I’ve been immersing through the topic of Yoga Nidra the last few weeks in my 300 Hour Yoga Teacher Training and I’m surprised (and a bit embarrassed) that I really haven’t known much about it before diving in.
Yoga Nidra is a yogic sleep where you’re at a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. Think of the period right before you fall asleep where you feel you’re in that dream-like state but not actually sleeping. This state is typically induced by a guided meditation while lying down on your back in savasana pose.
This practice of yoga nidra often starts with the awareness of senses through the body and mindful breathing which triggers the relaxation response or the parasympathetic nervous system. The wavelengths in your mind begin to slow down to help find the middle ground between sleep and consciousness.
Yoga Nidra is different than traditional meditation which is done in a seated or lotus position with the goal of building mindfulness and awareness.
This practice can be done at home through guided audio recordings found on apps like Insight Timer or Calm. If you’d like to fully step away from technology for your practice, try the following strategy:
- Choose a clear intention.
- Lie flat on your back, with your arms stretched out by your sides.
- Close your eyes & begin to fully rest the body.
- Bring awareness to any sensations you feel through your body or breath.
- Begin to repeat the clear intention you chose in step #1 three times.
- Take a couple deep breaths, emphasizing exhalation.
- Repeat steps #4-6 as desired.