What is Yoga Nidra?
According to Yoga International, "Yoga nidra, or yogic sleep as it is commonly known, is an immensely powerful meditation technique, and one of the easiest yoga practices to develop and maintain. While the practitioner rests comfortably in savasana (corpse pose), this systematic meditation takes you through the pancha maya kosha (five layers of self), leaving you with a sense of wholeness."
Yoga nidra is a practice that is suitable for anyone of all ages
You can't do yoga nidra incorrectly. Even if you fall asleep during the practice, you still receive the benefits of rest.
A form of hypnosis with yourself, a mediation that is done lying down
One hour of yoga nidra is equal to 4 hours of sleep
What are the benefits of yoga nidra?
According to Dr. Herbert Benson, the originator of the relaxation response, "The relaxation response balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and balances the left and right brain. Through the process of yoga nidra, your brain shifts from beta, an awakened state with lots of brain activity, to alpha, being more relaxed state. When you access the alpha brain wave state, the mood-regulating hormone serotonin gets released, and this calms you down." This super state also allows you to heal and repair ourselves physiologically
Helps in digestion
Helps in the elimination process
Helps to lower blood pressure
Helps to lower cholestorol
In as little as 20 min a day a couple days a week, you can start to see benefits
If you do it on a Monday, the benefits can run through the week to Thursday/Friday
Cortisol- catabolic hormone, breaks down tissue (doesn't build it up). Stress equals a cortisol spike in the body
Insomnia is a sign that something isn't right and your body feels that it needs to stay awake to solve the problem
Helps ease physical tension
Helps ease mental tension
Helps ease emotional tension
Key Components of Yoga Nidra
Intention - Sankalpa: your heart's most inner desire
Positive affirmation (I love to breathe freely, NOT I want to stop smoking)
Start with Sankalpa, end with sankalpa
Body Scan - identify every single part of the body, starting with the right side and then move on to the left side
Then focus on center (Follow up the spine, both arms at the same time, center of the chest)
Opposites (heavy, light, hot, cold, etc.)
Any kind of visualization that you like Chakras, warm light, etc.
Rapid imagery (visualize and release) - book, tree, dog, swing
Gaze at third eye center, plant your intention (sankalpa) in your third eye