Yoga Nidra, sometimes referred to as ‘yogic sleep,’ is a restorative meditation that guides you into conscious awareness of each part of the body for deep and effortless relaxation. Yoga Nidra is not about falling asleep. Rather, Yoga Nidra induces a deep state of relaxation and inner awareness.
Choose a quiet space where you will be able to relax without disturbance. It is recommended to do some light stretching, exercise, or yoga postures before you start the Yoga Nidra meditation. Dim the lights and grab a blanket for comfort. This meditation is performed lying flat on the back in Corpse Pose (Shavasana). Make sure you are comfortable, as you will be in this position for 20 minutes.
- 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.
- Begin by gently 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, stomach, chest, back, right arm and shoulder followed by left arm and shoulder, neck, 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 into a seated position. Take a few deep breaths in and out, and when you feel complete, slowly and gradually open your eyes.
Why You Should Start Practicing Yoga Nidra
- It Flushes toxins out of the body
- It offers the opportunity to learn about yourself intimately, inside and out
- It aids not only in physical healing, but also emotional healing
- It can ease symptoms of various psychological conditions, including depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction
- It is a simple and effortless way to reduce stress
- It is easy to incorporate into your daily life
- There is no wrong way to practice Yoga Nidra, and anyone can do it!