The word yoga creates a picture of strenuous physical exercises, moulding your body in different shapes etc. However, there are various other dimensions to yoga, including focusing on the breath, relaxing, and being gentle with yourself. And, one such yoga is Yoga Nidra sleep meditation, a state of being therapeutic and relaxing just like sleep, but being fully conscious.
Yoga Nidra helps you draw a deeper connection between both body and mind. It focuses on consciously relaxing, understanding and feeling the release of stress and anxiety go away from the body.
In other words, it is about knowing, understanding the relaxation process while controlling it as well. It is giving the mind an extra dose of creativity, concentration and powerful energy.
Yoga Nidra For Insomnia
Lack of sleep makes way for many health problems such as dizziness, lethargy, feeling uneasy, low on energy, and the list is endless.
We all know how vital an eight-hour sleep is. However, many of you may be guilty of comprising it for partying or binging shows, and the next day everybody at work knows you haven’t slept. Compromising sleep and considering it to be overrated is one reason that further leads to insomnia and other sleeping disorders.
To deal with sleep issues, all you need is a mild and calm yoga nidra, also known as bedtime yoga, which helps you sleep better.
There is a process for all the activities we do: driving, shopping, travelling, etc. Similarly, Yoga Nidra for deep sleep is a technique of shutting down your body and mind and training your body and mind to feel the relaxation process and attain a deeper sleep level.
Yoga Nidra instils the relaxation feeling in your body while breathing mindfully. These responses balance both sides of the brain and the nervous system. It also creates slow waves in your mind before you go to sleep, helping you sleep calmly and peacefully.
Yoga Nidra To Release Body Tension
Yoga Nidra helps evoke the sensations within our body, making us more aware of our body’s tension. It also makes us aware of the stress and negativity held back in our mind.
Once we encounter the problems of stress, it is easy to let go. This Nidra helps regulate the emotional quotient, which allows for forgiving, letting go of anxiety, improving mood and reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Yoga Nidra to Escape Mind Chatter
Yoga Nidra makes you more aware of the sensations in your body, and when you become more aware of the stress and worries that hold you back, it becomes easy to let go of pain holding back. It prepares the mind towards a disciplined approach.
Yoga Nidra helps you dive deep inside into the natural resting state. It quietens your mind; you realize the thoughts you had were mere thought and do not hold any importance. You recognize the thinking patterns which make you move the thinking more towards the positive side. The awareness that gets in the resting phase helps you take the same awareness to your everyday life.
Yoga Nidra to Connect with Inner Self
When you let go of unwanted thoughts, practice mindfulness and forgive yourself and everyone around you. Your mind creates a lot of space otherwise occupied by unwanted thoughts like tenants living rent-free. You have space in your mind to let in yourself, reflect on your thoughts and journey, and understand the idea from a positive perspective. It also allows you to look at your experiences in a manner that you may never view or feel before.
What happens in Yoga Nidra?/ How to Do Yoga Nidra
Find a quiet place to do your nidra where you can concentrate better.
Place your mat on the floor and lie on your back on the yoga mat. Keep your legs as wide as the mat. Keep the arms away from your body and make sure they face the sky.
Get comfortable, and be in a position where you would not need to move as you should not move throughout the process of nidra. Once satisfied, slowly close your eyes. Feel at ease, relax your body. Feel and visualize the tension leaving your body. Relax!
While doing yoga nidra, try to stay awake, do not fall asleep. Convince yourself you will not sleep. Now make your affirmation sentence. Affirmation should always be in the present tense. It should be clear, concise and straightforward. Fix the resolve, as it will indeed happen in your life. Keep on repeating it with faith that it will happen.
Get back the awareness to your body. Remind yourself you are listening to the instruction; you are awake, aware. Pay attention to every body part, focus all the awareness on every body part. Do not let the attention span move it quickly to the other body part.
Apply the feeling of heaviness uniformly. Be aware of the heaviness in the body and feel the heaviness in your body. Now switch it and awaken the feeling of lightness. Feel the lightness uniformly spread across the body.
Can I do yoga nidra before sleep?
You can do yoga nidra at any time of the day. At night, before you go to sleep, you can use the technique of being aware and conscious while being inactive.
Yoga Poses for Better Sleep
There are many Yoga poses that you can inculcate in your routine to promote better sleep. You do not have to hold these poses for long; they could be for up to 5 minutes each.
Shavasana is also known as a corpse pose and is one of the simplest asanas. In Hatha Yoga, the session is concluded with Shavasana. The Savasana performing time should be the same as Yoga Time.
For this yog asana, lie down on your back, open your legs to both the ends of the mat. Keep your hand away from the body with the palms facing the sky.
It is at the person’s discretion, if they wish to keep the eyes open or closed.
Reclining Bound Angle
This pose is also known as Supta Baddha Konasana. It helps in increasing the flexibility of the inner thighs and groin. It also helps to reduce menstrual pain and digestion issues.
For this asana,
- Lie on your back and bend your knees.
- Try to keep the heels towards the pelvis and press the soles of both feet together.
- Press them until you can drop your knees on both sides.
- If you need support, you can put a pillow below your knees for support.
- Your hands can be on the sides, or you can place them under your head as well.
- Make sure the stretch is gentle and not painful.
Uttanasana is also known as standing forward bend. Stand straight with your legs close to each other. Then bend forward, trying to touch your feet; you can place your palms on both sides of your feet. Try to touch the floor with your palms. Be very careful; the purpose is to stretch your body and not cause a jerk to the body. While coming up, make sure you come up slowly and avoid a head rush.
Like any other mudra, the core of Yoga nidra is to create awareness and build mindfulness with our body. Also, just like any asana with practice, you will never lose your consciousness or fall asleep. You will always enjoy the phase of being relaxed but still conscious.