If you are subjected to constant stress, try this deep relaxation technique. Yoga Nidra helps us to achieve ultimate relaxation and has many other benefits. To find out about this unique weapon for stress relief, scroll down.
Guided Yoga Nidra Video
Did you know that stress will cause digestive problems, make you irritable and angry in the short term? In the long term, stress increases your risk of mental health disabilities, insomnia, type-2 diabetes, and weight gain. A lot of modern health disorders have been attributed to stress.
Yoga Nidra is an effective way to release stress from your body and mind. This deep relaxation technique is easy to follow and is suitable for anyone who would like to overcome anxiety, exhaustion. This sleep meditation is also great for insomnia.
What Is Yoga Nidra?
‘Yoga Nidra’ is coined from two Sanskrit words: ‘Yoga’ and ‘Nidra. The literal meaning of the word 'Nidra' is sleep. Yoga Nidra refers to psychic sleep. However, do not confuse this deep relaxation technique with our usual sleep.
In Yoga Nidra, the practitioner remains aware at a subconscious level and does not fall asleep. The state of awareness in Yoga Nidra is unlike the normal state of being awake. This state is intermediate between the awake and the dream state of consciousness (Jagran and Swapna).
It may appear like the person is sleeping, but in reality, he has been taken closer to his subconscious and unconscious mind. The drowsiness creates deep relaxation and this leads to deep sleep. So, it can be used as a sleep meditation as the deep relaxation techniques are useful to promote healing sleep. Yoga Nidra is also regarded as a means to prepare one for meditation practice.
Yoga Nidra’s origin lies in ancient tantric scriptures, but the modern practice is incorporated by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Around mid 20th century, he excluded the intricate ritualistic practice of Yoga Nidra and invented something simple so that people can reap Yoga Nidra benefits.
How To Do Yoga Nidra?
The best part about Yoga Nidra is that anyone can practice it. You can practice Yoga Nidra just like you practice guided meditation — listen to guided audio. It’s one of the easiest yoga practices to add to your daily life. Moreover, Yoga Nidra has a remarkable ability to eradicate stress, offers relief from anxiety. You can also use Yoga Nidra for sleep.
The practice of Yoga Nidra includes stages: Preparation, Resolution or Sankalpa, Rotation of Consciousness, Internal Awareness (for advanced practitioners), Breath Awareness, Feelings and Sensation, Visualization. The ideal pose for Yoga Nidra practice is Savasana or corpse pose.
Preparation: For preparation, you can follow the steps below,
Make sure you have taken a meal at least three hours before. If it’s a light snack, do the practice after half an hour.
To maximize the relaxation of this guided sleep meditation, you can perform simple stretches or asanas to release tension from your body.
Choose a quiet place. It can be your bedroom or other places you prefer.
Lie down on your back, relax your body as you close your eyes. Your hands can stay on the sides of your body or your stomach. Keep a little space between your thighs
People with lower back problems can keep a pillow below the hips to protect it from straining.
You can keep a comforter close by as the body temperature reduces during the Yoga Nidra practice
Yoga Nidra Stage 1: Sankalpa
Briefly, after you start doing Yoga Nidra, you will make a resolution or Sankalpa. It could be anything related to personal growth, spiritual growth, career growth, mental well being or physical well-being. Choose one and stick to it. You can say affirmations to yourself.
Yoga Nidra Stage 2: Rotation of Consciousness
In this stage, the guided audio or your teacher will take you on a tour of your body. It’s a technique to rotate your concentration throughout your body. You’ll be instructed to concentrate on body parts one at a time. You don’t have to make any movements, just follow the voice, focus on the body part and move on to the next with slow deep breathing.
Yoga Nidra Stage 3: Breath Awareness
In this stage of this guided sleep meditation, you’ll give your attention to your breathing, flow of prana. You will observe the slow, relaxed exhalation and inhalation without trying to manipulate the process. Just observe the breath flowing from your nostril down to your stomach as you feel the calmness washing over you.
Yoga Nidra Stage 4: Feelings and Sensation:
In this stage, observe the emotions: physical, psychological, and move on with a neutral mind.
Yoga Nidra Stage 5: Visualization:
Peaceful images are visualized in this stage. Sometimes, images with greater meaning or symbols of greater spiritual importance are visualized to increase the self-awareness of the practitioner.
Guided Yoga Nidra Audio
Yoga Nidra Benefits:
We live in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertainity, Complexity, Ambiguity) and subjected to constant stress that comes with it. An increasing number of the population is suffering from hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes, mental disorder, anger issues, and insomnia. All of these can be attributed to stressful and face-paced lifestyle. Yoga Nidra can aid in managing the stress and the accompanying health conditions.
Yoga Nidra Benefits: Remedy For Anxiety & Stress
Severe stress and anxiety disorder can lead to many psychosomatic complications. Mood swings, insomnia imbalanced emotions. Emotional breakdown, anger issues are all outcomes of constant mental stress. If not treated early, it can lead to dangerous health problems.
Yoga Nidra offers relief from stress and anxiety. A study from 2018 was conducted on sixty college professors to learn the impact of Yoga Nidra. In the end, the results stated that deep sleep meditation, Yoga Nidra is effective for stress relief.
Yoga Nidra’s deep relaxation method decreases the dominance of the sympathetic nervous system and increases the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system. The parasympathetic nervous system is solely responsible for relaxation. The guided sleep meditation alters the brainwaves to activate the parasympathetic nervous system to increase the feeling of deep relaxation in the body and mind. In a study, Yoga Nidra showed its efficacy to shift the balance of the nervous system.
By reducing the activity of the sympathetic nervous system, Yoga Nidra puts the practitioner in a deeply relaxing state. This eliminated all the stress from its root. Another study from 2019 also showed Yoga Nidra’s wonderworks on stress relief.
At a time when stress and anxiety are turning into a new form of an epidemic, Yoga Nidra is a great antidote.
Yoga Nidra Benefits: Yoga Nidra For Sleep
If you go to bed being stressed, probably you’ll wake up feeling stressed and tired. Guided sleep meditation or Yoga Nidra can improve the quality of sleep. After doing Yoga Nidra for sleep, we feel relaxed and light as a feather slowly falling on earth in the mellow wind.
The guided sleep meditation takes its practitioner towards the core of consciousness, the subconscious mind which is tranquil, obedient and fertile. We feel deeply assured and safe when we’re in contact with our higher consciousness. Thus, Yoga Nidra for sleep is an efficacious cure for insomnia.
Yoga Nidra Benefits: Cure Trauma
Yoga Nidra can heal trauma and post-traumatic effects. If we pay attention, we’ll see that deep sleep meditation helps in the rejuvenation process with the help of slow, deep breathing and visualization. In the time of setting Sankalp, one can easily console themselves with affirmative sentences and let go of the grief or pain they have been holding onto for long.
Scientists and researchers are evaluating the benefits of Yoga Nidra and how effective it is as healing sleep meditation while the guided meditation for sleep is already being put into work in many trauma-sensitive jobs.
Yoga Nidra Benefits: Heals Chronic Pain
Our bodies possess the ability to heal on their own. Like the little cuts and nicks disappears on their own from our skin, and the sudden pain from fatigue vanishes on its own after a nap. But anxiety and stress can slower this healing process.
Yoga Nidra alleviates chronic physical pain by activating the pituitary gland. The gland releases its natural pain-suppressing chemicals to relieve the pain sensation in the body. Apart from this Yoga Nidra’s rotation of consciousness assists in releasing stress from the entire body. It sure does eliminate pain from the body.
Yoga Nidra Benefits: Reduce Type - 2 Diabetes:
A study was carried out on 41 patients who were on oral hypoglycemia. They were divided into two groups. One group practiced Yoga Nidra for 30 minutes for 90 days and the other relied on drugs. At the end of the study, it turned out that with medication Yoga Nidra helps in regulating blood glucose levels.
Yoga Nidra Benefits: Menstrual Abnormalities
Women who suffer from menstrual abnormalities and hormonal imbalance should think of including Yoga Nidra in their daily routine. It naturally helps in improving the hormonal balance and thus healing menstrual irregularities. A study was conducted by the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Chhatrapati Sahuji Maharaj Medical University, Uttar Pradesh, India, showed Yoga Nidra’s effectiveness on menstrual abnormalities.
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