20 Minutes of Yoga Nidra Meditation: Restful as Deep Sleep

Looking to restore your energy, but don't have the time for a full night's sleep? Learn how Yoga Nidra meditation can help you in just 20 minutes!

Denise Everheart

Did you sleep well last night? If not, you need a Yoga Nidra meditation!

Feeling stressed or anxious? You need a Yoga Nidra meditation! 

Have a lot on your plate? If yes, you also need a Yoga Nidra meditation!

Many Americans are stressed and anxious, and as a result, they aren’t getting good quality sleep. And most of us are way too busy to deal with sleep issues on top of daily stress!

Help is desperately needed! And help is here, in the form of Yoga Nidra meditation. Read on to learn how you can use this unique guided meditation for deep rest and relaxation.

What is Yoga Nidra meditation?

Yoga Nidra meditation, an ancient practice, sometimes referred to as ‘yogic sleep’ is a guided meditation that guides you into conscious awareness of each part of the body (body scan) for effortless, deep relaxation. Yoga Nidra is not about falling asleep. Rather, Yoga Nidra induces a state of deep rest and inner awareness that is as restorative as deep sleep. Although the goal of Yoga Nidra isn’t to fall asleep, it is possible to fall asleep if you are carrying lots of fatigue.

What is the best time to do Yoga Nidra?

If you ask a yoga teacher when you should do Yoga Nidra, that yoga teacher is likely to say following yoga postures. If you ask a meditation teacher the same question, they are likely to say when you need a power nap. If you ask an insomniac, they might say at night in bed. There is no wrong answer! Whatever works best for you is the best time.

How to prepare for a Yoga Nidra session

Choose a quiet space where you will be able to relax without disturbance. It is recommended to do some light stretching, exercise, or a yoga practice before you start the Yoga Nidra meditation. Dim the lights and grab a blanket for comfort. This meditation is performed lying flat on a yoga mat or other firm surface on your back in Corpse Pose (Shavasana). Make sure you are comfortable, as you will be in this position for 20 minutes, possibly a little longer if you choose or fall asleep.

How to do Yoga Nidra step-by-step 

Note that if this is your first time experiencing Yoga Nidra meditation you might want to use the guided version in the video below.

  • Lie in Corpse Pose with your arms by your sides, palms facing the sky, and feet gently splayed outward. Allow your eyes to gently close as you take a few deep breaths in and out. Allow yourself to relax and completely let go.

  • Begin by lightly taking your attention to your right foot. Keep your awareness here for a few seconds, as you slowly relax your right foot. Then, move your attention up to the right knee, the right thigh, and hip. With each part of the body, repeat the same process of focused awareness and relaxation. Once you complete all parts of the right leg, draw your awareness to the whole right leg and relax it completely. Take a deep breath in followed by a breath out.

  • Repeat the above process on the left leg.

  • Guide your awareness up through all parts of the body, sequentially relaxing them: your genitals, abdomen, stomach, chest, back, right arm, and shoulder followed by left arm and shoulder, neck/throat, face, and head.

  • Taking a deep breath in, become aware of your whole body, observing any sensations that arise. Relax here for a few minutes, letting all stress melt away and evaporate from the body.

  • After a few minutes of relaxation, slowly start to bring your awareness back to your body surroundings. When you feel ready, gently turn onto your right side, and continue to relax for a few moments.

  • Taking your time, gently push your way up into a seated position. Take a few deep breaths in and out, and when you feel complete, slowly, and gradually open your eyes.

Enjoy deep relaxation with this guided Yoga Nidra

Benefits of Yoga Nidra

With more and more people looking to use a Yoga Nidra practice it would be good to know why?! Here are some of the benefits of practicing Yoga Nidra.

  • It helps flush toxins out of the body

  • It offers the opportunity to connect with yourself intimately, inside and out

  • It aids not only in physical healing but also in emotional healing

  • It can help reduce tension and manage chronic pain

  • It can ease symptoms of various psychological conditions including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and addiction

  • It is a simple and effortless way to reduce stress

  • It is easy to incorporate into your daily life and just takes minutes to practice

  • There is no wrong way to practice Yoga Nidra, and anyone can do it!

What is the difference between meditation and Yoga Nidra?

Although Yoga Nidra offers a meditative experience, there is so much more to a meditation practice that incorporates techniques like mantra-based and breath-based meditation. When you practice Yoga Nidra you will gain all of the above-mentioned benefits but generally speaking, those benefits will quickly fade if the practice is missed or stopped. Whereas most other meditation techniques’ benefits build over time and definitely surpass what is possible through Yoga Nidra. Here too, missing your meditation practice repeatedly or stopping altogether could cause beneficial gains to diminish.

Want profound relaxation? Yoga Nidra can do that! 

Want restful sleep? Yoga Nidra can help with that!

Want better immunity, greater mental focus, healthier blood pressure, increased self-esteem, more optimism, and life satisfaction, along with personality development? Try a breath-based meditation technique.

Breathing your way to deeper relaxation and more

If you haven’t yet heard about SKY Breath Meditation, you have now! SKY has been shown to give 3 times more time spent in deep, restful stages of sleep. It is also highly effective in reducing stress (56%) and non-clinical anxiety (23%).  And on the upswing, SKY was shown to increase immunity (33%) and life satisfaction (21%). In fact, studies have also shown improvements in areas of blood pressure, addictive behaviors, PTSD, and respiratory function. 

Imagine that, your breath is the key to unlocking everything you are looking for better health and well being including better sleep!

To learn more about SKY Breath Meditation attend a free online session.

Breathe Strong banner

Now you have two options to help you feel rested and ready for whatever life throws your way, guided relaxation in the form of a Yoga Nidra practice and SKY Breath Meditation! 

Want even more help to sleep restfully? Read Guided Sleep Meditation for You: Fall Asleep in Minutes.


ART OF LIVING PART I COURSE Discover Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s ancient secret to modern well-being

Subscribe to Art of Living Blog Digest