shutterstock_394557496What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra, also known as ‘psychic sleep’ or sleep with full awareness, is a systematic method of complete relaxation that addresses your physical, mental, neurological and subconscious needs.

It is an extremely powerful relaxation and meditation technique developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of Yoga. It induces deep body-mind relaxation with the ultimate goal of increasing self-awareness.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati describes Yoga Nidra as a state of dynamic sleep; however, there is actually no sleep involved. In the practice of Yoga Nidra, the body sleeps but the mind remains awake, achieving a state somewhere between sleep and wakefulness.

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation. Even more than that, it is a relaxation exercise.

Yoga Nidra is considered a highly effective meditation technique; however, it differs from meditation. During meditation, you remain as alert and aware as possible; in Yoga Nidra you move into that sleep with full awareness state. Yoga Nidra turns your attention inward, relaxing you physically yet keeping you mentally alert.

Why Yoga Nidra?

The benefits of relaxation and meditation are profound for managing the challenges of the mind (think anxiety or depression) as well as for the body (think tight, painful muscles and joints).

It is a wonderful tool for relaxation and stress-reduction and there are many benefits to the practice, such as:

  • Alleviating insomnia
  • Decreasing anxiety and stress
  • Reducing PTSD, chronic pain and chemical dependence
  • Heightening awareness and focus
  • Transforming negative habits and behaviors
  • Fostering feelings of peace, calm and clarity

Scientific studies help us to understand that there are immeasurable benefits for the body and the mind with a regular yoga nidra practice. Research concludes that it is a beneficial tool for many physical and emotional difficulties.

Interested in trying Yoga Nidra? I hold classes once a month at the Sastun Center of Integrative Health. Check out the class schedule.

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