Yoga Nidra

Conscious Sleep

 

While Yoga Nidra (YN) is often compared to meditation, it is so much more. YN is translated simply as “yogic sleep” meaning that your brain transitions into the state of deep sleep, yet you remain consciously awake- seems trippy right?

YN is as old as time- or at least as old as the practice of Yoga. If you have been to a yoga class, you know at the end of your practice you lay on the floor and enter into deep relaxation [savanasa]. This is where YN starts. You are guided through a script that works to increase your awareness of your mind, body, and spirit/oneness.

While YN started as a way to become more aware of ones’ True Self and interconnectedness with all life, more recent practices have begun to look at the physical and emotional benefits of the practice as well. There is a whole lineage studying YN [called iRest] with those suffering from PTSD and other chronic pain conditions.

The traditional form of YN does not put any pretense on the practice for improving ones’ life in superficial ways such as improving wealth, sexual experiences, or fame. But it provides a practice that allows space for introspective work- without your brain mucking it all up.

Common questions about Yoga Nidra

 

What are the physical benefits of YN?

 

Some of the more commonly reported benefits include:

  • deep rejuvenation of the metabolism
  • reduced blood pressure
  • deep relaxation
  • helps to boost the endocrine system
  • sleep is improved
  • decreased suffering from chronic pain symptoms

What are the emotional benefits to YN?

 

Some of the more commonly reported benefits include:

  • deep rejuvenation of the metabolism
  • reduced blood pressure
  • deep relaxation
  • helps to boost the endocrine system
  • sleep is improved
  • decreased suffering from chronic pain symptoms

What if my mind wanders during my practice?

 

That’s okay- it’s called a practice for a reason! All that is required is that you show up. With continued practice, your mind will begin to settle and it will be easier to move through the levels of consciousness.

I can’t do yoga, will I be able to do yn?

No, there is no movement or complex poses when practicing YN. Rather, the student lies in a comfortable position on the floor, supported by pillows and blankets if desired. Comfort is encouraged so that the focus can be on relaxation rather than the position of the body.

 

What if I fall asleep during my practice?

 

You may! YN is traditionally practiced while lying on the floor. For many people lying on the floor and allowing the body and mind to fully relax may cause you to fall asleep. That is okay. YN meets you where you currently are, meaning that exact day and time. There are no judgments or rules, just as long as you show up. You will get what you need.