What is Yoga Nidra and how can it help our pain and stress levels?
You can practice yoga even when you feel achy and tired . How? Yoga Nidra is one of the many ways you can include yoga in your life without the need for an asana practice.
What is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra, also known as Yogic Sleep, is a form of meditation and deep relaxation technique. The aim is to achieve a state of concious relaxation, in between awareness and sleep. Here we are deeply relaxed yet fully aware.
The practice aims to lead through a journey of expanded consciousness. We move through the 5 sheaths of being traditionally called koshas: physical, energetic/subtle, mental, wisdom, and bliss. Creating a direct experience of the whole Self.
Through the use a of Sankalpa (an intention set at the beginning of the practice), we are able to evolve an move slowly away from our limiting beliefs.
A 45 minute session can leave you feeling deeply rested, just like a deeply restorative nap.
What is the difference between Yoga Nidra and Meditation?
There are overlaps between Yoga Nidra and Meditation.
Meditation is a broad term and we can give many different definitions to it. It can be considered the ability to be present in the moment. You can do that by focusing on sensations, breath or even emotions. Presence allows us to be in the here and now.
In Meditation, we usually try to sit up and keep a straight back, wether in Yoga Nidra we tend to lie down in Savasana. Meaning, we lie down on our back, making ouselves as comfortable as possible. We can use as many props as we want, including pillows and blankets. We can even practice in bed!
The 5 main benefits of Yoga Nidra
- Stress Reduction: Yoga Nidra leads to deep relaxation, releasing emotional tension and giving the body a chance to slow down;
- Pain Management: providing the body with rest and relaxation helps lower inflammation and connect deeper with both our body and emotions. As we know, pain is not just mechanical but heavily influenced by our feelings, emotions and mental state;
- Decreased Stress and Anxiety: by slowing down and taking a step towards understanding our feelings and emotions as well as releasing tensions held in the body;
- Improved Quality of Sleep: improving the ability to relax, it will help fall asleep faster and experience a more restful sleep;
- Self-Acceptance: by giving you the chance to explore the Self in a deeper manner and exploring what we need moment to moment.
Where can I start?
There are many resources online. You can start with a guided video or recording such as the one below.
Why not give it a go?
Yoga Nidra is such an incredibly accessible practice that can benefit the wellbeing of all.
If you would like to know more about how I can help you explore Yoga Nidra check this page.
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