Published on August 14th, 2017 | by Catherine Tingey0
What is Yoga Nidra?
What is Yoga Nidra?
You may have heard of Yoga Nidra, or seen it offered as a class at a yoga studio.
Yoga Nidra or Yogic Sleep, often prescribed as an antidote to insomnia, high blood pressure and anxiety, is essentially an ancient progressive relaxation technique.
Of course, it is much more than that, but my teaching style is based on demystifying practices. If you tell a student that they’re going to learn a technique that will illuminate the whole universe and their place in it, it’s set up to be daunting, and presumptive. What if their first experience doesn’t set off fireworks?
So, I try to teach complex things simply.
What exactly is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation where the teacher directs the student’s attention, either in person or via a recording.
By directing attention on one specific part of the body at a time, and then moving attention throughout the entire body, one is able to reach a level of complete body relaxation. This state of consciousness is deeply rejuvenating for the body, and can be a precursor to a good evening of sleep.
Yoga Nidra is a meditation technique that is especially helpful for beginners, as well as anyone who might want more instruction than in a traditional, austere meditation setting. I’ve found it effective to teach yoga nidra during corpse pose as just a general meditation. This takes the pressure off and it becomes just a simple exercise to follow, as opposed to a fancy ‘technique’ that must be mastered.
What are the Benefits of Yoga Nidra?
- better sleep
- deep relaxation and rest
- increased sense of well-being
- increased resiliency to stress and illness
- reduced blood pressure
Find a comfortable position on the floor, or in bed. If you are more comfortable sitting, do that.
Make sure that regardless of position, that you have pillows/props under your arms (if sitting in a chair without armrests), and a comfortable pillow under your neck (if laying down). The key here in terms of positioning is to have each limb supported by a prop so there is no effort required to hold the body in the position.
Listen to a Yoga Nidra CD, or Youtube video – I like this one – Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra with Jennifer Reis . Or work with a private yoga instructor skilled in teaching Yoga Nidra.
Transitioning Out of Yoga Nidra
As in all meditation techniques, you want to gently ease the body back into ‘real life’. If you are taking a Yoga Nidra class, go home afterwards and do something quiet. If you are doing Yoga Nidra at home, segueing into sleep is a really good idea.
Have you tried Yoga Nidra? Feel free to comment below!