Yoga Nidra is a form of meditation that involves a guided relaxation technique that aims to bring a state of consciousness that is both waking and sleeping. The practice is often referred to as “yogic sleep” and is designed to promote deep relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance overall well-being.
During Yoga Nidra, practitioners lie down in a comfortable position and follow a guided meditation that leads them through different stages of awareness, from physical sensations to emotional states to spiritual insights.
The practice has been found to have numerous health benefits, including improved sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased focus and clarity of mind.
Here are some benefits of Yoga Nidra:
- Stress relief: Yoga Nidra has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels by calming the nervous system.
- Better sleep: Practicing Yoga Nidra before bed can help improve the quality of sleep and reduce insomnia.
- Healing: Yoga Nidra can help people overcome trauma, addiction, and other emotional and physical ailments by accessing the subconscious mind.
- Enhancing creativity and intuition: Practicing Yoga Nidra can stimulate creativity and intuition by accessing deeper levels of consciousness and stimulating certain brain waves.
- Increased self-awareness: Yoga Nidra can help people develop greater self-awareness by cultivating inner peace, stillness, and mindfulness.
The format and steps to follow depend on the lineage however, the basic steps are as follows:
- Preparation: This involves getting into a comfortable position, such as lying down on a yoga mat or blanket, and setting an intention for the practice.
- Breath awareness: You are guided to focus on your breath and observe its natural rhythm. This helps to calm the mind and bring awareness to the present moment.
- Visualization: The teacher may guide you through a series of visualizations or mental imagery, which can help to promote healing, relaxation, and inner peace. This can be an environment such as a forest, a beach, a body of water that brings peace.
- Body scan: The teacher guides you through a systematic relaxation of each part of your body, starting from your toes and moving upwards towards your head. This helps to release tension and promote relaxation. This is the bulk of the practice.
- Relax in Silence: The teacher will remind you to remain awake throughout the practice and will leave time for silence and integration of the process. It lasts anywhere from for 2 – 12 minutes.
- Intention setting: Towards the end of the practice, you are invited to set an intention for your life or practice. This can help to bring clarity and purpose to your daily activities. A certified teacher can also guide you into psychic development.
- Closing: The practice ends with a slow and gentle awakening, and you are invited to bring your awareness back to your surroundings. Sometimes we end with a mantra such as “Om shanthi, shanthi, shanthi”
If you want to learn more, the next 30 hour Yoga Nidra training will be announced on the 300 hour page.