There are many parts to a Yoga Nidra – anywhere from 4 to 9 – that can be focused on. It all depends on how much time you have and what you want to accomplish!
This time, we will be focusing on the breathing part of the Yoga Nidra because it is a valuable tool we can all use and there are many ways to breathe. It all depends on what is going on with you, what you want to accomplish or how you can help yourself out.
If you are stressed, the automatic part of your nervous system may have RAMPED up a bit and you will find that your breath ratio is short and perhaps choppier; almost like you are on guard and waiting for what will happen next. That’s not necessarily a bad thing unless you live like that 24/7.
If you are wanting to calm yourself down from all that stress, you don’t want to keep breathing that way. Instead:
- You can use your breath on the spot and make your exhale longer than your inhale.
- You can breathe slower on both the inhale and the exhale.
- You can reduce your breath to where you are taking in fewer and fewer breaths per minute.
Or, you can use the breathing technique outlined by Dr. Bill Rawls in Deep Breathing Exercises to Relax and Unwind.
Most of us spend way too much time in a stress response and when we can change that up with our breathing, it will go a long way to decreasing the adrenaline dump and to promoting the flow of endorphins to help not only the body but also the mind.
The real deal, though, is that you have to practice any breathing technique ahead of time so you can use it on the spot when you need it.
August Yoga Nidra Class Survey Results
For those that take my Yoga Nidra class, I ask questions afterward so that I know what is working or not working.
- Of the immediate benefits felt, 90% reported feelings of calm/peace and physical relaxation.
- In addition, one attendee mentioned an immediate increase of awareness and energy, with a sense of being keenly alert, while another said her alertness continued until the early morning hours.
- Subsequent benefits felt most often included relief from anxiety, reduced fatigue and feelings of inner satisfaction; having an increased focus and reduced stress were mentioned by more than half the class.
- One attendee reported that when she woke up the next morning, she was totally relaxed with no pain at all.
If you have a specific health concern, I would be happy to discuss this with you one-on-one.