Imagine giving yourself full permission to rest, restore your entire system and reconnect to your true self.
Yoga Nidra, often referred as the 'Yogic Sleep' or enlightened sleep, is often more accessible than meditation. All you need to do is lie down into a comfortable position (can also be practiced seated), invite stillness and follow guidance towards a place of deep relaxation and remembrance.
The technique of Yoga Nidra is a journey through the state of consciousness while remaining awake and aware.
We are aware, and we are aware of awareness
Yoga Nidra is a yoga of dissolution (Laya yoga)
I just love practicing Yoga Nidra. No other techniques take me to this place where I can feel so asleep and so awake at the same time. Relaxation is only the entry point. Slowly, we move from holding, doing, to being fully held and supported. It's a practice of complete absorption, a magical journey to the state of Nidra, a place beyond concept, words, object.
It invites us to move through the energetic sheaths (koshas) from the most gross aspect of ourselves (physical) to the most subtle and eventually rest in pure spacious awareness, giving us a glimpse of our own inner light.
For the science lovers out there, research has been done on what happens to the brain during stages of Yoga Nidra. This study conducted by Dr Elmer Green and his wife Alyce Green on Swami Rama in 1970, demonstrated that he could put himself into various states of consciousness including state of deep sleep (measured by EEG) while still being awake and aware.
In the deepest stage of Nidra, brain activities readings suggest that the person is completely asleep (delta waves) but the EGG readings show that there is still a level of awareness.
Meaning that you get the benefits of a deep sleep that we all need to stay healthy by practicing Nidra. - Lots of people struggle with sleep these days and apparently 20 to 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to 2 to 3 hours of sleep. When I have a bad night sleep the first practice I do when I wake up (or after lunch) is Yoga Nidra and it has been a complete game changer.
There are so many benefits to Yoga Nidra when practiced on a regular basis.
Deep relaxation will allow our entire system to restore and reset; It strengthens our immune system and general health. It helps healing physical and emotional tensions; It teaches us how to be more aware and present to all the transitions in our life. It gives us chance to reconnect to that place always at rest and at peace, unchanging despite chaos that might be happening around us.
It's a practice of letting go of who we think we are and awaken to who we truly are. It is the practice that we all need more than ever.
Recommended readings -
For science: Why we sleep" - Matthew Walker
ForYoga Nidra: Radiant Rest - Tracee Stanley
For spiritual read - Enlightened without God - Swami Rama
Yoga Nidra welcomes everyone. Props can be used to help find comfortable position and so many techniques are available to suit your need and time available. If you would like to find out more feel free to contact me at www.sarahmachadoyoga.com