This 40 minute Yoga Nidra meditation relieves stress, refreshes the mind, and relaxes the body. Perform this in sitting, lying down, without movement, making this ideal for movement impaired participants and anyone that wants to practice "yogic sleep" and meditate.
Yoga Nidra or "yogic sleep" is a meditative practice of yoga somewhere between sleeping and waking. Yoga Nidra is a practice in the withdrawal of the sense, except for my voice, guiding you through relaxation, breath awareness, rotation of consciousness, experience of opposites, and a guided visualization. Anyone can do this safe and beneficial practice, from the young to our more senior friends. Because Yoga Nidra is a meditation, it can be performed in sitting or lying, making it ideal for those with movement impairments. Yoga Nidra is a chance to give the nervous system a break by allowing the body to "power down" or slip below consciousness as the mind is free to move throughout the visualization. Yoga Nidra is being practiced as a treatment for PTSD with Veterans, for chronic pain and chronic diseases, for ADD and other psychological challenges, as well as stress relief and improved mental well being.
Why do Yoga Nidra? Well, our nervous systems need it. We are brilliantly created with an alarm or warning system called the Autonomic Nervous System and uses automatic or autonomic functions that we take for granted but are always working to keep us safe and healthy. When faced with stress, we feel the highs and lows of that system with the release of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol that get us ready for action, where the hormones dopamine and serotonin, for example, keep us calm and chill, happy, elated. Continued stressors, like negative emotions, pandemics, political or family feuding, even past traumas, can leave us feeling depleted, exhausted, negative, and weaken our immune systems. By employing practices like Yoga Nidra, we elevate our immunity, balance our hormones, and release negatively held beliefs to allow a new perspective and understanding of the bodies we inhabit, the world we work and live in, and how we need and desire each other's company.
Yoga Nidra is a turning inward. The inner landscape of our mind is vast with possibility and hope, with love and light, and with dualities that enlighten and uplift. Studies into the brains practicing Yoga Nidra show several areas of the brain working, lighting up with the inward focus of rotation of consciousness, of visualization. Yoga Nidra allows the brain waves of the participant to go from Beta (awake and alert) to alpha (becoming more thoughtful and relaxed) to Theta (the edge of sleep and wake) and delta (deep restoration).
I've been practicing Yoga Nidra after being introduced by Yogi and teacher, Stephanie Lynn, EYT500. I was in love with Yoga Nidra from my first experience. My practice is just that, practice. I've had sessions where I passes out completely or was wide awake and unable to release my awareness, feeling as though I was more aware than I have ever been. But the benefits of the practice have been so numerous. Ive found my sleep improved at times, and the need for sleep reduced other times. I've remembered the intention set during my practice at moments when I needed it most, as though a seed were planted and nourished automatically throughout my day or weeks. I became a 200 hour Yoga Alliance registered Teacher through Stephanie Lynn's Yoga Teacher training and knew I wanted to focus on Yoga Nidra. This practice followed the philosophy of trauma treatment that I subscribe to in my body work, massage, and physical therapy career. Adding Yoga Nidra for me was natural.
If you fall asleep, no worries. You will get the benefit whether the logical mind remembers or not. Yoga Nidra dives deeper into the subconscious, below working memory, so not remembering all of the session is normal. You may even hear someone snoring, wondering who that is, only to discover it's yourself.
For more information on Yoga Nidra, Yoga, Body Work and Massage, and Retreats, please check out www.rebalancecenter.info.
Rena Hick LMT, LPTA, RYT200, Owner of ReBalance Center