"Yoga Nidra- A drive of the self, to the inner self, through the self."
Tried and tested antidote to anxiety, Yoga Nidra is adopted by veterans, recovering addicts, and anyone who feels stressed-out. Yoga brings rest to the body and soul. It not only rejuvenates your mind but also adds vigor to your body. Hence, it’s a good idea to practice Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep. Simply described as an ideal relaxation technique, Yoga Nidra is an essential end to your yoga pose sequence. While yoga poses warm up the body, this cools it down. This closing yoga asana involves consciously taking your attention to different parts of the body and relaxing them. While Yoga practices increase the energy levels in the body, Yoga Nidra helps conserve and consolidate the energy.
Yoga Nidra is an immensely powerful meditation tactic that promotes deep rest and relaxation. Yoga Nidra is also known as the yogic sleep because it’s practiced lying down, in stillness, and also it induces a very deep state of physical, mental and emotional relaxation. It was developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the “Bihar School of Yoga” Institute.
An ancient technique that originated in India is now a popular subject worldwide about yoga practice and therapy. It is a practice that induces the borderline state between awake and asleep which can be considered as a self hypnosis technique, as it helps the practitioner reinforce any behavior through mentally stating a resolve of one's own choice.
Traditionally, Yoga Nidra was a form of sensory withdrawal.
Why yoga nidra?
Being a powerful deep relaxation exercise, Yoga Nidra is an excellent way to reduce stress and improve sleep pattern. Practitioners of this technique report to a better management of pain, anxiety and depression.
Other benefits include:
- Yoga Nidra helps in improving the functioning of the entire endocrine system and it tones up the nervous system.
- It helps you sleep better and improve your sleep quality drastically. To analyze the effects of Yoga Nidra on sleep patterns, a research was carried out that led to a conclusion that a morning practice resulted in significant improvement in sleep-quality ratings. It increases parasympathetic drive at night causing sleep to be more restorative.
- It helps to control Type 2 Diabetes. Patients who practice this technique for 30 minutes for 90 days can expect a fall in the mean blood glucose levels.
4.It also helps in controlling symptoms of PMS in women. Since it regulates hormones and contributes towards an overall feeling of emotional and physical well-being, it is said to heal menstrual dysfunction directly.
How to do Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra is an ultimate way to open up and enter a deeper level of relaxation. Let's delve deeper and understand how to perform yoga nidra :
- Lie down straight on your back in Corpse Pose or Savasana. Close your eyes and completely relax your lids. Take a few breaths in and out and always remember to take slow and relaxed breaths to avoid any harm.
- To start with, gently take your attention to your right foot. Keep your attention right there for a few seconds, while you relax your foot. Then gently shift your attention up to the right knee, right thigh and hip.
- Gently, repeat the process for the left leg.
- Take your attention to all parts of the body such as genital area, stomach, navel region & chest.
- Shift your attention to the right shoulder, right arm, palms, and fingers. Repeat this on the left shoulder, left arm, throat, face, and finally to the top of the head.
- Take a deep breath in and notice the sensations in your body.
- Slowly become aware of your body and surroundings, turn to your right side and keep lying down for a few more minutes. Roll over to the right side that will make the breath flow through the left nostril which helps cool the body.
- Taking your time while adjusting, you can slowly sit up, and whenever you feel comfortable, slowly and gradually open your eyes.
Discover Your Connection to Living Things
The aspect of yoga nidra is perhaps the most difficult to put into words, but, it's the core of the practice. Learning to observe and welcome all kinds of sensations, emotions, and thoughts that arise in deep rest can lead you to become less identified with the individual self. Through this, it's possible to lose the sense that one is separate from others and to tap into an unshakable sense of interconnectedness to all of life.
With a complete understanding of Yoga Nidra, one can harness the benefits for a better night’s sleep and find comfort and safety in our own skin, just as it is.