One thing is for sure, our ancestors knew how to relax. Through the ancient art of yoga, our ancestors were fit, mindful and aware of themselves. However, as time went on, people no longer had the time or the patience to continue their practice. They continued to get stressed and shrunk into a world of materialistic bondage. Now, as the West has begun to popularize yoga practices, mindfulness and awareness, people are slowly inching back to their roots. Once such practice is the Yoga Nidra.
What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga nidra or yogic sleep is a deep relaxation technique where the mind goes into a state of semi-consciousness. This is a meditation technique that uses the power of conscious awareness and breathing to immerse oneself on a realm where they connect with their inner self. It is also the easiest method of getting to a place of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra
This practice of Yoga Nidra is a simple way of reducing stress, countering anxieties of daily life and freeing the mind. With the different stages of Yoga Nidra, this practice is more effective than meditation.
Open to all
Your mind must have gone to those fancy yogis who do the Crow Pose wearing Lululemon with an ease you couldn’t muster. But there’s no need to worry as just about anyone can do Yoga Nidra. All it takes it is for you to lie down and listen to the guiding voice.
Connect with your inner self
The power of this practice is one that must be experienced by partaking. You will immediately feel connected to your inner self quite intimately. Since the practice is about awakening the mind, body and the inner spirit, the practitioner would feel a sense of tranquility and oneness.
Often, it is the exuberant amounts of stress that keep us up at night. Through the regular practice of Yoga Nidra, you can sleep more deeply as you cast aside the worries and anxieties that would keep you up.
Helps with psychological wounds
By connecting to your inner self, on a spiritual level, you are able to heal the psychological wounds in your life that contribute to various illnesses like depression and panic disorders.
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How to practice Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra begins with the corpse pose or Shavasana. You lie down on your mat or your bed and remain perfectly still. It is important to not move around or give into restlessness throughout the practice.
Take a few deep breaths and pay attention to the cool air accumulating in your abdomen. As you exhale, pay attention to the warm air leaving your body. Bring your attention to the body’s normal breathing pattern and be aware of the subtle body reactions to this.
Bring an intention to your practice. Repeat the affirmation in your mind at the beginning of the practice.
You then begin conducting the body scan. Once you bring your awareness to your right foot, you go through each toe. You bring awareness to your feet, your calf, your thigh, and your hip. With your awareness, you also bring in the intention to relax that part of the body. You then repeat the same process to your left leg.
You then bring awareness to all the parts of your body one by one. You begin with the legs and then move on to your arms, your torso, your genitals, your back, shoulders and so on.
Once your entire body scan is complete, you rest a few minutes in the awareness that you brought about. Take note of how your body feels at this time.
Roll your head side to side. Repeat the intention you had set at the beginning of the practice.
Sit up and open your eyes when you are ready. You have completed your Yoga Nidra practice.
Yoga Nidra is an awareness practice that can be done with or without a yoga teacher. Many people have been able to use guided Youtube videos to regularly practice Yoga Nidra. This form of guided meditation has reduced stress and the symptoms of depression to a great degree.
Once you have achieved a state of complete relaxation, you are able to put into objective the importance of being level headed in our daily lives. While you may not be able to follow it to the tee, you can look forward to achieving 30 to 45 minutes of clarity through yogic sleep.