Meditation just got a whole lot easier. Introducing Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep;” our new favorite form of meditation and total mind, body, soul relaxation technique. Think savasana x1000, this systematically guided meditation promotes deep bodily rest, profound mental relaxation, and radical healing abilities.
Literally translated as “yogic sleep,” Yoga Nidra evokes the state of consciousness between waking and sleeping — a lucid dream state where one is only cognitive of the dream environment and has little or no awareness of one's actual environment. If you’ve ever experienced a really good savasana, you know the kind when you feel like you’re floating above your body? That is Yoga Nidra.
Yoga Nidra enables you to access the unconscious mind in a conscious way. By traversing the two worlds of wakefulness and sleep, the contents of the unconscious mind (or that which we are not acutely aware of), think: our beliefs, patterns, and deepest memories — the things that drive our behaviors even below the subconscious, can arise and be integrated into the conscious experience. Here we can absorb our choices, dedications, intentions, efforts, and reconnect to who we want to be, who we really are, and who we sometimes lose track of throughout the day. It is in this space that we awaken our inner alchemist and catch up to our (true) selves.
If you’re looking to clear your head and totally zen out but traditional seated meditation techniques just aren’t your thing, you need to try this practice.
Why we love it:
-Anyone can do it.
-There’s no wrong way to practice it.
-It can be done at anytime of day.
-It replenishes us physically, emotionally and energetically.
-It’s adaptogenic. (In other words, it has the amazing ability to give you exactly what you need.)
-You get to lie down. (Because sometimes we’re just too lazy to sit up.)
-It is truly transformational.
The goal of Yoga Nidra is to cultivate effortlessness therefore the practice is usually (if not always), guided. We recommend attending a Yoga Nidra class at your local studio or finding a Yoga Nidra video or audio script that clicks with you. They’re usually anywhere from 15 - 45 minutes. We love all of Rod Stryker and Jo Tastula’s videos on Yogaglo.com (*Yogaglo is a paid subscription service), but there are also tons of free Yoga Nidra videos online if you run a quick YouTube search (type Yoga Nidra in the search bar).
Tips to totally zen out:
-During Yoga Nidra you want to be comfortable so make sure your body is comfortable. Use blankets, props, pillows, anything you need to relax.
-If you find yourself restless, or agitated, unable to fully settle into the practice, stop and come back to it tomorrow or the next day. You shouldn’t force Yoga Nidra, remember the goal is to cultivate effortlessness.
-Yoga Nidra can be done at anytime of day (I love to do it in the morning), but it’s also a beautiful practice to do before bed.
Tweet it out: Better than savasana.
Have you tried Yoga Nidra? We want to know! Share your stories and your favorites ways to cultivate calm in the comment section below. (You never know who you could inspire.)
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Erika & Jess
*We were not paid to say nice things about Yogaglo, we just love their videos!
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