Learn how to immerse yourself in deep sleep and relaxation with yoga nidra.
Are you familiar with yoga nidra? If not, you might be missing out on ultimate relaxation and rest. Yoga nidra is a form of meditation, often referred to as “yogic sleep”, that allows for deep relaxation and restoration. It’s an ancient yogic practice that many yoga teachers prescribed to patients as a complementary therapy. Below are 5 reasons to practice yoga nidra.
By Bruce Chung
1. It is an accessible form of meditation.
You do not have to practice yoga or meditation to practice yoga nidra. In yoga nidra, practitioners are lying down in Savasana (flat on their backs) — and shorter versions of it can be completed in less than 10 minutes, making it a very accessible form of meditation.
2. It helps the physical and mental bodies rest completely.
Our minds are always active, including when we are sleeping. Yoga nidra is sleep but with traces of deep awareness. During “normal” sleep, we lose track of the self but, in yoga nidra, there remains an inward lucidity that can only happen when the mind is in a state of surrender and rest.
3. It is said that a 30-minute yoga nidra practice is equivalent to 2-4 hours of sleep.
In yoga nidra, the benefits are immediate, from reduced stress to deep rest. Following a practice, you feel relaxed and rested. Whenever I’m in need of an afternoon nap, I opt for a yoga nidra session instead which rejuvenates me for the remainder of the day.
4. It helps to improve quality of sleep.
According to Swami Satyananda, yoga nidra is “a systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental, and emotional relaxation.” As we learn to unburden ourselves from stresses, the quality of our experiences improve, sleep included.
5. It is a powerful form of manifestation.
Each yoga nidra practice opens and closes with “sankalpa,” a heartfelt intention. “Sankalpa” is a statement that should represent a deepest desire, but is said in the present tense as an existing reality (e.g. “I am whole, healed and healthy” as opposed to “I hope to heal”).
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