Yoga Nidra is a wonderful and powerful practice in which you learn to relax consciously.
Yoga means union, inner communication and Nidra means sleep.
Literally, Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep.
But Yoga Nidra, in fact, is not sleep. It’s referred to sometimes as ‘sleepless sleep’.
During the practice you remain aware, awake and alert, but your consciousness is functioning at different level of awareness.
It’s a progressive and systematic method of inducing complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation.
In this class, unlike others, you find a cosy spot to snuggle under your own blanket to make the experience extra comfortable. Lying on your mat, with your eyes closed, the teacher will take you on a journey through different layers of awareness, using various techniques, leaving the mind calm and harmonious to access a deep, meditative state. Therefore, in fact, Yoga Nidra is also a form of meditation.
What is the benefit of Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra can be practiced to improve the quality of our lives.
It is a deep relaxation and a meditation that induces many benefits. It is a truly restful yoga practice that could help with busy lives that can lead to burn-out, exhaustion, fatigue and increased stress levels.
It can improve your sleep, rejuvenate the entire body and can, for example, help to develop your memory. It may also increase creativity and perhaps transform one’s nature.
It’s now used with people suffering from PTSD, and has been found to reduce tension and anxiety.
Students report entering a blissful state between wakefulness and sleeping. However, if you’re generally fatigued or frazzled don’t be surprised if you end up napping! That’s okay, that’s what your body needs at that time.
Meditation: awareness of our inner life
Meditation is the practice of finding peace within.
Awareness of peace is achieved when mental chatter is decreased. There are many different types of meditation to choose from, including guided meditation and focused meditation on an object (for example, a mantra/sound, image, candle flame, or the breath). They can all lead to the same place of inner peace.
While meditating, we are mindful of our thoughts from the viewpoint of observer, without clinging to the thoughts themselves. Our thoughts float by like clouds, witnessing the types of thoughts that flow by while meditating, without attaching to them, will quiet the mental chatter that Buddhists call “the monkey mind.” They say our thoughts can be like wild monkeys that jump from branch to branch. Those monkeys lead us on a tangent through an uncontrollable past and future as we follow them through the jungle of chaotic activity that can be our waking state of mind. When we give the mind something to focus on—like a guided meditation, the breath, or a mantra—we become aware of an inner world of stillness, love, and peace.
In addition to being the perfect way to let go of accumulated stress, meditation has many health benefits, including strengthened brain function, the immune system, increased physical vitality, and better sleep.