Most people are aware of the value of yoga as a way to bring harmony to the mind, body and the spirit. They often assume that yoga only a physical activity and includes different poses and positions.

While this is one aspect of yoga, there are others. Yoga nidra, for example, is a specific type of exercise that is designed to bring full relaxation to the entire being, restoring physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy through rest and relaxation.

People use yoga nidra for more than just relaxation. It can also be very beneficial to:

  • Bring a sense of calmness and peacefulness at any time.
  • Help to reduce or eliminate feelings of anxiety
  • Provide a release from stress and internal tension without the need for medications
  • Assist in self-management of chronic pain
  • Change negative thought patterns

In many ways, yoga nidra is similar to meditation. However, there are differences in the two are not identical or the same thing just done in different physical positions.

How to Start Yoga Nidra

Most people will start yoga nidra in a comfortable position, lying down on their backs on a comfortable surface. You can use pillows or blankets if you like to make it very relaxing. Ideally, try not to move during the practice.

There is a script that is used to guide the individual through different levels of consciousness. This will include body awareness, breathing, intention, emotional awareness and visualization. There will be a final part of the process that brings you back into the now.

This is often a much deeper level of meditation than most people achieve through self-directed practice. During the session, the individual will focus on the speaker, following the instructions and allowing the body to fully relax while the mind stays alert and active.

Some people may find it is difficult to stay awake and may actually fall asleep. Keep focused on the words of the speaker, remain focused and try to do the activity when you are already rested. It is also a good idea to practice yoga nidra when you are feeling energized and active rather than when you are already feeling sedentary.