What Is Yoga Nidra?

What Is Yoga Nidra?

There are many types and styles of yoga and you’ve maybe heard of some of them. Yoga Nidra deserves its own special explanation. Yoga Nidra should be almost called something else – the name can be confusing. You don’t have to do Yoga or meditation to try Yoga Nidra. While this is certainly a yoga practice, it is a separate type of mind-body therapy session. 

Personally, my deeper understanding and training on the subject has made me realize the huge powers of this unique therapy. At this time (life in 2020) I strongly recommend Yoga Nidra to almost everyone.

There are a few different styles of Yoga Nidra – derived from Tantra, Swani Satyananda, and more recently via Dr. Richard Miller, the iRest Yoga Nidra technique. To learn more about the science and history, here’s the wiki link. There’s some deeper information here as well. The system of rest, body scan, and attention inward is a huge, calming reflective time to rejuvenate your body and mind. 

In the last few months, we are all dealing with pain – maybe even PTSD. We’ve tried music, hobbies, wine, exercising, all kinds of normal tricks and help for release. For some of us, it suddenly feels like our usual tactics might not be enough. The stress from TV, work, COIVD19, social justice issues, it is a lot. Many hobbies or distractions or calming techniques that used to work may no longer serve the same purpose, amidst all this change. 

Whether or not you’re having trouble with sleep, studies are showing that our brains are fidgeting more than usual lately and we aren’t getting the rest we need. Coming to a comfortable place of rest, often right before bedtime, listening to a cued protocol, you are walked through a specific order of mind consciousness to help calm your nervous system and mind The goal is to rest in a way that can seem to undo some of the stressors we’ve brought into our body over this time. You might drift off to sleep peacefully, and that’s great! 

Going through your physical body and thinking about your breath, resting into peace, and deepening into visualizations are all steps to receiving calm. Feelings, emotions and memories may come up that are stressors, but overall, you can unwind from the triggers and let a lot of the weight go – whether it’s consumed from the media, or personal conflict or past trauma. 

Good eating, therapy, all the usual tips and suggestions have their place right now. And if you are experiencing severe loss or grief you should seek professional help. But if you just need to let go of some of the heavy weight we are carrying in 2020, I think you could benefit greatly from Yoga Nidra. 

This is my favorite playlist with different options to try out (via Spotify)

You can sample iRest here

Here are ten steps to walk yourself through Yoga Nidra

About Cat Sprague

Cat Sprague is an Austin based vinyasa yoga teacher. Cat’s decade long yoga journey grew exponentially upon completion of Wild Heart Yoga’s 2019 Yoga Teacher Training. An avid skier and marketing company CEO, she takes time on the mat to restore balance from the chaos and hustle. Cat finds joy in the moments and classes that create happy peaceful minds, hearts and bodies for her students.

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