This May Tempt You To Try “Yogic Sleep” — The Ancient Practice of Yoga Nidra

Yoga-Nidra-class-web-6
My body sleeps, but my mind stays awake … huh? How does that work? Welcome to the paradox and the power of Yoga Nidra; exploring the state in between being asleep and being awake.

This is not pretzel yoga, or kick-butt yoga, or sweat-your-bits-off yoga … it’s Anyone-Can-Do-This yoga. You need nothing more than your desire to create a sense of calm in the body and the mind — no special skills required. In fact, the most challenging element of Yoga Nidra is often the ability to stay awake!

Yoga-Nidra-Benefits-7352So, what exactly is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra places you in a state of tranquil awareness, preparing the mind to receive positive messages, at a subconscious and emotional level. In my experience, two major things happen:

1 — Relaxation

Lying on the ground (or seated), listening to a specific system of guided relaxation, your body comes to a place of complete rest, while the mind remains alert and yet calm. Even as you enter a dream-like state of consciousness, your mind stays awake; following the verbal cues, becoming aware of sensations in the body, and using sensory perception and visualization techniques.  These methods for calming the body, the subconscious mind and the sympathetic nervous system, are extremely grounding and relaxing.

2 — Intention

This is a powerful aspect of Yoga Nidra, when you introduce your intention (or sankalpa in Sanskrit).  Here, you state your affirmation for personal transformation; your wish for what you would like to be, or have, in your life — good health, calm mind, confidence, success, a change in your relationships — whatever your heartfelt desire is. Think of your sankalpa as a vow between you and the Universe, or a higher being.

Some examples are:

  • I am happy and healthy in body, mind and spirit.
  • My dreams and aspirations become reality.
  • I breathe in calmness and breathe out peace.

Yoga Nidra creates the perfect setting for you to initiate change in your life, because it is easier to alter habits in this “conscious sleep” state than in the waking state, when we are typically more resistant to change. Although you are not trying to actively fix or change anything during the Yoga Nidra practice itself, regular repetition of positive affirmations in this state, can be transformational.


Yoga-Nidra-classIf you’d like to try Yoga Nidra, join me every month at Simply Yoga, or contact me re other Yoga Nidra events.

And for those who would like to do guided relaxation at home, I’m delighted to have just finished recording a Yoga Nidra CD, accompanied by the peaceful music of Richard Brookens, available here.

To your continued physical, mental and emotional good health!

Namaste.

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About Yogaressa

My yoga practice has brought me more awareness of how I live my life, kept me sane during insane times, and provided endless opportunities for discovery, gratitude and joy. I see yoga as a way for anyone to reach their full potential and I'm inspired and humbled by the positive impact of my Yoga Nidra work.
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7 Responses to This May Tempt You To Try “Yogic Sleep” — The Ancient Practice of Yoga Nidra

  1. All the details of “Yogic Sleep” what you have written is correct , informative and helpful.
    I used to finish with this in my class of Yoga which we call here as “Shavasana” or “Nidrasana”, this you can take everyday immediately after the class or that should be the last Asana, say for a few minutes. Once in a week you can take it for longer duration. You can also advise them on practicing it whenever & wherever they want it, it looks easy though; it is the most difficult of all Asanas, as you have to do with the help of the mind, and mind goes here and there like the wind. But once one gets to practice it, it goes well.
    What happens, the moment they leave the class they should be relaxed and feel good.
    I am happy; you continue with the spreading of Yoga.
    I have done one Quote of mine today “Know Known Knower”, go and read it.
    Love to You.
    Shiva

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yogaressa says:

      Thank you, Shiva. I agree with you that Savasana is often the most “difficult pose” of yoga. The perfect time to remind ourselves to let go and surrender into stillness. An honor to help spread the knowledge of yoga, as do you. One of my teachers calls it “being a little light of consciousness”, which always makes me smile. Know Known Knower sounds interesting – I’ll take a peek! Namaste.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh Julie, you are in inspiration and it is so lovely to be in your class. I will look forward to returning to Quail in January. My husband is not doing well so the peace of the yoga mat and breathing is very calming for me. I will say I am not perfect with the calming routine but I am trying. Keep writing. Namaste, Berkeley

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yogaressa says:

      Berkeley, I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. We’ll miss you and will look forward to seeing you again in January – in the meantime, very pleased that yoga is helping to make a positive difference.

      And by the way, you don’t need to be “perfect at being calm”. You’re a human being and you’re simply taking time out every day, to remember to breathe and train the mind to come to a quieter place. You’re already perfect for just coming to the yoga mat and building awareness of body, mind and spirit.
      Namaste,
      Julie

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m going to try this.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Yoga Nidra Virgin | Yogaressa

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