Sleep Better with Yoga Nidra Relaxation

How to Sleep Better With Yoga Nidra

Insomnia has no chance against the calming effects of yoga nidra. Sleep is a curious phenomenon. Some people are intrigued by the mystery of what is truly going on in our thoughts when we slide into dream land. Others find it difficult to get enough sleep or even to fall asleep in the first place, which makes getting adequate sleep a mystery. Enter: Yoga nidra is a deep relaxation technique. Alternatively, yogic sleep. An ancient ritual, once reserved for royalty and elites in India, is gradually finding its way into the general public’s consciousness.

And how can it be of assistance?

What Is Yoga Nidra?

It is important to note that the phrase yoga nidra refers to two distinct things: the collection of practices that make up a yoga nidra practice, and the actual state of yoga nidra. The condition can most accurately be defined as absolute happiness, but attempting to adequately express what this state feels like would be like to attempting to convey what a strawberry tastes like to someone who has never had one would be impossible. Because the experience itself will speak for itself, it’s better to go ahead and try it out (see below for how to do just that).

  • In comparison to meditation, this has the benefit of being more comfortable because lying down is often more pleasant than sitting.
  • or, if sleep is your aim, to a state of deep relaxation.
  • Each step of the route takes you deeper and deeper into states of relaxation until the body goes asleep and only consciousness is left behind.
  • The practice’s enchantment lies in the fact that it pulls the brain’s hemispheres, heart, and nerve system into a state of coherence at the same time.
  • Image courtesy of fikkes/iStock/Getty Images.

Benefits of Yoga Nidra

This guided exercise is the ideal distraction for unlatching your attention from the 10,000 things that are likely to be going on in your brain at any given time with this guided practice. The profound state of relaxation, along with breathing methods, assists your body in shutting down the production of stress-inducing chemicals such as cortisol, allowing you to feel less stressed. Creating balance and harmony in one’s neurological system is another important purpose of meditation, and this may be accomplished by quieting one’s thoughts.

Additionally, yoga nidra can be beneficial in boosting creativity, productivity, and attention, as well as in alleviating mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.

How to Practice Yoga Nidra

There are probably 10,000 things going on in your brain at any one time, and this guided practice is the perfect distraction to unlatch your attention from those 10,000 things. In addition to the breathing exercises, a deep state of relaxation can assist your body in shutting down the production of stress-inducing chemicals such as cortisol. Another of the practice’s key roles is to restore balance and harmony to the neurological system by allowing the mind to be quieted. The proper dose from the endocrine system is sent to your brain and neurological system when they have a chance to sync up in this way, allowing your entire body to rest and recharge!

What’s the Best Time to Do Yoga Nidra?

In order to unlatch your attention from the 10,000 things that are likely to be going on in your brain at any one moment, this guided practice is the ideal distraction. The profound state of relaxation, along with the breathing methods, assists your body in shutting down the production of stress-inducing chemicals such as cortisol, allowing you to feel less stressed. Another of the practice’s key roles is to restore balance and harmony to the neurological system by allowing the mind to be silent.

Additionally, yoga nidra can be beneficial in boosting creativity, productivity, and attention, as well as in alleviating mental health difficulties such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety.

How Yoga Nidra Can Help You Get More Sleep

Subscribe to Outside+ now to get unique access to all of our content, including sequences, instructor tips, video lessons, and much more. Every time you practice yoga nidrameditation, you are bringing the waves of the mind to a halt by entering the sleep state consciously. How? For the relaxation response to be triggered, you must first sensitize your body and breathe in precise ways. The relaxation response helps to maintain a healthy balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, as well as between the left and right brain.

When you are in alpha, the mood-regulating hormone serotonin is produced, which has the effect of calming you down.

Consider driving a car: in order to come to a complete stop and switch off the engine, you must first downshift.

Shifting your brain into an alpha state begins the process of “powering down,” or entering a rest state with slower, restorative brain-wave activity, which is essential for healing. See also Yoga Nidra: The Ten Steps to Relaxation.

How Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation Works

You progress from alpha to a deep alpha and high theta brain-wave state, sometimes known as the dream state or REM sleep. Your thoughts slow down to 4 to 8 ideas per second when you are in theta state. This is the location where super learning takes place. Children and artists have much higher levels of theta activity in their brains. Emotional integration and release take place here as well, as do changes in the brain’s structural organization. It is in this area that some people get strange ideas or see visions from time to time.

  1. They may also hear the voice of someone who is talking, although they may not hear that voice at the same time.
  2. Following theta, you are directed to delta, where your thoughts are limited to 1 to 3.9 ideas per second (or less).
  3. When you’re put under anesthesia, your brain waves are shifted into the delta frequency range.
  4. As a result, relatively few people in our culture regularly enter deep sleep phases such as theta and delta, and as a result, our bodies are not able to shut down and rejuvenate.
  5. Also see Elena Brower’s 10-Minute Yoga Nidra to Alleviate Stress for more information.
  6. Your brain is thoughtless when you are in this fourth stage of consciousness, which is below delta.
  7. This is a condition of deep surrender in which your awareness is so separated from your physical body that it would be impossible to maintain this state on a daily basis.
  8. After entering the fourth level of consciousness, you will be directed back to a state of consciousness that is more familiar to you.
  9. Because your subconscious mind is more fertile in this fourth stage, and therefore more accessible to goals and affirmations, than it is while you are in your waking state, you have the ability to re-wire your ideas and emotions as well.
  10. This resting in this space gives birth to a sense of freedom, as you are no longer aroused by the things that happen in your life.
  11. The pineal gland is located behind this point, and when you draw your attention to this point, the pineal gland is activated.

See also Making Meditation Easier: A Guide to Practicing Meditation at Home. Try guided yoga nidra (yoga sleep).

The Benefits of Yoga Nidra: More Sleep + Better Health

Even though yoga nidra is not a substitute for sleep, the number one reason most women I know say yes to yoga nidra is that 45 minutes of yogic sleep is said to be equivalent to three hours of ordinary sleep. Although there is considerable disagreement about the research that supports this, it is probable that the succession of brain-wave shifts observed during yoga nidra are responsible for this impact. Women constantly tell me in my work that they feel deeply rejuvenated after practicing yoga nidra, and that yoga nidra assists them in falling asleep and waking up in the middle of the night.

  • As you may imagine, feeling rested can be life-changing, but yoga nidra also has the added benefit of improving your general health.
  • I’ve worked with a number of ladies who have found great success in adopting yoga nidra to assist them manage their pain before and after surgical procedures and to reduce their recovery time.
  • In addition, because yoga nidra is considered to be a kind of meditation, the boom of research demonstrating the advantages of meditation also applies to yoga nidra.
  • Both meditation and yoga nidra aid in the regeneration and repair of cells, as well as the reduction of anxiety and the improvement of mood.
  • One woman who had been checked out of her life owing to weariness is now practicing yoga nidra and reports that she is using more loving words to herself, her children, and her spouse, as well as parenting from a more calm place, as a result of her newfound relaxation.
  • It’s evident to me that when women practice yoga nidra on a regular basis, they reclaim their family and their independence.
  • This excerpt is from Karen Brody’s book, DARING TO REST: Reclaim Your Power with Yoga Nidra Rest Meditation.

It Smells Like It’s True, November 2017. With permission, this article has been reprinted. About the AuthorKaren Brody is a motivational speaker and the creator of, a company that provides yoga nidra meditation for modern women through downloadable products and online trainings.

This Yoga Nidra Routine Will Make You Feel Like You Got a Full Night’s Sleep

  • Yoga nidra, also known as dynamic sleep, is a type of meditation practice that encourages the body to rest completely while the mind stays attentive and focused internally. Yoga nidra has been shown to help normalize blood sugar levels, ease PMS symptoms, melancholy, and anxiety, as well as treat PTSD, according to research. Yoga Nidra audio files are available for download from this page, so you may wake up feeling refreshed after taking the best nap of your life.

Even while there is no alternative for a good night’s sleep, there is a particular mix of meditation and yoga that gets close: yoga nidra (yogic sleep). The yoga and meditation community believes that a single 30-minute practice of yoga nidra may provide the same amount of rest as two to four hours of sleep. Despite the fact that more definitive studies are needed to determine exactly why this is the case, experts believe it is connected to the changes in brain waves that occur during yoga nidra practice.

What is yoga nidra?

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, a well-known author, guru, and yoga teacher, appropriately answers the question “What is yoga nidra?” by referring to it as “reaching the boundary between awake and sleeping states,” which is exactly what it is. This meditation technique, which is also known as yogic slumber, encourages the body to rest completely while the mind stays attentive and focused within. In order to begin practicing yoga nidra, you must first lie face-up on the floor in the yoga corpse posture, also known as Savasana.

Awareness of one’s breath and mindfulness are also important components in achieving the profound relaxation response that yoga nidra provides.

What is the secret sauce?

What distinguishes this style of meditation from traditional yoga sessions is that it helps to restore balance to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems (the sections of the nervous system responsible for “fight or flight” and “rest and digest” responses, respectively).

How doesyoga nidrawork to achieve a hypnagogic state?

Yoga nidra works by gently leading you through four primary phases of brain wave activity: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. These stages are described in more detail below. Achieving a hypnagogic state, which is a transitional condition between consciousness and sleep, is the ultimate aim. Just before you fall asleep, there is a beautiful period of time during which your body is in profound relaxation but your mind is still pretty alert. You may notice an improvement in your physical and mental well-being as you travel through the four phases of brain wave activity.

See also:  Autoimmune Disorder Relief Using Yoga

The following is an explanation of how yoga nidra operates from within:

Beta and Alpha

The guided meditation will lead you through the active thinking that is characteristic of the beta wave state in the first part of the meditation. If you’re awake and engaged in conversation with someone, you’re technically in beta. If you continue your meditation practice and your brain waves slow down, you will eventually reach a state of mind known as the calm alpha wave state of consciousness. And if you’re having problems achieving that state of tranquillity and inner peace, don’t be afraid to turn to a supplement for assistance and support.

† For those who find it difficult to let go of their thoughts and get into the correct mentality before beginning their yoga nidra regimen, this supplement can assist you in getting started.


Following the achievement of the beta state, the yoga nidra meditation technique takes you even farther into theta wave territory. Theta waves have a frequency range of 4-8 Hz, and beta waves have a frequency range of 8-12 Hz. This causes your thoughts to slow down even further. Super learning (the ability to learn a huge quantity of stuff in a short period of time) is within grasp when in this state of consciousness. This is the same condition as hypnosis, and it is also the state in which negative thinking patterns, such as the weight of daily life, may be shed.

To put it another way, we are essentially rewriting the brain for the better.


You will be taken deeper into the theta wave state by the yoga nidra meditation technique once you have attained the beta level. Because theta waves measure in the 4-8 Hz range, as opposed to the 8-12 Hz range for beta waves, your thoughts slow down even more in this area. Super learning (the ability to learn a big quantity of stuff in a short period of time) is possible when in this state of consciousness. This is also the condition in which negative thinking patterns, such as the weight of daily living, can be removed, similar to hypnosis.

To put it another way, we’re essentially rewiring the brain for the long haul!

What are the other science-based benefits of yoga nidra?

While experts admit that more long-term studies are needed to confirm all of the advantages of yoga nidra, they also acknowledge that the amount of research is increasing.

  • After six months of yoga nidra, 150 women suffering from PMS symptoms reported a reduction in their symptoms. Yoga nidra was shown to be particularly useful for hormone balance. Yoga nidra treatment was found to be beneficial for 100 women suffering from depression and anxiety related to menstruation. A study found that yoga nidra dramatically reduced stress and anxiety levels in 80 college students. In diabetics, 30 minutes of yoga nidra every day for 90 days helped to normalize their blood glucose levels. Combat veterans who served in the military reported reduced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as wrath and anxiety, as well as greater emotions of relaxation and calm.

How do you practice yoga nidra?

Want to get a sense for what a yoga nidra session is like? Watch this video. Briefly said, you’ll want to lie down in a position that is comfortable for you. You may want to wrap yourself in a blanket to keep warm or place a block under your knees to provide support. Because you’ll remain in this position for at least 30 minutes, it’s important to make yourself as comfortable as possible. In order to begin the practice, you will first set your Sankalpa (your most sincere purpose). Take some time to consider a goal you’d want to accomplish within the time you’ve set aside for yourself.

  • During the meditation, you’ll become more conscious of your breath, and the meditation will give guided guidance on how to breathe in order to fall deeper into your resting state.
  • At this time, as you gently sink into each of the four phases of brain wave activity, you will begin to experience the benefits of the meditation technique.
  • You’ll reiterate your Sankalpa after bringing your consciousness back to the present moment.
  • If you want to attempt this relaxation method, don’t be afraid to do so.
  • Are you looking for an alternative method of improving your mental and physical health?

Yoga Nidra mp3 may be downloaded here. This guided meditation will send you into a state of profound relaxation that is comparable to sleep (in just 30 minutes). Thank you to yoga nidra instructor Sue Steindorff and the Dayaalu Center for facilitating this meditation session.

How Yoga Nidra Can Support Deep Relaxation and Better Sleep

Cindy YaplePosted on April 12, 2020 Looking back on my life, I believe that anxiety has always been a constant companion to my existence. I was always attempting to push it away or conceal it, much as you might store an old pair of shoes in the back of a closet, until one day it reached out and grabbed me by the throat with all of its might and might. Worrying and anxiety became my regular companions when my husband was deployed to Afghanistan for a whole year, despite the fact that he had been in the military for years.

  1. No matter what I tried, my mind would not shut off.
  2. My stepfather was in the hospital battling cancer, and I wanted to be there for him as well as for my mother during this difficult period.
  3. Eventually, my lack of sleep grew so severe that it caused my body to begin to entirely disintegrate.
  4. I would occasionally pass out from the dizziness that I was experiencing as a result of my weariness.
  5. I was admitted to the hospital three times, the latest of which lasted more than a month.

Embracing Insomnia, Plus 8 Ways to Work with It

Here’s how to embrace sleeplessness, as well as a guided yoga practice with Evelyn Gonzalez, a member of the Kripalu Legacy Faculty. The physicians were at first perplexed by what they were seeing. They conducted every test possible in order to determine why this was occurring. My doctor informed me that if I didn’t find a means to deal with the stress, my health will continue to deteriorate. I was devastated to hear that. Afterwards, he recommended that I give yoga a try. It was the first time I had been informed I was suffering from anxiety and depression, and it was the first time someone had brought up the subject of the mind-body link.

  • That same day, I phoned a few yoga studios and was able to locate a Kripalu-trained instructor in my area.
  • At long last, it seemed like I could take a deep breath.
  • I was able to sleep a little better after that, though my monkey mind would still keep me up at night on occasion.
  • I triedDivine Sleep® Yoga Nidra, a guided meditation technique developed by Jennifer Reis, on the advice of a friend.
  • The exercise does not entail any physical movement.
  • Yoga nidrawas is the final piece of the jigsaw in terms of my sleep and general well-being.

As a result, I joined in Jennifer’s Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra Teacher Training at Kripalu, where I learned much more about this ancient practice.

The Power of Stopping in a Time of Pause

Frequently do you find yourself responding to worry by filling your time with diversions and a large list of must-dos? Erin Casperson, Dean of the Kripalu School of Ayurveda, urges you to take a deep breath and observe what transpires. As a result of my experiences, I’ve been able to share these techniques with medical students and physicians, as well as with troops at a nearby veteran’s center, who have all stated that they’ve never felt so calm in their lives. Almost a decade later, I am still guiding this practice with guests at Kripalu Center.

Cindy Yaple is a certified Kripalu Yoga instructor with 1,000 hours of training and a member of the Kripalu R Rfaculty.

Yoga Nidra 101: This practice can help you sleep better during these turbulent times

Are you looking to take a relaxing nap? Yoga nidra is a relaxation technique that might be beneficial. Learn how to do it and gain the health advantages by following these steps. Many individuals, particularly those who are committed to the practice of yoga, are aware of the advantages of meditation. Yoga nidra, also known as sleep meditation or easy relaxation, is a series of yoga postures that are designed to increase the amount of energy your body has. It is a tool that aids in the conservation of this energy, resulting in the relaxation of the entire system.

Yoga nidra has a wide range of advantages, ranging from improved sleep to reduced stress and everything in between.

1. Anyone can perform it

The most advantageous aspect of this yoga practice is that it can be performed by anyone. Inshavasana (corpse’s position) has been widely accessible when theyoga nidrais embraced it, allowing everyone to practice it and get the advantages. It is essential to be able to lie comfortably on your back.

2. It can induce a good night’s sleep

While in yoga nidra (yogic sleep), your body becomes entirely relaxed, allowing your mind to remain calm and unwavered. Incorporating yoga nidra into your evening routine will help you fall asleep faster and remain asleep for longer periods. In reality, many people who suffer from insomnia report that their sleep patterns have improved as a result of the treatment. Improve your sleep quality by practicing yoga Nidra. Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock

3. It reduces stress and anxiety

Yogic nidra is known for its stress-relieving properties, which are among the most widely known and readily apparent. It is a highly successful method of treating depression and long-term anxiety disorders. It aids in the release of stress that has built up in the body and psyche.

4. It relaxes your mind

Yoga nidra is a technique that educates your mind and body to become more relaxed, allowing you to sleep in a deeper state. It aids in the regulation of one’s thoughts and sensations, as well as the ability to remove oneself from unproductive thinking.

In as much as your mind begins to calm, you will get more mental clarity, which will assist you in gradually entering the state of and maintaining a thought-free state of mind.

5. It reduces chronic pain

Yoga nidra provides our bodies the opportunity to heal by giving them the opportunity to relax and rejuvenate. This technique helps to calm your nerve system, which helps to alleviate chronic pain.

Here’s how you can practiceyoga nidra:

In thesavasanaposition, begin by laying down on your back on your yoga mat. Closing your eyes, relaxing, and keeping your feet as comfortable as possible are the next steps. 3. Take a few deep belly breaths in and out, as you normally would. Maintain your attention on the current time and your concentration just on breathing while you continue to take deep, calm breaths. 5. Step 5: Make your way towards your right knee, right thigh, and then hip upward to your left leg. 6. Do the same thing with your left leg, keeping your eyes closed and taking deep and steady breaths the entire time.

  • Let’s get together with our well-rested selves!
  • 8.
  • 9.
  • 10.
  • 11.
  • 12.
  • Open your eyes slowly and gently.
  • You shouldn’t be concerned if you nod off during the practice; it simply indicates that your body requires some rest.
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Yoga Nidra: Help With Sleep and Anxiety

Allan Cox, who is 50 years old, suffers from insomnia, smoking, and excessive sugar consumption, all of which contribute to his feeling restless and sick. After that, he began practicing yoga nidra, often known as yogic slumber. His mood improved and his sleep improved after many months, which resulted in his spontaneous elimination of his harmful habits. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images) He claims that yoga nidra offers him with a set of relaxation skills that help him become more self-aware and less impulsive.

According to Cox, “as far as stress reduction is concerned, that hour and a half a week provides me with just as much benefit, if not more, than exercise.” “Some days are difficult, but I am able to maintain a sense of serenity, which I owe to yoga nidra.”

What Is Yoga Nidra?

It differs from other forms of yoga practice or meditation in that you lie down on your back, entirely still, and allow the teacher to guide you through your whole practice or meditation session. With the exception of hearing, you shut off all of your senses. In a methodical sequence, the instructor guides you through a script that gradually raises your awareness from your surroundings to your breath and finally to your physical body. As part of a body scan, the instructor will point to a specific area of the body and urge you draw your consciousness to it – and then rapidly away from it.

  • Following the exercise, you bring your attention back to your body and breath, before returning your attention to your exterior environment for the last time.
  • Yoga nidra researcher Erica Sharpe works at the Helfgott Research Institute at the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, where she researches the benefits of the practice.
  • The yoga nidra practitioner, Sharpe, explains that “you’re not intended to sleep during yoga nidra, we know that.” Sharpe also teaches yoga and yoga nidra.
  • According to the appearances, it is some sort of intriguing trick that is part of the procedure.

More and more data is indicating that even first-time participants may obtain results on par with seasoned veterans.

A Promising Therapy for Insomnia and Anxiety

According to an abstract published in July 2021 in the journal Sleep Disorders by Sharpe and colleagues, insomnia and accompanying anxiety affect 30 percent to 50 percent of the adult population in the United States. Depression, heart disease, and stroke are all disorders that frequently interact and lead to higher mortality as a result of these illnesses. The abstract discusses a research in which a pre-bedtime yoga nidra session was made available online. Seventy-four participants took part in the study, with 71 percent reporting sleeplessness and 74 percent reporting anxiety at the time of enrollment in the study.

  1. “We saw improvement after only one session in the amount of time it took someone to fall asleep as well as in self-reported anxiety,” Sharpe explains.
  2. Sharpe published another study on November 11, 2020, in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy, in which 22 participants with insomnia were examined for the effect of yoga nidra on brain waves, sleep onset, and the autonomic nervous system.
  3. The researchers contrasted the effects of them simply lying still against the effects of them listening to a yoga nidra script, which they found to be significantly different.
  4. The results showed that approximately 80 percent experienced sleep for an average of 50 percent of their practice.
  5. Sharpe conducted a different research in which individuals were able to clearly describe their experience during yoga nidra even though it was demonstrated that sleep occurred for a significant portion of the exercise.
  6. Yoga nidra has helped Cox improve his sleep hygiene, which has resulted in an overall improvement in his life and well-being.

In the present, Cox adds, “I rest my head on the pillow and it is uncommon that I am not asleep within 20 minutes.” “Every night, I’m getting around seven hours of sleep. Previously, I would barely get two hours of sleep on the worse nights.”

A Free and Accessible Relaxation Tool

Cox conducts yoga nidra by listening to a tape his yoga teacher prepared for him or by reading a script off the internet. He frequently listens to it in the evenings after work, once his shift is through. Moreover, because yoga nidra is a guided meditation session without the difficulties that come with sitting meditation, it is more accessible, lasting, and beneficial, according to Dr. Bhatia. “I remember the first time I tried meditation,” Cox recalls. “It was difficult at first.” “I remember sitting there in complete stillness for what seemed like an eternity, and it almost gave me an anxiety attack.

I’m able to simply let go.

Described by Sharpe as a “very passive and easy technique,” it is intended to promote physical, mental, and emotional calm.

Supplemental Help With Addiction and Bad Habits

While additional study is needed, Sharpe has heard anecdotal evidence and preliminary clinical research results suggesting yoga nidra helps people make better decisions and manage discomfort. Yoga nidra, according to theory, may have an impact on how we process our impulses. Yoga nidra is “a pretty unique idea,” explains Sharpe, in which you are “between stages of consciousness,” meaning that you are both awake and asleep at the same time while keeping your awareness throughout both states.” In a really deep way, you’re passively learning about yourself,” says the author.

According to Cox, “I’ve always had an addictive nature, but I’ve quit smoking and I’ve stopped eating sweets.” “It never occurred to me to connect it to yoga nidra, but it does make sense.

Yoga Nidra for sleep and relaxation

If you’ve ever wished for a better night’s sleep or wished for a moment when your mind wasn’t racing with a million and one ideas, raise your hand. There are quite a few of us, then! Nonetheless, we may become so mired down by never-ending to-do lists and overstimulated by our digital devices that it might seem hard to turn off completely. So, in my quest to completely unwind and achieve peak relaxation, I decided to give Yoga Nidra, also known as yogic sleep, a try. It has been compared by believers to that perfect moment right before you fall asleep, when your body is completely relaxed and your mind is completely clear.

It is her explanation that this technique is a stillness practice that aids in the down-regulation (calming) of the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system as well as the up-regulation (strengthening) of the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system, allowing access to deeper layers of mental and physical health as well as access to the unconscious mind.

While, in principle, you should be able to reach and maintain a lucid dream state, those who are really fatigued or stressed may find themselves dozing off, which is perfectly OK.

“There have been occasions when I wake up and think to myself, ‘I have no idea what time it is, I have no idea what day it is,’ and then I realize it’s just been half an hour and everything is OK, and I feel fantastic.” In order to deactivate our brains and go into the zone, we’re instructed to lie down in Savasana (corpse position), on our backs with our palms raised and feet wide apart, as comfortably as possible.

  • My cocooning experience is enhanced by the usage of a blanket over my shoulders, another folded up as a cushion, and a head bandage wrapped around my eyes to block out the light (you may also use eye pillows).
  • In this exercise, we say something simple, positive, and personal to ourselves before we begin, enabling it to penetrate our conscious thoughts; we then say it again towards the end, hopefully when we are more open, allowing it to infiltrate into our subconscious brains.
  • I hear Leela utter swiftly in her flat, evenly toned American accent: “Right thumb, second finger, third finger, fourth finger, fifth finger,” and my mind immediately rushes to each anatomical portion.
  • The entire effect is oddly peaceful, and I’m no longer thinking about work and am instead just going with the flow of my surroundings.
  • The ability to obtain a decent night’s sleep is significantly improved when one is not worried.
  • As I continue to take deep breaths, I can feel the stress in my body dissipating.
  • By this point, I’ve been so ensnared in the spell that I honestly feel as if I’m being crushed under an immense weight.

This approach of experiencing opposites appears to be inspired by the yogic notion of fostering equanimity, according to some sources.

After that, we are instructed to think about seemingly unrelated items, such as a feather, an open book, or a tree.

It is only later that Leela explains that this has everything to do with memories – especially, the hippocampus, which is responsible for the processing and storage of long-term memory, and the amygdala, which is responsible for deciding the emotions and moods associated with those memories.

When you see memories, whether they’re pleasant or horrible, you don’t deal with them because you’ve hopefully become incredibly calm by that point, Leela explains.

The plot is completely random, but the goal is always the same.

“Once you bring the unconscious into your awareness, you have a choice,” Leela explains later.

Then you can adjust your connection with it and perhaps let it go.

Leela instructs us to become attentive of our surroundings and to begin making little motions with our body as soon as we enter the room.

I glance about me, amused, and notice someone quietly snoozing to my left and another stretching blissfully like a cat to my right – and I realize that we have all arrived at our happy spot in Yoga Nidra.

Make use of somesleep yoga positions, learn about the advantages of sleep ASMR, or do somesleep breathing techniques to help you relax before bed.

If you’re having trouble sleeping because of too much light in your room, check out our selection of the finest sleep masks. Heather Elton Photography provided the photography.

Experience Yoga Nidra sleep at home

Practising Yoga Nidra sleep methods at home can enable you to get a better night’s sleep and wake up feeling refreshed. While guided classes are preferable and are available in yoga studios across the country, you can incorporate Yoga Nidra into your nighttime routine by listening to a CD in bed or watching a YouTube video and then drifting off to sleep. Yoga Nidra is a type of relaxation that can be practiced anywhere, at any time. Apps such as Kardia, which allow you to set a gong to sound at regular intervals to aid with your deep breathing, can also help you achieve some of the benefits of Yoga Nidra in a virtual environment.

Issue 22 of In The Moment Magazine included an article by the author, which was first published here.

How to Sleep Better with Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra, or deep relaxation, is becoming increasingly popular due to its therapeutic properties. And, while everyone acknowledges the need of sleep and relaxation, these two words are not always taken seriously by the general public. Although we have the best of intentions to sleep well and obtain that coveted eight hours of sleep that we hear about so often, the reality that we encounter is not always what we expect. Due to the hectic pace of modern life, we don’t give ourselves enough time to relax and unwind after a long day at work.

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As this list grows in length and sleep time is limited, we will be swept up in a maelstrom of mood disorders, which will be exacerbated by stress.

In our everyday routines, our sleep has been reduced to the size of a pea-sized screw in a cog.

It is possible that missing out on the processes that take place during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep and restorative sleep would cost us far more than a few hours from our schedules.

Your Sleep Cycle Explained

Sleep is quite beneficial. However, it is a common myth that everyone need 8 hours of sleep in order to avoid behaving in a ‘apocalyptic’ manner. Or even worse. For example, in ‘planet of the apes, the remake,’ the apes are sleep-deprived adults who like hurling objects at people in the hopes of being left alone. Sleeping patterns and requirements differ from person to person. Some people may just require 5 or 6 hours, but others may require 9 or more hours of sleep. When it comes to sleep, the cycles are really significant.

In general, there are four phases, or sleep cycles, to the process.

Stage 1

The first stage of light sleep prepares us for the second stage of deep sleep, which is known as restorative sleep.

In stage one, we begin to transition from a state of awake to a state of sleep. This is what we commonly refer to as nodding off.

Stage 2

We continue to doze off and may yet be roused rather easily if necessary. The second stage is characterized by the lowering of our heart rate and respiration, the calming of brain waves, and the relaxation of muscles.

Stage 3

We continue to nod asleep and may still be roused with relative ease. Our pulse rate and respiration slow down during stage two, while brain waves calm down and muscles relax. Stage two is followed by stage three.

Stage 4

At the end of the day, we have REM (Rapid Eye Movement) during deep sleep, which is the period of night when we dream. This period normally takes place 90 minutes or so before our scheduled bed time. Afterwards, the cycle is repeated until we are awakened again. Our sleep is ready to wipe out all of the filth that has accumulated throughout the day, just like a washing machine cycle is ready to do. Pour in some water and detergent, wash and rinse, and then you’ll be ready to take us for a spin all over again.

REM Sleep and Its Effects on Your Mental Health

More and more people are reporting that they have difficulty falling asleep quickly. As a result, insomnia sets in, and frantic late-night searches for ways to fall asleep more quickly ensue. We experiment with a variety of sleep aids. From sound of rain meditations to overdosing on camomile tea, there’s something for everyone. Consequently, we lose out on critical cycles that our bodies require to renew and maintain their health. Our bodies rebuild muscles and injured body tissues as a result of all the objects thrown at annoyances in our immediate proximity when we are sleeping.

  1. Besides that, we’re accumulating energy in preparation for conquering the globe the next day.
  2. There are also dreams, which we may or may not recall in the future.
  3. In addition, problem-solving and resolving internal disputes take occur.
  4. Dreams even provide a means for new viewpoints to penetrate into the mainstream thinking that permeates our everyday consciousness.
  5. This is the account of how the molecular structure of benzene was determined, and it is widely known in the scientific community.

Following this daydream, he came to the realization that molecules are not constructed in a linear fashion but rather in a ring. Introduction of the practice of Yoga Nidra, also known as Yogic Sleep, is one method of reaping the advantages of the rapid eye movement (REM) stage.

Yoga Nidra – The Key to Better Sleep

Unfortunately, dreaming about addressing an issue is not something that happens very often. We can’t even recall the majority of them, but we don’t have to be fast asleep in our beds in order to achieve that dream-like condition. Whether or whether we remember our dreams, the REM and deep sleep stages have an influence on our mind and our overall health. How do we proceed if we are unable to enter this deep sleep state? What can we do to gain the same benefits that Kekule enjoyed? Yoga Nidra, or sleep meditation, is the key to getting a better night’s sleep.

  • Yoga Nidra, on the other hand, allows us to exert complete conscious control over the REM process.
  • When we dream, we are not restricted by the constraints of our reasoning thinking.
  • The brain consolidates and organizes what we have learnt during the day.
  • All of this, whether you’re being chased by a herd of purple elephants or having a tea party with a tree that went to Stanford, has some sort of logical conclusion.

How to Sleep Better and in Shorter Time

You may have heard the famous line “I think therefore I am” by the French philosopher René Descartes – “I think therefore I am.” That is the belief held by yoga practitioners: ‘When I stop thinking, then I truly am.’ Even if we make sleep a priority, it is possible to have difficulty clearing our minds and falling asleep at times. This might be due to a mental cycle of errands that keeps going through our heads. Every now and again, a recollection of something idiotic we said ten years ago comes to the forefront of our minds’ eye by chance.

When we allow our bodies to relax and our minds to listen, we not only open ourselves up to the endless possibilities, but we also become more like ourselves — balanced, harmonious, and calm – in the process.

Exercising for around 30 minutes of Yoga Nidrais is similar to sleeping for 4 hours.

Of course, it does not serve as a substitute for sleep.

Visualization and Dreaming – Yoga Nidra vs. REM Sleep

The French philosopher René Descartes coined the expression “I think, therefore I am,” which you may have heard before. That is the belief held by yoga practitioners: ‘when I stop thinking, then I truly am.’ Even if we make sleep a priority, it is possible to have difficulty clearing our minds and falling asleep on occasion. A loop of errands going through our heads might be the cause of this. A flashback to something dumb we said ten years ago comes to the forefront of our consciousness at random.

As soon as we allow our bodies to relax and our minds to listen, we not only open ourselves up to an infinite number of possibilities, but we also become more ourselves – balanced, harmonious, and tranquil.

You may use this technique to either help you fall asleep more quickly at night or to give yourself a much-needed rest during the day.

The fact is that it is not a substitute for rest and relaxation. It is, however, a method of infusing fresh life into oneself and opening up the unconscious, all while in a state of deep relaxation.

Sleep to Wake Up

Sleep should not be dismissed as being of lesser importance than being awake in a given situation. Yoga Nidra is a technique that can aid in the induction of genuine self-understanding. The volatile moods and unexpected emotions will no longer have an impact on your decisions. There is no difference between deep sleep, dreaming, and waking life when it comes to the level of your consciousness. The process of becoming more aware of our genuine selves gets us one step closer to realizing our full, divine potential.

By enrolling in our Yoga Nidra online course at Blue Osa, you may turn your fantasies into conscious realities.

Sleep On It: The Joy of Yoga Nidra

When most people in the United States think about yoga, they see individuals doing physical positions — or what is commonly referred to ashathayoga. Other types of yoga exist, and during the month of December, I (Chelsea) will be teaching a new one called yoga nidraat the CF Yogi center in New York City. “Wonderful!” you may be thinking right now. But. what exactly is yoga nidra?” you might wonder. So, let me to demonstrate. Close your eyes, relax, and let yourself be carried away. Take a deep breath in and out.

  1. You remain in this pleasant zone that sits between waking and sleeping, allowing your mind to drift off.
  2. As a result, while you are here, an insight, a concept, a solution to a problem, a “aha” moment, comes to you completely unexpectedly.
  3. It wasn’t clear what you were going to do the night before when you went to sleep, but now that you’re in this frame of mind it’s crystal clear.
  4. And you’ve had similar experiences in the past, haven’t you?
  5. Problems are resolved, and solutions are found.

This is the magnificent world of yoga nidra.

Yoga nidra literally translates as “yogic slumber” in the original Sanskrit. During this type of meditation, you are directed into a profound level of relaxation while being entirely alert and aware. It may be used for a variety of purposes, including profound relaxation of the body and mind, trauma processing, physical healing, and balancing emotions such as fear, anger, sorrow, and sadness. Yoga nidra can also be used as a tool to relax and quiet the mind, among other things. For this level of relaxation to be achieved, yoga nidra is composed of a number of distinct stages that are taken to activate and release tension in various sections of the body during the practice.

With the use of these techniques, we may achieve a state somewhere in between consciousness and sleep.

Each stage advances the body through the four main types of brain waves until it reaches theta waves associated with profound REM sleep.

When we practice yoga nidra, we are able to achieve theta waves while being attentive and conscious.

This is the realm where conscious ideas do not exist; it is just the subconscious, which is the essence of who you truly are. Healing, rewiring of narratives and patterns, and the restoration of conscious thinking may all take place in this environment.

Exploring a yoga nidra practice

You might be thinking, “Wow, that seems like a lot of effort!” I understand your concern. As a result, I am pleased to inform you that it is not at all taxing. Yoga nidra is something you can practice if you are able to lie down and listen. Yoga nidra is completed completely while lying down in savasana (or in a whichever meditative posture you feel comfortable in). We begin class with a tiny bit of movement to help get the jitters and energy out of our bodies, and then we spend the majority of the session in savasana while practicing yoga nidra meditation techniques.

Although it may sound exhausting, a 45-minute session of yoga nidra is so restorative that it is equivalent to approximately 3 hours of ordinary sleep!

Yoga nidra is a practice in the same way that any other yoga practice is.

This is perfectly normal!

Just keep coming back week after week and practicing, and you will be astounded at what this exercise is capable of doing!

Yoga nidra will be held every Monday in December at 7 p.m.

I can’t wait to share this life-changing exercise with all of you!

Yogis who have already registered, keep an eye on your email inbox for class invites!

Now is the time to register.

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