Yoga Nidra is one of the most relaxing, calming and transformative practices of the yoga traditions. It is especially important for those of us living in the busy modern world. Many people feel they need a physical practice (vinyasa or massage) to release the stresses that they find from work, family or life. Yoga Nidra is proof that we do not need much to relax and find deep states of calm and release.
Nidra means sleep in Sanskrit and Yoga Nidra is called the Yoga of Sleep even though we are not meant to fall into a deep slumber. Rather, the mind hovers in a lucid state between being awake and being asleep.
In our Yoga Nidra practice, the participant is put into the Savasana posture. Lying on their back with the legs and arms wide, the feet gently rolling the hips open and the palms face-up with the shoulders tucked gently under the body. The head may be slightly supported by a thin blanket and the eyes may be covered. Sometimes the body is draped in a blanket for warmth and for the feeling of security.
The student is then guided to calm their mind by watching and slowing down the breath. The Yoga Nidra guide will then take the student slowly through the whole body, bringing awareness to each part of the body and inviting that part of the body to calm, surrender and relax.