Yoga Nidra commonly referred to as “yogic sleep” or “effortless relaxation,” is a type of guided meditation. It is typically practiced while on the floor with a teacher supervising. With experience, we learn to shift between the awake and asleep states, when our bodies discover their natural state of balance (homeostasis), the breath balances and quiet, the conscious and unconscious components of our minds emerge, and we enter a natural state of deep, happy awareness.

As we rest here, we can turn our attention easily and effortlessly to the very nature of awareness and consciousness. We start to experience the ‘deeper’ features of yogic teachings that previously we perhaps considered intangible, such as feeling our interconnected wholeness and becoming aware of our true, unified nature – expansive, inclusive, and deeply restful. 

Yoga Nidra takes us effortlessly into a state of harmonious, restful being. From here, we can be healed, restored, and awakened to our deepest, all-knowing, all-welcoming selves. It’s a sublime practice, gaining popularity the world over, and ongoing research continues to prove its effectiveness.

Yoga Nidra is open to everyone, but it is especially appealing to people who find it difficult to let go (I believe many of us have occasionally “fought” through meditation!). Additionally, those who experience insomnia, traumatic experiences, anxiety, or despair can greatly benefit from it (to any degree). It’s also ideal for people who have always been interested in the profound levels of meditation that they may have read about or perhaps experienced firsthand but have never been able to duplicate.

Steps to take when doing Yoga Nidra

  1. Get in touch with your most profound yearning. Concentrate on a long-term objective or an issue related to your well-being. Imagine achieving this objective and experiencing the delight that follows.
  2. Have a goal in mind. Consider your motivation for practicing, whether it’s to center yourself so you can schedule some self-care. Whatever your motivation, keep it top of mind throughout your yoga Nidra session.
  3. Look within for resources. To feel safe and at ease when practicing, includes tapping into a safe area within the body.
  4. Do a body scan. You’ll be instructed to concentrate on specific areas of the body or sensations while undergoing a body scan. This is intended to aid in easing tension so that you may unwind.
  5. How the air in and out of your body is moving. Pay attention to how it enters your nostrils and how your abdomen moves up and down. Your breathing will become more even as a result of this.
  6. Accept your emotions. If today was difficult, accept it. Although you don’t have to think about the difficult things, by acknowledging them you may also consider the opposite of the emotion you are experiencing to bring things back to balance.
  7. Observe your own thinking. Similar to step six, you should simply observe your ideas as they are without trying to suppress or judge them. If you find yourself thinking anything bad about yourself, try to focus on the bright side to reduce stress. 
  8. The feeling of joy. When you begin to experience bliss, embrace it and allow it to fill your entire being.
  9. Be aware of “you.” Be conscious of your personality and any potential emotions. Alternatively put, your sense of “I-ness.” So think of yourself as a witness who is watching. You’ll become more awake and in touch with your emotions as a result.
  10. Think back on your technique. Consider your feelings and the resources you were able to use during your session after you’ve finished. Then, consider how you may incorporate any serenity or joy you may be experiencing into your regular life, regardless of how things are going. Don’t leave your practice right away. Returning to the waking stage of existence will take a few minutes.

Benefits of practicing Yoga Nidra

  1. Better mental processes and less stress

Through guided meditation, Yoga Nidra helps you achieve a soothing condition for both your body and mind. The exercise alters brain waves through physical and mental activities, which releases emotional tension, calms the nervous system, and promotes muscle relaxation. As a result, stress levels in the body and mind are naturally reduced. Headaches and muscle tension can be relieved by reducing physical and mental stress.

2. Enhanced memory and cognitive function

By making room in the brain, yoga Nidra practice enhances cognitive performance. It does this by assisting in stress reduction. When the mind is overloaded with emotions, it has limited room to carry out daily tasks effectively. Stress is lessened, allowing the brain to do tasks to the best of its ability. Yoga Nidra can be used to alleviate stress and assist in removing unrelated ideas from the conscious mind.

3. Enhanced confidence and self-worth

Regularly practicing Yoga Nidra can significantly boost your confidence and self-esteem. Recent research from two Turkish colleges lends credence to this assertion. The results of the study, which examined how Yoga Nidra affected burn patients’ perceptions of their bodies and their own worth, showed that the experimental group significantly improved in these areas.

4. Increased physical health and sleep quality

man experiences the advantages of yoga Nidra while meditating on a wooden floor

Yoga Nidra has a powerful impact on your sleep pattern and quality. By making it easier for you to fall asleep at night, stay asleep longer, and get a full night’s rest, it aids in the development of regular sleep habits.

5. Increased mindfulness while awake

Being mindful is the quality and state of being present in every moment of our existence. By totally embracing the present, it rejects thinking about the past and the future. Instead of evaluating thoughts or denying what is happening around you, mindful thinking places an emphasis on acceptance of the events that are occurring right now.

6. Reduces anxiety and depression symptoms

High vigilance, a hyperactive brain, persistently unpleasant thoughts, and other pressures are symptoms of anxiety disorders. Our mental reaction patterns, which are the cause of suffering, can make routine daily tasks challenging. Yoga Nidra fosters a deep state of physical and emotional relaxation, which reduces the signs and symptoms of anxiety.

7. Manages post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain

In order to silence the areas of the brain that are in charge of unpleasant thoughts and feelings, Richard Miller, the creator of iRest, created a number of contemporary modifications to the Yoga Nidra technique. The U.S. Army Surgeon General recommended Yoga Nidra as a treatment for chronic pain and PTSD (PTSD). Yogic sleep induces a deep level of relaxation in the practitioner, which makes them feel rested. The nervous system is slowed by this tranquil state, giving the body time to recuperate. The body can relax, heal, and regenerate here. Yoga Nidra also enhances immune system performance and lowers inflammation to effectively treat chronic pain.

Yoga Nidra might hold the secret to establishing sound sleep habits, feeling rested, and taking care of your mental health. One of the most well-known therapeutic techniques in the meditation community is yoga Nidra! You can purposefully enter a sleep-like condition by using Yoga Nidra meditation to calm the waves of your thoughts.

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