Yoga Nidra can also be referred to as yogic sleep. This is a relaxation or meditative technique that explores the state of consciousness that we experience halfway between being awake and being asleep.
This state is reached through guided meditation, with the practitioner lying down. It is a systematic form of meditation, that takes you through the 5 layers of self, thereby achieving a sense of being whole or complete.
The cool thing about this practice is that it is accessible to everyone. No challenging poses to hold, no strength or flexibility required. If you can lie down on your back, you can practice Yoga Nidra. In addition, you’ll find it hard to think of an excuse not to do it.
When you are in bed and ready to go to sleep, this is the perfect time to spend 5 minutes practising Yoga Nidra. Just put your headphones on and listen to a Yoga Nidra meditation on Spotify or Youtube and then drift off to sleep.
Yoga Nidra does some pretty amazing things to your body and your brain. From the beta, or awakened state, your mind moves to the alpha, or relaxed, state – achieved through a series of breathing and body relaxation exercises that balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and the left and right sides of the brain.
From here we enter the theta, or dream state. This is where our thoughts massively slow down, and we begin to experience a feeling of nothingness. At this point we reach the delta state – where we experience little to no thoughts, and restoration and regeneration at a physical level occurs.
Yoga Nidra improves your sleep, teaches you a sense of awareness about your day to day mental and emotional state (mindfulness!), increases mood and sense of well-being, reduces stress, enhances memory, and much more.
– Article by Ronja Skandera