Yoga Nidra is one of the deepest states of relaxation your body can be in while maintaining full consciousness. You remain in a state of lucid dreaming, are cognizant of your dream environment, but have little or no awareness of your actual environment.
This process conserves and consolidates your energy for yoga practices. It also relaxes the system and prepares it for meditation and Pranayama. It is essential you make time for Yoga Nidra amidst your other workout practices.
Everything You Need To Know About Yoga Nidra
Getting Ready For Yoga Nidra
When you are in this deep state of restoration and relaxation, you direct your attention to the different parts of your body, and this activates the nerves in those areas. It also helps your body accept and integrate the benefits of the Yoga asanas that you just practiced. It lasts for anywhere between 15 to 30 minutes.
You usually do the Yoga Nidra post your yoga workout, and it is best to cover yourself or keep your body warm while doing this. The body temperature drops in the process, and you might end up feeling cold. So keep a blanket handy.
It can be practiced on its own too, but it is not advisable to do it after lunch because you might end up taking a nap.
Make sure you practice the relaxing yoga in a peaceful place where there is no clutter or disturbance.
How To Do The Yoga Nidra
- Lie down flat on your back, and assume the Corpse Pose or the Savasana.
- Close your eyes. Place your legs such that they are comfortably apart. Make sure your legs relax completely, and your toes face sidewards. Your arms must be placed along your body, but slightly apart, leaving your palms open and facing upwards.
- Make sure that you breathe slowly, yet deeply. This will impart complete relaxation. As you breathe in, your body will be energized, and as you breathe out, your body will calm down. Focus on yourself and your body, forgetting all your other tasks. Let go and surrender!
- In case you feel uncomfortable or find pain or discomfort in your lower back, just use a pillow to elevate your legs. This will give you more comfort.
- Once you are perfectly comfortable, start from the bottom. Drive your attention towards your right foot. Relax your foot completely and let your attention revolve around your foot for a few seconds. Then, move to your right knee, your right thigh, and the whole right leg. Do the same thing for the left leg.
- Let your attention be drawn to your entire body, your genitals, your stomach, your navel, the chest, the shoulders, arms, throat, face, and the crown.
- Breathe deeply and slowly and observe all the sensations in the body. Relax completely. Stay in this state of relaxation for a few minutes.
- Once your body is fully relaxed, become aware of your surroundings. Then, slowly turn to your right with your eyes closed. Lie down on your right for a couple of minutes.
- When you are comfortable, sit up slowly, and gently open your eyes.
The Yoga Nidra has many benefits. But these are its main advantages.
- It cools down the body after an intense Yoga workout and restores the normal temperature of the body.
- It ensures activation of the nervous system and helps the body to absorb the benefits of the asanas.
- It flushes out the toxins from the body.
- It helps rest and relax during pregnancy.
Yoga Nidra is not really the same thing as the meditation. While you do the Nidra, you lie down and go into a semi-hypnotic state, a state between being awake and asleep.
However, when you are meditating, you sit with your spine erect and are more alert and aware than when you are in the Yoga Relax Nidra.
This is almost like preparation for meditation. It is the practice of the sense of withdrawal that actually prepares you to go into the state of meditation. Your attention is drawn inwards, and your mind and body are calmed down, so much so that you reach the mental state of meditation.
For most people today, it is extremely hard to meditate, simply because we are so busy and restless that it is difficult to sit still and silent for long periods. When you master the Yoga Nidra, it will automatically help you take on the challenges of meditating, and soon, you will be able to meditate with ease.
General Tips To Do The Yoga Nidra
- It is only natural to have random thoughts and be distracted by them while you are in the Nidra. Do not curb them. Also, do not feel guilty if you fall asleep during the practice.
- Play some gentle music – either soft chants or instrumental music – before you start the Yoga Relax Nidra. It will help you relax. But this is not a must because you will eventually relax to your own internal rhythm.
- Don’t miss the step of turning over on your right and sitting up after a few minutes. When you are on the right side, it helps your breath flow through the left nostril, and therefore, your body cools down.
Now that you know how to do Yoga Nidra, what are you waiting for? The Yoga Nidra is just as refreshing as a good nap. It refreshes and rejuvenates you like no amount of caffeine can. Indulge and enjoy!