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Yoga Nidra and the power of sleep.

Yoga Nidra is probably the sleepiest form of yoga there is, and chances are that if you're reading this, you've likely already tried it. In this article we will give a quick intro to Yoga Nidra, and a 5-step guide on how to practice. We will also discuss why its used for relaxation, stress reduction, and self-exploration. Let's get into it!


Yoga Nidra and the power of sleep.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation which is known as a powerful tool for relaxation, stress reduction, and self-exploration. It is often called "yogic sleep" due to its ability to induce deep relaxation, similar to sleep. That is if sleep meant you were awake.


Yoga Nidra is not a common form of yoga, or meditation. However, Yoga Nidra comprises 5 practices commonly used in other mental health and mindfulness practices. Making it very likely that if you found this article, you've already tried at least one. By putting them together in a single mindfulness practice, one can achieve a state of deep relaxation and meditation unlike any other.



5 Practices of Yoga Nidra There are 5 key concepts and techniques typically used in Yoga Nidra.


1. Set Intention:

At the beginning of a Yoga Nidra practice it is typical to set an intention for the session. An example of intention setting could be something like "I am relaxed and at peace" or "I am focused and energized." The intention should be a positive affirmation that you want to manifest in your life and should stem from the deeper meaning for why you are here. More on that later.


2. Body Scan:

The next step of a Yoga Nidra practice involves a guided body scan. A body scan is a mindfulness technique used to being awareness to each part of the body in turn. As I do when evaluating someone in a personal training session, I like to start at the feet, incrementally and systematically moving up the body ending at the top of the skull. This is a practice I have done for as long as I can remember. I have a severe form of ADHD which makes me hypersensitive to movement. When I was young I developed a breathing technique that allowed me to focus in on my body in a similar way. The practice of body scans has been shown to help release tension and increase awareness of the body allowing me to sit still and sit camly for longer.


3. Breath Awareness:

A personal favorite of mine, breath awareness involves feeling the breathing process, but not co controlling it or acting on it. When I used to perform classical guitar concerts I front of hundreds of people I would often use this practice to calm my nerves. I would first feel the organic rhythm of my heart beat in its elevated state, and the. I would begin to bring my consciousness to the simple act of feeling it. This process allowed me to remove my mind from the task at hand and become singular with my body, my heart, and time. Throughout the practice of Yoga Nidra, it is common for a guide to remind a practitioner of the breath as it is natural for the mind to wander. Drawing the mind back to the Dharma and breath can help calm the mind and deepen the state of relaxation.


4. Visualization:

The practice of seeing without the eyes is a power tool. It can both help manifest ideas and objects into reality, and provide a sense of lasting connection and direction to an otherwise disordered or chaotic mind. In a Yoga Nidra practice a teacher may guide a practitioner through various visualizations or mental images to help them relax and explore different aspects of consciousness.


5. Sankalpa:

For those completely unfamiliar, it’s similar to a “mantra” in English. Kalpa means vow, and San refers to a connection with a higher truth. Sankalpa is as much a statement as it is a word and is used to being the kind back to the Dharma or overall meaning of being. Towards the end of the practice, you will be invited to repeat your Sankalpa to help embed it in your subconscious mind.


If you would like to try Yoga Nidra, there are many resources available online, including guided meditations and instructional videos. You may also consider taking a class or workshop with a qualified teacher, such as the ones offered in the link below. Yoga Nidra Network is an excellent resource with a lot of free content available for you to learn.



Click the link below to access the

Yoga Nidra Network's FREE Yoga Nidra Library




 

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