Yoga Nidra is a state of being where paradoxically you are both in a state of dreamless sleep and aware at the same time. To practice Yoga Nidra you lie still on your back and do your best to both stay awake and follow simple verbal instructions. During the practice the practitioner begins in an alert outwardly aware state of consciousness and then systematically turns inward. The practice of Yoga Nidra can be considered a form of mindfulness or guided meditation. There are many different theories and approaches to the practice. Commonly the guided practices can include: body sensing, breath awareness exercises, awareness of opposites, subtle body visualizations, image visualization, and archetypal journeys. My teaching and practice is a dynamic and evolving combination of multiple ideologies.
The practice of Yoga Nidra has been proven to be extremely therapeutic partially due to the fact it can be extremely relaxing. In fact Yoga Nidra has been shown to be more rejuvenating than sleep. 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.
When we are truly deeply relaxed we leave behind the habitual limitations we place on ourselves. With these limitations temporarily removed it becomes possible to change the way we think and relate to the world around us. The practice of Yoga Nidra can be specifically designed to address Anxieties, Fears, Trauma, and Regret. By investigating things that trigger us in a relaxed and safe way we open up more possibilities for being.
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. 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 afterglow of Yoga Nidra can be quite magical. Many yogis observe Nidra having the longest effect of all Yoga practices. For me everything is more easeful afterward and I experience an increased sense of presence and receptivity. I find that my ability to focus is greatly improved, I have no trouble falling asleep, and in general everything seems more spacious. Since I began practicing regularly I find I am able to regulate my mood and I experience no negative effects of Anxiety, Depression, or Irritability. The practice of Yoga Nidra cultivates equanimity – a treasure beyond value.
Practicing Yoga Nidra in a group can be quite wonderful. I teach public dedicated Yoga Nidra classes and I offer an abbreviated Yoga Nidra practice at the end of all of my Hatha Yoga classes. I also offer customized private sessions and free recordings which you can listen to any time you like.
I personally highly recommend practicing Nidras recorded by multiple teachers. I enjoy exploring the amazing free resource: The Yoga Nidra Network which includes a large free library of recorded Nidras organized by the notable Nidra teacher: Dr. Uma Dinsmore-Tuli
Other Online Resources
|Yoga Nidra Network - Free Nidra Downloads
|Yoga Nidra Network - Resources
|Swami Satyananda Blue Book - Free Download
|Swami Satyananda 1964 Talk Transcript
|Swami Jnaneshvara Website + Articles
|Swami Janakananda Article
|Richard Miller Podcast - Welcoming
|Richard Miller Podcast - iRest
|Richard Miller Podcast - The Sleep Yoga