Why practice Yoga Nidra? What is it?
Many years ago a friend and fellow yoga teacher had discovered Yoga Nidra and kept raving about how wonderful it was. Eventually, I managed to take a Yoga Nidra class. I wish I could tell you it was all peace and bliss, but that wasn't my first experience. The guide instructed particpants to remain still, but I was in so much pain I kept shifting around. I left feeling like a failure and a bad yogi. This was before I truly understood the concept of honoring my body to honor my practice.
Fast forward, not only do I understand and apply the principle of ahimsa, non-harm, I also do my best to honor my body. This means I allow myself to graciously move when I'm uncomfortable, and then come back to stillness. I found so much value in the practice of Yoga Nidra that I have been a certified guide since 2019.
I have practiced it most days over the last four years and share it with my clients. Therapists have referred their clients to me for trauma informed yoga and are especially pleased when they learn I am also providing Yoga Nidra.
So, what is Yoga Nidra? It is a subtle and powerful practice which can help you heal, grow and manage the stress and triggers of every-day life. Yoga Nidra also holds the potential to release deep-seated traumas and guide our awareness toward our most authentic self.
Yoga Nidra, also known as: Yogic Sleep, can be restful, restorative, healing and energizing. It has the power to transform at deep levels which allows us to heal and become more of who we truly are.
“Yoga Nidra is one of the least known and most under-appreciated practices of yoga.” - Kamini Desai, PhD.
It is the art of non-doing. It is just listening and being. Much like floating, Yoga Nidra happens when we stop trying, doing, struggling, and allow ourselves to be and feel.
Yoga Nidra versus Relaxation. When we watch a movie, listen to music, go for a walk, read, etc. we are allowing ourselves a diversion from life and life's stress, to a more enjoyable activitiy.
True relaxation is when our body, mind, and five senses are at rest. This happens during deep, dreamless sleep and during Yoga Nidra.
Only in relaxation is the body able to heal, repair and grow. Yoga Nidra begins with relaxation, then moves into the deeper observation of the mind, body and senses.
While Yoga Nidra originated from Indian philosophies and has roots in Hinduism, Buddhism and Tantrism, its positive effects on our minds and bodies are scientifically supported by research.
Here are a few of the benefits of a Yoga Nidra practice:
- Reduce stress
- Support concentration
- Improve memory
- Balance the ANS
- Rejuvenate the body
- Boost and support the immune system
- Increase blood flow to the heart
- Relieve pain
- Balance & strengthen the endocrine system
- Resolve & release incomplete, unprocessed emotions & experiences
“Scandinavian researchers observing PET scans of Yoga Nidra practitioners were struck by the degree to which practitioners were able to be deeply relaxed, yet control the brain's activity with a high degree of concentration and precision.” - Kamini Desai, PhD
Even on a "good day" our bodies become stressed. Pause and let it melt away. Follow the link for deep rest. Come experience Yoga Nidra for yourself.
I have numerous recordings on my YouTube channel: Calm Confident Woman. Be sure to subscribe so you know when new videos are added and when I go live, give the videos you use a thumbs up, and share this gift of rest and restoration with your friends and family.
We can live calm, confident, and unlimited lives.