Transform your life with expertly-guided, therapeutic meditations
Yoga has always been a way to relax and calm the mind and focuses on positive thoughts. Through the years, many yogis and yoginis have perfected the art and brought together their own styles. Alternatively, sleep is also something that can be directly related to yoga and its variants.
A sound night’s sleep and a flexible body are enough to put a smile on anyone’s face. Many people have resorted to the usual methods of falling asleep, either through medication or vices, but very rarely venture into the more simplistic and healthier ways that are not talked about enough.
If you heard someone’s soothing voice telling you to breathe in and out, would that put you at ease? If you’re interested in finding out what sleep meditation is and how Yoga Nidra can be helpful, then check out this section.
TIME TO COMPLETE: 1.5 Hrs TOPICS: 14MEDITATIONS: 1 Outline of Lesson 1 Yoga Nidra is one of the most useful and beloved of all the relaxation-meditation techniques in the world today because of its restorative powers and because it can be…
Frequently Asked Questions
Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice within the frameworks of yoga. It usually takes place after yoga asana to assimilate the effects of the asanas. Nidra means sleep, but this is in no way the same as sleeping. Yoga Nidra is the Vedic method of having your body take a power nap or go through a body scan.
This practice focuses on each body part using your mind to move from your feet to your head. This scanning gives a person a sense of deep relaxation. Diving into a deep space of rest while your mind is still conscious will leave you energised and refreshed at the end of it.
Yoga Nidra brings us to a state of deep sleep where our senses, intellect, and mind unwind. When this happens, we become free from the concepts of time, space and reason, and brain activity reduces, putting the body into a healing state.
It is also said that one hour of Yoga Nidra can give the same benefit of a four-hour sleep. As the body enters a healing state, you can clear up the toxins at a cellular level, refresh the mind and remove baggage from the subconscious.
When you normally meditate, you let go of everything and have your thoughts flow through you. In Yoga Nidra, you are still conscious and you use your awareness to move to different body parts. This moment is used to relax each part mindfully.
This alternative practise provides a different inner point of attraction for your senses to move inwards for meditation. Yoga Nidra creates a pathway for you to deal with bodily stress. If we need to get technical, then it can be said that Yoga Nidra slows the wavelength in your mind as soon as you reach a yogic sleep-like state.
You often have to trigger your relaxation by mindfully breathing and sensing what your body is feeling. This response balances both your left and right brain, plus the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, in preparation for Yoga Nidra.
Similar to driving, parking, and turning off a car, there’s a process to go through before completely powering down your brain and body. Yoga Nidra trains your mind and body for this relaxation process so you can reach a deeper state of sleep.
Normally, Yoga Nidra is practised lying down in Shavasana, but you can also do it seated up. You have to make sure your body is in a relaxed state to ensure you are initiating the process. Once you are well versed in the method of Yoga Nidra, you can also self-guide yourself through the class.
You start by opening up your mind to your surroundings and what each part of your body feels. Breathing and following the instructions of your yogi or yogini is vital initially to make sure you are completely in a state of relaxation while also keeping your mind conscious to scan your body.
You would be asked to use your mind to move to each body part and feel what it feels without any distractions from the outside. This would focus your awareness levels and relax each part one by one.
Yoga Nidra can also be helpful in other ways as well. A mental groove or Samskara is created when a habit is repeated enough times for it to leave a mental impression on the mind and body.
Over time, if these impressions turn out to be negative, they cause negative emotions & reactions which will plague you. This will stop your five layers from combining and creating harmony. These layers are physical, energetic, wisdom, and body bliss.
The practice of Yoga Nidra helps you touch upon this samskara when it arises. Before diving into the meditation, one identifies what needs to be worked on. During the session when samskara comes up, you allow yourself to experience the feeling. You dive into the practice of Yoga Nidra more and more after each session. Using this method, you understand your reactions and you perceive them better.
Ultimately, over multiple sessions, you learn to let go of this sanskara in your vast consciousness. The deep impression is now abolished through Yoga Nidra and you are free of sanskara. In this practice, you learn to cultivate many levels of your own well-being in a short period.
Like anything worth learning, you have to start somewhere, and practice makes perfect. To truly give your body the proper Yoga Nidra experience, you don’t need to look too far. There are many places that offer a Yoga Nidra online course that can help you achieve your desired level of mindful peace.
You can even take an online course that consists of 4 major lessons highlighting four subjects on the course. Each lesson will summarise a topic on Yoga Nidra. Each of these topics will have a theory, Nidra meditations, and exercises to go with it. But you can’t learn everything about Yoga Nidra unless you do some research. The course materials consist of sections, lessons, and topics that need to be read and completed online.
Don’t worry if you aren’t much of a reader. Alternatively, there will be audio versions of the above to keep you motivated and on track. The mediation and instructions will also be given to you through audio MP3s. Finally, the exercises will be on a PDF for you to follow with ease.
Courses to help you practice Yoga Nidra enable you to become aware of your mind's ability to repair and different aspects of your body. Yoga Nidra can help you recover from illness and surgery, manage chronic pain, recharge your vitality and energy levels and also mitigate the damaging effects of anxiety.
The meditation and exercises available on this course will integrate you into learning more about the knowledge Yoga Nidra has to offer. The material that you will be provided is necessary and potent, both of which will make you succeed in this course. Success in this course will expose you to finding out who you really are and what untapped mindful energy you have inside you.
1. Anyone Can Do It
Some forms of yoga aren't for everyone as it depends on how deep or intense each stretch is. However, this yogic sleep practice can be done by anyone. Whether you’re a child or a senior citizen, all you have to do is lie down or even sit to practice Yoga Nidra. It’s as easy as 1, 2, zzz.
2. Learn While You Sleep
There is no way to mess up your technique or do Yoga Nidra wrong. The main aim is to listen while you’re lying down. You might not be able to follow every instruction, but you will definitely learn something new each session. Even if you fall asleep, your unconscious mind will become aware and absorb all other those instructions like a sponge.
3. Doesn't Require Any Planning
Yoga Nidra meditation isn’t something you need to extensively plan. It can be as short as 5 minutes and can be extended to upwards of an hour. It doesn’t require a lot of thinking. You just need good headphones and some area on the ground. Before bed would be the best way to make sure you get it incorporated into your day since you are lying down anyway. You no longer need to stare at walls or count sheep to fall asleep; just listen to a soothing voice take you on a journey of composure.
4. Reduces Stress
Yoga is known to bring your stress levels down, but Yoga Nidra is the best way to promote rest and tranquillity amongst all the other yogic practices. Say hello to low-stress levels with every rhythmic breath you take and every scan you do throughout your body.
5. Helps With Introspection
You learn more about yourself without having to confront your thoughts head-on. The practice of Yoga Nidra offers you the opportunity to release your emotions without having to deal with them immediately so you can choose to do it in your own time. Overwhelming yourself while you lie down isn’t the aim of this method; you come face to face with yourself in a relaxed state and wake up feeling energised to deal with those emotions separately.
Both these practices involve relaxation of the body and mind. They offer their own unique benefits and also complement each other. Since you know what Yoga Nidra is and what it incorporates, let’s highlight what meditation is and its variants to showcase the difference or similarity between the two.
Guided meditation is a form of mediation that is effortless. It requires you to find a spot, close your eyes and listen to a calming voice. This can be seen as Yoga Nidra. On the other hand, mindfulness meditation can be practised and is a state of mind. To be very clear, this does require effort, and the only way to reach a state of mindfulness is through meditation practice.
There are more types of mediation such as the mantra-based and breathing-based mediation. Mantra-based meditation requires you to be self-reliant with no recorded voice telling you what to do. It focuses on deep inner peace, self-reliance, and self-awareness. If these are the spiritual goals you're aiming for, this practice is the one for you.
Lastly, breath base meditation is a method by which you use breathing exercises to stabilise your tension and anxiety levels.
After going through the different types of meditation, we can safely say that Yoga Nidra definitely stands on a different road compared to the rest of the practices in terms of effort and spiritual goals. If sound sleep is what you want without having to chant, sweat, or breathe heavily, then Yoga Nidra is definitely the one calling out to you.
In today’s fast-paced world, even if we are stuck at home mostly, carving out time for our mental health is exhausting. Yoga Nidra is the perfect way to make sure you are ready for your day with enough sleep. It can be so easily incorporated into your routine that you wouldn’t even realise you are doing it.
Lying down, putting on headphones, and listening to a pleasant voice can’t be harder than trying to imagine sheep jumping over a fence. The benefits are endless and the drawbacks are none. With many online classes and resources available from Big Shakti, taking a step in the right direction for mental peace and mindfulness has never been easier.