Yoga Nidra is usually translated as Yogic Sleep. Typically the conclusion of a class, it is an opportunity to integrate the previous physical postures, develop body awareness, cultivate mindfulness, and experience deep healing.
Yoga Nidra is an accessible practice that is suitable for all practitioners, regardless of experience or personal history. It brings us into a delicious state of rest, after which you may experience a sense of joy, ease, and wholeness. It is also one of the most advanced practices in our yoga toolbox.
How to Practice
Similar to a guided meditation, Yoga Nidra is a journey inward, progressively leading practitioners to the deep, quiet layers of the Self.
From a comfortable position on the back such as Savasana, we begin with sequentially squeezing and releasing each muscle of the body.. In this way we identify holding patterns in the body and learn to consciously release tension.
Having encouraged ease in the body, we develop our capacity to witness our experience. Again, moving sequentially, we take time to observe body, breath, and mind. This moves us away from identifying with our experience and toward equanimity. Over time and with continuous practice, we bring this ability to observe experience into our daily lives such that our minds remain steady and undisturbed.
After these preparatory steps, we move to the core of Yoga Nidra. Here we are directed to our highest Self, our true Self, where we have the opportunity to rest. Yoga Nidra can allow us a glimpse into the peace and serenity that is the heart of all Yoga practice.
While it is common for practitioners to fall into a brief sleep, the essence of the practice is to maintain conscious awareness or resting wakefulness. In this way, practitioners are able to access their innate capacity for healing.
Make the practice yours
Lying on the back doesn’t work for everyone. Some of us are more comfortable sitting in a chair, leaning against a wall, or lying on the side.
Don’t be shy, take advantage of props! Would a pillow make the neck more comfortable? Would some knee support bring ease to the low back? Would the protection of a blanket bring a sense of comfort? What about an eye pillow? Does lying on the back cause you to cough or feel congested? Try laying against a raised bolster. Can’t make it to class? Lead yourself through the process in a chair or lying on your bed!
Why practice Yoga Nidra?
The benefits of Yoga Nidra are so varied that it can benefit just about anyone. These benefits include
Join Radha Rodriguez for Yoga Nidra at the conclusion of every class!