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Yoga Nidra

Lie down, rest, recharge and rejuvenate  

The most powerful relaxation meditation on the planet.



Yoga Nidra - 3 Stages

Stage 1. Relaxation-meditation – Rest, recuperate and rejuvenate yourself from the negative effects of stress,
restore energy, improve health, calm your mind and emotions.

Stage 2. Purify the mind – With your energy restored, you can remain awake and alert while lying in Yoga Nidra, to liberate old patterns, negative memories, undigested emotions and unfulfilled desires.

Stage 3. Enlighten the mind - At this stage, your mind is clear and free from old negative patterns. You can remain awake and alert even in the deepest state of meditation to discover your deepest self.

“Yoga Nidra is a great place to start your journey into more advanced meditation practices such as Prana Nidra and Chakra Nidra”

An introduction to Yoga Nidra


Yoga Nidra, which is also called yoga sleep and Nidra Yoga, is a wonderful relaxation meditation technique developed by Swami Satyananda of the Bihar School of Yoga. It provides you with deep rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. The form of Yoga Nidra he developed (Satyananda Yoga Nidra), is one of the most popular and powerful yoga relaxation-meditation techniques in the world today.

Yoga Nidra is initially used for deep rest, recuperation from stress, management of illness and rejuvenation.

More advanced forms of this relaxation meditation technique enable you to explore the deeper human dimensions via psychic awakening (the cultivation of deep inner wakeful states) and activation of the chakras.

What does Yoga Nidra mean?

The word yoga means union or connection. Nidra means sleep. Yoga Nidra means the state of conscious awareness during the sleeping state.

For most people sleep is unconscious. For the accomplished yogi, sleep is a portal into another dimension of inner experience, into the deep unconscious psyche which is full of meaning and purpose.

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Learning Sequence

It is important to understand that Yoga Nidra is a passive relaxation meditation while Chakra Nidra is an active yoga tantra meditation practice. This is the best sequence to learn Yoga Nidra:

Yoga Nidra – Relaxation, Stress Reduction and Reuperation – use this to rest deeply and recharge
Yoga Nidra – Sensations & Chakra Rotation – introduces more elements of Yoga Nidra
Chakra Yoga Nidra – focuses on Chakra Visualization

Yoga Nidra is both a technique and a state of being

It is important to remember that Yoga Nidra (like all meditation practices) is both a technique and an awakened state of higher consciousness.

Technique – It is an easy and enjoyable technique that guides you to create a highly relaxed, deeply restful state in which you restore energy in your body and mind, balance your personality, and purify and activate your psyche.

Awakened state – It is also an awakened state of higher consciousness that arises from the continuous practice of the technique. The state of Yoga Nidra is one in which you can remain self-aware for a prolonged period while on the threshold of sleep and not drift into unconsciousness. If you persist, you can remain aware even during the deep sleep state.

The stages of Yoga Nidra


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Stage 1 -The first stage of Yoga Nidra has become extremely popular because it enables people to relax, recharge and rejuvenate quickly and easily. You remove the negative effects of stress. It does not require any prior knowledge of yoga or meditation to give you quick and reliable results. The practice is so relaxing that most people fall asleep. They then emerge back into waking consciousness at the end of the half-hour or so feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, recharged and refreshed. After some time, you will recharge your batteries and, being less exhausted, will not need to sleep during the practice. 

Many people think that this is all there is to this amazing practice. However, there is much, much more...

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Stage 2 - While the first phase of Yoga Nidra focuses on relaxation and rejuvenation, the second phase focuses on diving deep into yourself to attain a deep meditation experience. It is now that Yoga Nidra becomes a powerful meditation practice enabling awareness to travel into the depths of the Self. It is now that you can start to practice the more advanced Yoga Nidras, such as Yoga Nidra – Awareness of Sensations and Chakras and Chakra Yoga Nidra. In these Yoga Nidra meditations, you place your awareness onto the chakras, the psychic centres located in the spine. Just bringing awareness into chakras starts the process of transformation and awakening.

“Most people sleep without resolving their tensions. This form of sleep is called nidra. Nidra is the normal state of sleep where you wake up feeling that you have been working all night and want more hours of rest. Normal sleep, nidra, only relaxes the mind and senses. Yoga Nidra is the state of sleep that refreshes the totality of your being. It is the doorway to the inner self, the atma, the highest consciousness.”

Dr Swami Shankardev Saraswati

What happens in Yoga Nidra technique



Yoga Nidra is a passive meditation technique in which you take your awareness through the layers or sheaths (koshas) of your body. You move through the:

  • Physical sheath (annamaya kosha) – You direct your awareness from one part of your physical body to another
  • Energy sheath (pranamaya kosha) – you become aware of the subtle dimensions of your breath
  • Mental sheath (manomaya kosha) – you calm your thinking and emotional mind
  • Psychic sheath (vijnanamaya kosha) – you access deep powers and dormant strengths and abilities
  • Spiritual or bliss sheath (anandamaya kosha) – you become fully enlightened.

Progressing through the sheaths enables you to explore the dimensions of your being and discover hidden strengths and weaknesses. You can then remove tensions and blockages that impede optimal health and functioning.

Introductory Yoga Nidra techniques such as Introduction to Yoga Nidra and Meditation MP3 (see below) take you through the first three sheaths.

More advanced Yoga Nidras such as Yoga Nidra – Awareness of Sensations and Chakras and Chakra Yoga Nidra guide you into the psychic sheath.

What is the difference between Yoga Nidra and meditation?

The state of meditation is a joyful and powerful state of being that arises from any process that cultivates self-awareness.

Meditation occurs when a meditator meditates on the object of meditation. Ultimately, the meditator experiences union with the object of meditation.

Yoga Nidra is a form of meditation, both technique and state of being. As a relaxation meditation technique, it cultivates deep rest, enlightenment and self-realization.

In the profound meditative state of Yoga Nidra, the final accomplishment of practice, you remain self-aware even while you are asleep.

This concept, of retaining awareness while unconscious and sleeping, is difficult to grasp, as the state is extremely rare. Even the idea is foreign to most of us.

To experience the difference between meditation and Yoga Nidra, use this Introduction to Yoga Nidra and Meditation MP3. It contains three MP3s, 1. a Lecture on Meditation, 2. an Introduction to Meditation and 3. Yoga Nidra.

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Yoga Nidra and Chakra Visualization

The next step on the path to exploring your inner world is to use the MP3, Yoga Nidra – Awareness of Sensations and Chakras.

This MP3 is suitable for all students, from beginners to advanced, and goes through the following stages:

  1. Preparation
  2. Resolve (sankalpa) – creating a short positive sentence that encapsulates your desire/intention
  3. Rotation of consciousness (right side, left side, back, front)
  4. Body/floor contact – grounding and integrating practice
  5. Awareness of sensations (heat/cold, heaviness/lightness) – develop your ability to create feelings and experiences
  6. Chakra visualization – tune into and visualize the petals of the chakras and the energy contained within them
  7. Resolve (sankalpa)
  8. Finish
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Prana Nidra and Chakra Nidra

It is best to learn Yoga Nidra first, then move onto the practices of Prana Nidra for healing, and then Chakra Nidra for deeper inner experience. This is because most people are exhausted by life’s endless demands and need to practice Yoga Nidra for some time in order to recharge their batteries.


The best way to learn Prana Nidra is to do Big Shakti’s Prana and Pranic Healing self-healing training program. Remember, Yoga Nidra is a passive practice, while Prana Nidra and Pranic Healing meditations are active practices using ujjayi pranayama, the psychic or yogic breath, to further strengthen your vital energy.

Once you have recharged your body and can remain awake for extended periods of time while in the lying position, you will find it easier to practice Chakra Nidra. This is important because Chakra Nidra enables you to access the deep unconscious mind, with its vast storehouse of psychic energies. In order to activate and gain an authentic experience of the chakras, you need to inject prana and awareness into them.

Prana Nidra is available in the Prana and Pranic Healing self-healing training program.

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“Ordinarily, man’s mind is constantly wavering, but in this practice, you create a base for the mind, so that it can relax. This is the concept behind Yoga Nidra. When the same base is provided consistently, the mind becomes one-pointed and relaxed. Without any base, the mind becomes restless and tense. So, in the practice of Yoga Nidra, you maintain a rhythmic base for the relaxation of the mind⁠.”

Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Talk given at the Yoga Teachers Seminar in Collbato, Spain, August 20th, 1980.

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The Three Nidras

Yoga Nidra

Chakra Nidra 600x400

Lie down, rest, recharge
and rejuvenate yourself.


Prana Nidra

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Lie down, recharge, revitalize
and heal yourself.


Chakra Nidra


Lie down
and become enlightened.