight stages.

As someone moving into the intermediate phase of yoga Nidra practice you may well be interested in adopting a script or a custom combination of scripts for you own preference and circumstances.  You might like a word that no other person has scripted. I love the word softening, but have not found a script with this word. I need to record it myself.

  1. Sambalpa

I think that as you practice yoga Nidra your sambalpa – your deep heart’s desire – unfolds. I only realised now that it is since I started practicing yoga Nidra that I have clearly seen what my true heart’s desire really is.

Some months ago I was struggling with the question “Should I become a yoga teacher?” This was a real challenge because the experience of yoga (union) cannot really be taught. I then thought I could justifiably become a yoga Nidra teacher. It was only really recently that I now know exactly what I was created to be. I am a writer about the journey of yoga. This is because I absolutely love to write and I absolutely love the journey of yoga – the awakening of the self through to the Self.

This, I think, would not have happened if I had not been committed to the daily practice of yoga Nidra. This was not something I might have discovered through an intellectual analysis. It has to become embodied. It has to be part of my YES energy system. And YES, it is!

  1. Exploring Courses

As an intermediate student of yoga Nidra you would also be exploring the various course that are on offer. This could be either online or offline – although it is more likely to find one online until yoga Nidra is more widely embraced by the yoga community who wake up to the power of this healing practice.

Presently, I am studying the online course entitled Yoga Nidra: Effortlessly Awakening,  taught by XXX XXXX of Eckhart Yoga. (There is no connection to Eckhart Tolle.) You can have a trial subscription to this site. They require that you pay a euro cent, but you get that back after joining.

Another course I have sampled is very different from another taken and intend to return to, entitled “XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX”. This course is taught by Sharon at Udemy. Each has its own value.

An online course which opens up to the possibility of training as a yoga Nidra teacher can be found at the Yoga Nidra Network. The cost of this course is £69, but you can try it out for only £10.

There is lots of yoga training in all the various styles and paths out there. I have a monthly subscription that cost me €XX per month so I can view as many courses as I like and have time for.

Conclusion

In this article you have learned what signals in part that you have reached an intermediate level of yoga Nidra practice.

To summarise:

  • You feel more in your body
  • Your focus is more expansive
  • You are drawn to read more
  • You explore the power of different yoga Nidra scripts
  • Your sense of purpose becomes clearer
  • You take courses to enhance your understanding and practice

Recognise that Yoga Nidra is a journey that intends to align you not with your purpose, but Love’s Purpose. Another signal is best expressed in a quotation from my beloved Rumi

Let your heart be drawn.

Let this writer on the journey of Yoga Nidra wish you well in your own exploration of becoming a flow of YES and being a living expression of a body in full presence.

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Tony Cuckson

Writer - Storyteller - Musician at Yoga Journey for Life
Writer of Awakening the Heart - 21 Ways for Following Love's Message. Also author of Being Beautiful - Learning to Treasure the REAL YOU. Workshop Leader in Learning to Companion YOUR Greatness.
Tony Cuckson
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