What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga nidra is also known as the yogic sleep. It is a meditation practice where you rest comfortably in Savasana while moving through a deeper state of relaxation with complete awareness. This meditation takes you through the Five Koshas (layers of self), tapping into your more subtle degrees of energy, leaving you with a sense of wholeness. This deep relaxation helps the body to increase Melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that suppresses the sympathetic nervous system, pulling us out of the "flight or fight" response and helping us relax. This state of relaxation is beneficial for lowering blood pressure and cortisol levels, supporting immune function and promoting a more restful sleep.
How do I practice Yoga Nidra?
Find a quiet place where you can relax on a comfortable surface with no distractions. Use any props that help you to settle in and feel well supported (blankets, pillows, cushions, etc.)
Set an intention for your practice. What do you want to accomplish? Keep it simple and remain positive.
Scan the body, noticing any sensations you may be experiencing. You may go to each part of the body giving it permission to relax and release any tension.
Become aware of the breath, moving your focus inward. Noticing any qualities, the temperature, the pace, the rise and fall of the abdomen, beginning to deepen the breath.
Recognize your thoughts and feelings. Acknowledge them without judging, then letting them go. Focus on the positive.
Step out of yourself and become an observer. Observing your feelings, yourself from a different perspective.
Reflect on this moment of peace and remember the comfort that you are able to return to before reawakening the body.
Where can I find guided Yoga Nidra practices?
Check your local yoga studio
Apps, such as Insight Timer and DownDog Meditation App
Yoga Nidra is an effective way to relax and release stress. Anyone can do it and it's easy to incorporate into your daily life. Quieting the mind is not an easy task. It takes time and practice, be gentle on yourself.