By now most of us, at some point, have taken a yoga class, whether it be hot, Bikram-style power yoga, a restorative yin session, or a traditional lengthening and strengthening vinyasa flow. Some of us may practice every week or even everyday! Still, it’s likely that many of us, maybe even most, have yet to experience yoga nidra.
Yoga nidra, also known as yogic sleep, is a highly transformational modality. It has the power to blend our subconscious and conscious bodies and minds together in a way that promotes powerful physical and emotional healing. The goal is to get to this place, called a “hypnagogic state,” by activating all four types of brain waves: beta, alpha, theta, and delta.
Practitioners lie on their backs in savasana, or corpse pose, and are led in a guided meditation that systematically takes them through the pancha maya kosha, known in English as the five layers of self. There are a number of benefits for mind, body, and spirit: it can reduce stress, anxiety and hypertension, stabilize cardiovascular issues, promote better sleep, and aid in the treatment of PTSD and depression. 40 minutes of Yoga Nidra, is said to be as restorative as 3 hours of sleep. It’s also great for detox and can even help women manage symptoms of PMS!
The practice is acceptable to just about anyone, from small children to the elderly, and if you’re unable to lie down, it can be done from a seated position as well. And the best part? You get to stay in your pajamas (if you want)! Wear whatever you feel physically comfortable in.
Tracee Stanley, a teacher of Yoga Nidra, meditation, self-empowerment, sankalpa (intention) and self-inquiry, describes Yoga Nidra as "a beneficial practice that can inform the whole of your life from your meditation, creativity, memory, sleep, ability to manifest and spiritual transformation." She suggests practicing at least 2-3 times a week, or a full 21 days for profound shifts.
Want to experience the profound effects of Yoga Nidra now? Make Movements founder Cheyenne Ellis has free Yoga Nidra virtual sessions here on her site, as well as an IGTV on Vibrant Market's instagram, available 4/23/20.
Photo Courtesy of Make Movements