Get ready to deepen your yoga nidra relaxation with these quick tips from Dinesh Kashikar, senior Art of Living Yoga teacher. This is a part of the yoga nidra article series comprising yoga nidra instructions, benefits of yoga nidra, and tips.
- 1. Keep sufficient time for yoga nidra after yoga postures. Just as a car engine needs to be turned off and allowed to cool down after a long drive, similarly, our body becomes warm while doing yoga postures. We need to cool our body with yoga nidra before moving off the yoga mat.
- 2. Yoga nidra after lunch? It is not advisable to do yoga nidra immediately after lunch because you might end up experiencing only nidra (sleep) and no yoga!
- 3. Practice yoga nidra in a peaceful place. A yogi's home is calm, comfortable, and clutter-free. A place that calms and energizes the mind and betters your yoga nidra experience.
- 4. Keep yourself cozy; cover yourself with a blanket to keep yourself warm. After an active session of yoga postures, the body is hot and when you lie down for yoga nidra, the temperature suddenly drops and you might feel slightly cold. So, it is a good idea to keep a light blanket handy.
- 5. Make yourself comfortable. When you are comfortable, the mind can relax more and more. While lying down in Corpse Pose (Shavasana) for yoga nidra, if you experience pain or discomfort in your lower back, use pillows to raise your knees above the waist level to relax the spine more. You can also place a thin pillow under your head for more comfort. However, don't make yourself too comfortable and go to sleep.
- 6. Yoga nidra is not about 'conscious effort' but 'conscious relaxation'. Now what is that? Let's take an example. The moment you hear the word 'apple,' its image instantly flashes through your mind. You don't need to put in effort to think whether it's small or big, red or green. The same happens during yoga nidra. You don't need to 'concentrate' or 'focus' on what a leg is, or touch your nose. Nor do you need to physically move these body parts. You only need to gently take your attention to them, while taking deep breaths. The trick in yoga nidra is to — relax with awareness — remain effortless and consciously relax the body and mind.
- 7. It is quite natural to be distracted by random thoughts during yoga nidra. Do not try and curb them. If you fall asleep naturally, don't feel guilty once you wake up.
- 8. Gentle music can also aid in yoga nidra. You could switch on light, instrumental music or some soothing chants before starting yoga nidra. However music is not an essential element for yoga nidra. You'll find yourself relaxing to your own internal rhythm.
- 9. After yoga nidra, roll over to your right side and slowly sit up. Rolling over to the right side makes the breath flow through the left nostril which helps cool the body.
"As refreshing as sleep, I fondly call yoga nidra my 'super nap'. In just a short while, it leaves me deeply rested and freshens me up in a way no tea or coffee does," shares Pritika Nair, who compiled this article.