Yoga Nidra is the sensation of complete physical surrender and total relaxation. It’s the sensation of being suspended in the place of conscious recognition, before falling asleep. Yoga Nidra is also known as Yogic Sleep, and it's the ancient practice of relaxation and healing that is executed through guided meditation.
The main aim is to calm your mind, while you move through progressive mental states that involve less thought and ends with a deep consciousness state. The breath and body awareness techniques that are involved in yoga Nidra steps help you sink into a deeply relaxed state. Even though this is a natural state that the body takes when it goes to sleep, yoga Nidra combines deep sleep relaxation with a sense of alertness.
The yoga Nidra asana brings about a state of awareness through consistent practice. It accesses the energy cover through rhythmic breathing that unblocks energy channels. The free power flow, through the body, allows you to heal.
Usually, the standard Yoga Nidra sessions can last anywhere between 15 minutes to 1 hour. Advanced yoga practitioners can perform Yoga Nidra for much longer than an hour. Some studies have shown that an hour of Nidra is the same as several hours of ordinary sleep.
The yoga Nidra instructions are a specialized form of meditation techniques that must be led by qualified Yoga Nidra guides.
Listed below are the consecutive yoga Nidra steps that you have to follow:
1. Preparing to relax:
Yoga Nidra is done in the savasana pose. Wherein you have to lie on your back, place the arms away from the body, and face the palms up. The feet should spread, at hip distance and the toes should fall out towards the side. If you are feeling uncomfortable and feeling a strain on your lower back, then you can use a cushion or rolled-up yoga mat under the knees to release pent up tension in the muscles.
2. Sankalpa Introduction:
It’s always good to start the YogaNidra with a positive intention, which is also known as Sankalpa. Repeating positive intentions/affirmations helps ground the subconscious.
3. Being aware of your body:
In this step, you will have to focus on the contact points of your body. This involves a full-body scan where you are asked to bring awareness to each part before moving on to the next. Usually, this is also approached by tensing each part and releasing it fully.
4. Being aware of your breathing pattern:
Here your guide will help you meditate by letting you focus on faraway sounds, something that is happening outside the room. After that, you will be directed to the sounds that are happening inside the room. The session will end with directing your focus to your breathing sounds. This is where you will be aware of your breathing rhythm.
Usually, the guide will tell you to count backward and if you lose count then you have to start all over again. They will instruct you to visualize sere canary, natural beauty, or tell you to imagine energy/light flowing through your body.
6. Repetition of Sankalpa:
This is where the guide will remind you to focus on positive intentions before you you sleep into deep relaxation mode. This will also mark the end of your practice phase.
7. Coming back to your normal state:
Once the session comes to an end, you will be guided back to your normal state slowly. The reorientation process will be done slowly through various layers of consciousness. You will be aware of your breath, sounds, and body before the session ends.
Yoga Nidra takes your mind into a deep state of relaxation, which is somewhere between being asleep and awake. The asana helps release tension – physical and mental helps slow the breathing rhythm and slows down the heartbeat. This establishes a calm mood and body.
The Yoga Nidra asana also cools down the body temperature and conserves energy that would be spent from movement practice. This means ít relaxes the anatomical system.
Here are some of the other benefits that you can experience with yoga Nidra:
Yoga Nidra is much more than a yoga pose where you bend in various positions, it is more focused on conscious relaxation than conscious effort. You have to focus on different body parts while breathing deeply. The main aspect of this pose is to relax, be aware, and be effortless. In short, you have to consciously relax your mental and physical state.
At Govardhan Ecovillage, we understand that yoga is an effortless and positive experience. Our guides are expert practitioners who will instruct you on the various yoga Nidra steps and leave you feeling deeply invigorated.