Yoga nidra meaning yoga sleep is one of most beneficial yoga practices you can do for your body, mind & spirit.
For those who attend my classes this is an extended version of the shavasana/deep relaxation we practice at the end of class. For a while now my students have asked me to record a relaxation session so they can practice it between classes. I am delighted to have finally recorded one.
It is not very often we give our mind a full rest. Our mind can tend to be very preoccupied with events that happened in the past or about negative occurrences that may never even happen in the future. We all need a break, a holiday from our chaotic worlds. Our body rests when we sleeps but our mind, our subconscious is still busy at work. Our mind must be exhausted!! How amazing would it be to truly give our mind a break!! Yoga nidra can do this. It is said when yoga nidra is done with full awareness and the body remains still that 20 minutes of yoga nidra is the equivalent of t least 1 and a half HOURS of deep sleep!!!!!(some sources claim it is even equivalent to 3/4 HOURS of sleep!!!).
Some of the other many advantages of Yoga Nidra:
• improves the quality of your sleep and the amount of your sleep
• enhances your mental focus, attention span and learning capacity
• soothes your autonomic nervous system( the ans affects heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration, pupillary dilation, micturition (urinadtion), and sexual arousal.)
• awakens and improves your creativity and whole brain functioning
• gives you more ease and peace of mind in daily life
• helps create new neural pathways in your brain leading to healthy habits & routines
• Clears the self conscious from any repressed emotions that may have built up since childhood
At the beginning and the end of the practice you will be asked to set your sankalpa/ your intention. This positive affirmation is to be said in the present tense. Examples are: "I am feeling very calm and present" "I am feeling happier every day" "I am becoming more and more confident" "I am/feel: (any of the below):
A beautiful sankalpa from the inspiring Uma Dinsmore Tulli is "With great respect and love I honor my heart my inner teacher". If you are pregnant, a nice sankalpa maybe: "I have everything I need to birth my baby" and "My every breath nourishes my baby"
To remain completely present and physically still in Yoga Nidra takes some practice, you may find your mind wanders in and out of consciousness and you wiggle around a little. So it is very important to take your time to find a comfortable position. There is no wrong way to practice Yoga Nidra and with practice you will enjoy the experience even more.
Here you go, enjoy!!!