Yoga Nidra means “yogic sleep” and is a form of relaxation from conscious to the subconscious. It is here where you can find clarity of mind by finding space for your mind to process and release thoughts. During the practice, you will be able to let of of day to day thoughts and thus give the mind a rest but you will also liberate the unconscious thoughts that underpin your everyday mood and behaviours. In the end, it helps in the process of finding more freedom
and finding more peace.
Yoga Nidra can be done in two ways: either by lying down on your back with your eyes closed or by sitting comfortably with your eyes closed. The first option, lying down on your back in savasana is more common. You will be guided to relax all muscles and go into a state between sleep and wakefulness. Sometimes in silence, sometimes with the aid of music or instruments like tibetan bowls you are guided to reach a state of deep relaxation, while remaining awake. Some yoga teachers incorporate aromatherapy using scented candles, incense or oils.
Yoga nidra can help you get rid of any negative thoughts or feelings that may be preventing you from being happy or healthy in other areas of your life. It can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or fitness level. Yoga Nidra has been shown to have both mental and physical health benefits for the individual such as: reduced stress, improved immunity, increased creativity, improved focus, less depression, lower blood pressure and better sleep quality.
Sometimes you get a taste of yoga nidra during the few precious minutes of savasana at the end of a yoga class, but yoga nidra can be a whole other practice in itself. My first experience of yoga nidra was a bit uncomfortable. I didn't know what to expect. We stayed a long time lying down and the yoga teacher insisted that we not move an inch. I just fell asleep. In my second experience, I began to experience more of the practice. This time I had a blanket over me so I didn't get cold. I think the warmth helped me let go more into the practice. I was able to just let my body go without having to bother about what sensations there were. I was also able to let go of the mind more. I think trusting the teacher and the process in key, otherwise you are always fighting with the process in the background. It almost felt like a soul journey. It's the only way I can start to explain it even though I have no idea what a soul journey could be. It was like dreaming but at the same time being conscious in your dream.
It is a practice that can bring awareness into the astral world. A friend of mine is quite sensitive to the astral realm and she told me it's a good idea to find a good yoga teacher who can also clear your astral realm and astral body after the practice. Finding a VortexHealer can also help. Afterwards, at the end of the practice, I felt more peaceful during the day and clearer in my mind.