Boost Your Resilience & Your Energy
Contrary to what we’ve been led to believe about the meaning of the word “yoga,” yoga nidra—a systematic meditation trend reported on last year—isn’t movement-based at all. It’s a deep guided meditation that’s been touted for years as “yogic sleep.” Yoga nidra is an immensely powerful meditation technique, and one of the easiest yoga practices to develop and maintain. While the practitioner rests comfortably in savasana (corpse pose), this systematic meditation takes you through the pancha maya kosha (five layers of self), leaving you with a sense of wholeness. No longer do you have to dread spending hours sitting on the floor waiting for liberation. In an age when we’re constantly distracted by technology and our own to-do lists, resting our bodies and minds has never been more important. And yet, as we’re in a constant state of stress, it’s also difficult to ease into and actually get the downtime we so desperately need.
There are different types of yoga nidra—some aim to reconcile trauma by dialoguing with your inner child while others are body-scan-based. Most yoga nidras enlist powerful visualizations to enhance the experience. The idea behind yoga nidra is that the body falls asleep while the mind stays awake. It’s hard to achieve, but with practice it can come. Some experts say an hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to four hours of standard sleep, which is likely one of the reasons it’s growing in popularity. Here are five benefits of developing a yoga nidra practice:
Anyone Can Do Yoga Nidra
Yoga nidra is a practice that everyone, from children to seniors, can do. It’s easy to follow at any age. All that your body needs to do is lie down on the floor. And even if you can’t lie down on the floor, you can still do this practice seated.
You Cannot Practice Yoga Nidra Incorrectly
As you lie down, supported in savasana, all you have to do is follow the voice that is guiding you. It’s likely that you will remember certain parts of the meditation and not others. Every time you come to the practice you encounter a new experience—none of which is wrong. Falling asleep is okay too, as you will still receive benefits while the unconscious mind is absorbing the practice.
Yoga Nidra Is Easy to Incorporate into Your Daily Life
Yoga nidra is always guided, so there is no intense thinking or wondering why you are staring at a blank wall. A yoga nidra practice can be as short as five minutes and as long as an hour. You choose the length. You may find that the easiest way to accommodate a yoga nidra practice is to make it part of your daily bedtime routine. Put the headphones on, practice right in your bed, and then drift off to sleep. Although this is not the most conventional way to practice yoga nidra, you have no excuse not to do it if you’re going to be lying down anyway.
It’s a Simple Way to Reduce Stress
Yoga nidra promotes deep rest and relaxation that isn’t found in your average meditation practice. The stages of body scan and breath awareness alone can be practiced to calm the nervous system, leading to less stress and better health.
Yoga Nidra Offers the Opportunity to Learn About Yourself Intimately
Practiced with consistency and awareness, you may likely discover that you can find a good amount of peace in a short period of time.
Some people crave the profound relaxation that this practice instills, while other practitioners use the non-judgmental and secure atmosphere that yoga nidra provides as a window into themselves. Yoga nidra offers a space to explore what you need in the moment, as well as an opportunity to work on releasing long-held emotions. During yoga nidra you are able to experience an emotion and come “face to face” with what you want to overcome, without “diving into it” completely—meaning without feeling the emotion so completely that you become overwhelmed.
Source: Yoga International