During Yoga Nidra you lie still on your back. You listen to verbal instructions and do your best to both stay awake and follow the instructions. After preparatory instructions and intention setting, you begin with the process of a guided body scan: rotating your awareness around the body one part at a time, relaxing along the way. After the body scan, other guided practices are offered. These can include breath awareness exercises, subtle body visualizations, image visualization, and archetypal journeys.
This 1 hour class will include yogic teachings, some simple gentle guided movement, and pranayama to prepare the body and mind. For this Yoga Nidra class you must be able to lie still for 30 minutes. Mats, blankets, and some pillows/bolsters are available. Please bring anything that makes you comfortable. After the Yoga Nidra practice there will be a portion of the class dedicated to re-calibration, integrating the benefits into the rest of our lives.
Yoga Nidra means yogic sleep or psychic sleep; it can best be described as relaxation with awareness. Unlike “passing out” from exhaustion at the end of a hard day – in Yoga Nidra we move into a very relaxed state consciously. When we collapse into sleep we do not necessarily release tensions. It is possible to be very tense while sleeping, this is why many people clench their teeth, or toss and turn endlessly. In the practice of Yoga Nidra we consciously release tensions thus ensuring that our relaxation is more restful, rejuvenating, and effective.
My Yoga Nidra practice has brought me incredible benefits: most noticeably it’s assisted my ability to focus and concentrate. The verbal guidance is helpful when my mind wanders, giving me an easy path back to the practice. With Yoga Nidra I experience higher quality sleep, and don’t need to sleep for as long. The most magical benefit of the practice for me is the increased sense of presence and receptivity I feel afterward.
For many people the most obvious and attractive benefit of Yoga Nidra is stress reduction, and the reversal of the side effects of stress on body and mind. I am offering this class on a Friday night because this practice can be a very effective bath for the mind after a work week. Yoga Nidra offers a reliable method to commune with and nurture our essence. Through this, we can begin to put the movements of the world and our lives in perspective, allowing us to see a bigger picture.
The practice of Yoga Nidra can supercharge our creativity. When our senses are withdrawn (pratyhara) it unlocks the latent abilities of our mind. Spontaneous dreamlike visions sometimes can accompany the practice and certain exercises encourage or enhance this.
Much study has been conducted on Yoga Nidra. Notably by the Bihar School of Yoga and iRest.