yoga nidra


By: Inga


Our modern lifestyle has become very demanding and fast. Spring is the time of the year, where everything returns to life, expands, and changes rapidly. When we miss to slow down during the winter – the time of hibernation – we feel even more under pressure right now. Our mind is continuously active and tense. When we fail to recognize the hectic without finding ways to balance out the negative stress, we end up fatigued and facing severe psychological problems.


However, there are many ways these days to seek balance. One of them is definitely Yoga Nidra. As a technique of pratyahara – internalized awareness – it not only provides our body and mind with deep relaxation and rest, it gives us countless benefits. While ‘yoga’ is known to be a way to connect and unite the physical, the mental and the spiritual, ‘nidra’ means ‘sleep’. In different words, Yoga Nidra allows us to experience a state between sleep and wakefulness, in terms of psychology called the hypnotic state – a state where the body sleeps, but our mind remains sharp and fully awake.


The main requirements during the practice involve a preparation to remain comfortable in the posture of Savasana – corpse pose – with proper spinal alignment, the eyes closed, listening to the instructions and simultaneously feeling the body points mentioned, limiting movements and trying not to fall asleep.
The suggested duration is usually between 45 and 90 minutes, and there are basic steps that Yoga Nidra involves.
1. Starting the practice: the practitioner is guided through initial relaxation, achieved through the awareness of position, posture, stillness and breath.
2. Personal intension – sankalpa – a short, clear, positive resolve, selected by the practitioner and repeated three times mentally.
3. Rotation of awareness: the practitioner systematically travels through 61 different vital and nerve-rich body points.
4. Breath awareness: becoming aware of the natural breath without making an attempt to change anything, by watching it in the nostrils, chest, and abdomen.
5. Visualization: the practitioner is instructed to visualize some objects, situations, or to concentrate on a particular chakra.
6. Personal intention – sankalpa – chosen by the practitioner in step two is repeated mentally three times with dedication and optimism.
7. Ending the practice: the awareness is slowly externalized as the practitioner becomes aware of the external sounds, objects, and persons around slowly moving the limbs and stretching the body.

There are countless benefits of Yoga Nidra. Practiced on a regular base, it not only relieves stress and muscular tension by bringing us into the state of deep physical, emotional, and mental relaxation. It also prevents stress and related disorders by training the mind to remain calm and quiet. As a meditative practice, it promotes our ability to concentrate the mind, therefore enhancing our memory and learning capacity, as well as awakening our creativity. Furthermore, Yoga Nidra has the potential to help us clear up the unconscious: particular techniques of visualization during Yoga Nidra can help us bring up traumatic experiences, conflicts and unfulfilled desires suppressed to the deeper layers of the mind, to consciously witness them and cut off the personal identification with those experiences. Researches indicate that Yoga Nidra can be used as a therapeutic technique to manage and cure psychological disorders such as anxiety, hostility, or insomnia, as well as psychosomatic diseases like asthma, coronary heart disease, or hypertension.