Yoganidrā An Understanding of the History and Context

By JASON BIRCH and JACQUELINE HARGREAVES12

Jason Birch and Jacqueline Hargreaves examine the term yoganidrā in its historical context so that those practicing and teaching can appreciate Yoga Nidra within a broader understanding of South Asian history.

Yoganidra is a term that has a diverse and ancient history in Sanskrit literature. It has been used with various meanings and can be found in Epic and Purāṇic literature, Śaiva and Buddhist Tantras, medieval Haṭha and Rājayoga texts (including the widely known Haṭhapradīpikā) and it even became the name of a yoga posture (āsana) in the 17th century. This article draws upon research of various Sanskrit texts, in particular, medieval works on yoga written between the 11-18th centuries.

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