Below is a yoga nidra script which I adapted from the book Yoga Nidra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, first variation (page 81). Modifications were made to the original script to fit a 15 minutes session. Verbal instructions were also reduced to give students more time to relax. I begin with a script on how it can be introduced to students followed by the Yoga Nidra script itself.
Have students lie Shavasana with eyes closed.
Yoga Nidra is a systematic method of inducing complete physical, emotional, and mental relaxation. An hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to 4 hours of deep sleep.
During the session, you will be asked to repeat your Sankalpa. A Sankalpa refers to a positive resolve. Repeating your Sankalpa during Yoga Nidra is a powerful method of reshaping your personality and directing your life positively. It does so by allowing your resolve to penetrate into your subconscious mind and letting it take effect from there. A Sankalpa would usually begin with “I am or I will”. So, let us take a minute to think of our Sankalpa. Take a deep breath and bring your mind within.
Wait for a minute to pass then move straight to the script below.
Yoga Nidra Script
In the script below, italicized blue text are verbal instructions to be given to students. Normal text are instructions for teachers.
Get ready for yoga nidra. Adjust your body, position, and clothing until you are completely comfortable. During yoga nidra there should be no physical movement. Close your eyes and keep them strictly close until you are told to open them. Take a deep breath and as you breathe out, feel the cares and worries of the day flow out of you.
Now bring about a feeling of inner relaxation in the whole body. Develop awareness of the body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes and mentally repeat the mantra ohm. Complete stillness and awareness of the whole body… ohm… awareness of the whole body. Whole body.
The practice of Yoga Nidra begins now. Throughout the session, stay relax but maintain your awareness.
Repeat your Sankalpa mentally 3 times.
Rotation of consciousness/ auto suggestion
Bring students attention to different parts of their body in the following order:
1. Right side – start from fingers and end with toes
2. Left side – start from fingers and end with toes
3. Back – start from shoulders and end with whole back
4. Front – start from top of the head and end with abdomen
5. Major parts – Legs, arms, back, front, and head
Teachers can decide on the specificity of the body parts. Example: Relax your right thumb, second finger, third finger…
Bring your awareness to your breath. Feel the flow of your breath in and out of your lungs. Breathe naturally.
Attend to your naval, your naval rises and falls with each breath. Now count your breath backwards from 10 to 1, like this – 10 naval rising, 10 naval falling. 9 naval rising, 9 naval falling… continue up to 1.
Attend to your chest, your chest rises and falls with each breath. Now count your breath backwards from 10 to 1, like this – 10 chest rising, 10 chest falling… continue up to 1.
Attend to your breath flowing in/out your nostrils. Now count your breath backwards from 10 to 1, like this – 10 in, 10 out… continue up to 1.
To estimate when students would finish counting, count along with them using your own breath silently.
Repeat your Sankalpa 3 times.
Feel the awareness return to your entire body from the top of your head to the tip of your toes…
Feel the ground beneath you…
Bend your knees and roll to your right and rest your head on your right arm. Prop yourself up with your left hand into a seated position. The practice of yoga nidra has ended. When you are ready, open your eyes.
So, that’s what I have for my new YTT buddies. Have fun teaching yoga nidra ~
Written by: Tan Bee Li (YTT Sep – Nov 2017)