What is Yoga Nidra?
When you hear the word Yoga, you generally think of balancing on one foot, or being in a pose that sounds like an animal such as downward facing dog, pigeon or eagle. I used to think the same way. I practiced yoga for almost 17 years and never heard of Yoga Nidra until I took Yoga teaching training over four years ago. I was shocked and enlightened (pardon the pun) to discover this form of Yoga that is so refreshing and relaxing and not so main stream.
So what is it anyway? At it's basic level, it's a guided meditation. It's a type of Yoga that can be referred to as Yogic Sleep. Yes, I said sleep!! I know, it sounds like a dream.....practicing Yoga and sleeping.....What could be better than that? Well, the goal is not to fall asleep, but if that happens it's ok, it just means your body really needs to rest and subconsciously, you'll still hear everything even though you may not remember. There's no wrong way to do it. Literally all you need to do is lie down (or sit in a comfy position), listen and be guided.
After learning how to lead Yoga Nidra, I instantly knew this would be my teaching focus in order to introduce this healing and deeply relaxing practice to other people.
Because most of us live in a constant state of stress, this can negatively impact our emotional and physical health. What you may not realize is that it's vital to take time to still the body and mind. Imagine lying down for 30 minutes, being guided on an inner journey through many stages of relaxation and waking up feeling fresh, grateful and relaxed.
Practicing Yoga Nidra can have an impact on your emotional and physical health because it triggers your relaxation response. And that's important because it calms the body and mind giving you time to rest, digest and rejuvenate. And the more you do it, the easier it becomes to focus and relax even when you're off the mat!
How this practice can help you on and off the mat.
Creating a peaceful place
On the mat - During the meditation, you will imagine a peaceful place that surrounds you with feelings of comfort, love, joy and peace.
Off the mat - Once you've seen your peaceful place in your meditation, you can visualize being in this peaceful place any time during the day. Imagine that you're; in an uncomfortable situation, afraid of having to do something, having troubles falling asleep or worried about something. Just know that you can visualize your peaceful place any time you need to feel this sense of peace and comfort.
Creating an affirmation
On the mat - While being guided, you have an opportunity to go on a journey of self discovery and notice what your heart truly longs for. This can be anything that comes up for you such as: having more time for yourself, being healthier, having the financial freedom to do the things you love - you get the idea. From here, you'll create an affirmation based on this desire. You will use this affirmation as the focus of your practice. And you can continue using this affirmation in your regular practice until it becomes real for you.
Off the mat - Once you discover and create an affirmation, I recommend writing it down (so you don't forget it) and incorporating it in your daily routine. I write mine on a piece of paper and tape it to the bathroom mirror so I can say them first thing in the morning and at night before I go to bed.
I love to incorporate moments of visualization in my Yoga Nidra practice.
On the mat - While being guided, you will have the opportunity to visualize what your life would be like when your affirmation comes true. Just seeing yourself in these moments triggers many positive emotions that you will experience during the meditation. You may experience emotions such as; gratitude, joy, love, and a zest for life.
Off the mat - You can do more of the things that trigger positive emotions in your daily life. For example, if you felt immense gratitude in your visualization, then you can feel that emotion in the present moment by being grateful for something that you have now. If you felt joy during the meditation, you can do more things in your life that bring you joy (whatever that means for you). When we truly desire something, it's because we want to feel a certain way when we have it. So, you can invoke those feelings in your daily life which will then bring you into alignment with what you desire.
If you've never tried Yoga Nidra before, you don't know what you're missing! You deserve to give yourself much needed time to relax, rejuvenate and let go of all the stressors you deal with on a daily basis. Your body and mind will thank you!
Interested in practicing Yoga Nidra with me? Click the button below for my virtual classes. Remember, there's nothing else to do but listen, relax and be guided!
You an also click HERE to get access to my FREE Yoga Nidra Guided meditation for relaxation. This is a 20 minute meditation that's perfect for beginners, or even those who practice Yoga Nidra already.
The information presented here is for entertainment purposes only. The information in this post is subject to interpretation and is an expression of opinion. It is not intended for, and does not replace professional, medical, legal, business, and/or health related opinions and advice. It is not a substitute for counselling or any other type of therapy, or medical advice from qualified professionals.