Categories: General Health

What is Yoga Nidra and how can it help you?

Yoga Nidra is a deep relaxation practice that helps people who experience overwhelming emotions, insomnia, anxiety, and emotional trauma. Practicing Yoga Nidra will bring you to a state of harmony with your inner peace and help reconnect you with the self.

Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice, but nowadays, again gaining popularity globally. Many people experience its effectiveness in improved health. Some people confuse Yoga Nidra with meditation, but there are differentiating factors. While practicing medication, a person focuses on the mind. On the other hand, in Yoga Nidra, practitioners experience a deep state of conscious relaxation.

What is Yoga Nidra practice?

Yoga Nidra is yogic or psychic sleep that is an active meditation form. It is an intermediate consciousness state between the waking and sleeping phases. While performing Yoga Nidra, it may seem as if performers are asleep, but they operate at a deeper level of awareness as they follow instructions regarding different actions.

Many people think they can relax by going to bed early, taking a nap during the day, or comfortably sitting on their sofa, but it does not fully relax them. People are full of inner tensions all the time and are unaware of these, so they will never be fully relaxed until they are free of muscular, emotional, and mental stresses. These tensions are more intense when someone has the constant pressure of work, a busy lifestyle, and many distractions. The Yoga Nidra practice is the best scientifically-approved method to release all these tensions.

A one-hour Yoga Nidra session is comparable to four hours of restful sleep since, during the practice, you completely let go of your body, allowing it to relax at every cellular level. Complete relaxation releases physical tension and relieves anxiety, depression, sadness, and head and body aches. It also rejuvenates our entire system and boosts our natural healing capacity.

Steps of a Yoga Nidra practice

Through Yoga Nidra, we can relax our body and conscious mind, allowing the unconscious and subconscious levels of the mind to become more awake. You can practice Yoga Nidra under guidance at yoga centers or in the comfort of your home. The following are the steps of Yoga Nidra:

Stage 1: Settling:

In this initial preparatory stage, you can lie flat on a yoga mat or blanket with a pillow or bolster supporting your lower back and neck and experience comfort. It releases tensions from your body and increases awareness of your surroundings and inner self. The initial relaxation phase is about distancing yourself from external chaos and focusing on your heart’s deepest longing or life goal.

Stage 2: Intention:

During this Sankalpa stage, let your mind focus on your desire or goal and mentally repeat your Sankalp or resolve it a few times with full faith. In this stage, yoga Nidra helps train our minds and reshape our personalities by quitting anger, worries, and depression-causing things.

Stage 3: Explore your inner source:

During practice, find a safer place in your inner space by which you can be at ease and connect to yourself more.

Stage 4: Consciously scan your body:

In this state, let your inner awareness scan your body while listening to the instructions of the instructors. It is a crucial stage, as body parts that remain taut release their tensions by systematically practicing.

Stage 5: Notice your breath:

This stage is all about awareness of your breath. Notice how the air comes in through your nostrils and out of your body. Observe the rise and fall of the chest and abdomen with each breath. During this stage, you will experience relaxation and awaken higher energies transferring to all organs of your body.

Stage 6: Embrace your feelings:

Embracing your feelings, whether a negative emotion from a rough day, can encourage you to think of the positive side of it.

Stage 7: Thought perception:

This stage encourages you welcome opposite thoughts without judging or reacting emotionally. It stimulates the opposite hemisphere of the brain, which develops willpower and can allow emotional and mental relaxation.

Stage 8: Visualisation:

This stage induces intense mental relaxation by visualizing various positive memories and embracing them around your body.

Stage 9: Reflect on your practice:

Observe your emotions and witness your feelings at the end of this session while remembering your Sankalp or reinforcement, which you took at starting. This reinforcement will be embedded deep into our subconscious mind and regulate our behavior and actions to make our Sankalp reach fruition and re-energize our body.

Stage 10: Externalisation:

It is a crucial stage of Yoga Nidra because moving out too quickly can result in disorientation and confusion. In this stage, you should take a few minutes to acknowledge your body, breathing, and surroundings and finally awaken from this Nidra state.

Start this practice with 15-20 minutes and work your way to increase the timing. Practicing Yoga Nidra will improve your consciousness and awareness, relieve anxiety and depression, and help you in dealing insomnia if practiced before bed.

Narayana Health

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