Have you ever heard of Yoga Nidra? This branch of yoga which is based on the rotation of consciousness will bring you all the necessary benefits and will help you to improve your sleep thanks to its array of asanas.
Today we will go through its origins, how it works, a typical practice session and the benefits it could bring you (like a full night of sleep, for example).
Where does Yoga Nidra come from?
As you may know, the practice of Yoga Nidra will significantly improve the quality of your sleep. However, this practice is not only useful because it allows you to relax at the physical, mental and spiritual level.
It also aims to exploit the so-called “sophroliminal” state of your body and mind, which inspired the great principles of sophrology and which is nothing more than a hybrid state between sleep and wake. It means that you know what is going on around you, you are fully aware but you are also perfectly and deeply relaxed. That’s why it’s always better to practice it with a yoga teacher, like for meditation for example, maybe using a brainwave music to make it easier.
As for its origins, we find the first traces of this yoga in some traditions including the Shivaisme of Kashmir and the Vedanta, traditions that go back thousands of years. The true Nidra yoga as we know it at the moment, however, was founded only in 1962 by Swami Sahyananda and was called satyanandasaraswati.
The benefits of “Sleep Yoga”
As with all types of yoga, Nidra yoga has positive effects on your health. For example, you will manage your stress better but also have a better ability to concentrate with more positive and structured thoughts.
Your sleep of course will be greatly improved, its quality will be better and i twill be easier for you to fall asleep. Finally, your emotions will also seem easier to control because you will have learned to control them.
A typical Nidra Yoga session
The typical sleep yoga session lasts between 60 and 90 minutes and is practiced with a yoga teacher. However, it is important to appropriate what you can find as a session and to add your own exercises so that you adapt it according to your preferences.
Before embarking on your Nidra yoga session, it is strongly advised to prepare yourself with relaxation. All you have to do is lie down with your feet slightly apart and facing out. When you are ready, start your relaxation by visualizing each part of your body one by one and relaxing it, as when you attend a sophrology session if you have already had this opportunity.
Once this work is reached using the guidance of your teacher, he or she will ask you to pronounce his sankalpa, which is no more and no less than a short sentence representing an ideal to achieve. The sankalpa usually pronounces itself before a work of visualization of a soothing image that it chooses and can sometimes even use it to close the session, just before leaving the relaxation by becoming aware of your body.
How can I avoid falling asleep during a session?
Obviously, as you will be constantly on the verge of sleep, you may fall asleep, especially during the first sessions. It is not serious in itself, but it is true that it can be misinterpreted by your yoga teacher for example. It is therefore important to learn to keep control of the state in which you find yourself, there are some techniques for this.
First, concentrate on maximum. It is not because the practice is not physically demanding that you have to go to the sessions without wanting to make an effort and go above and beyond. It is an arduous practice that requires a lot of concentration to see short- and long-term changes.
Then, try to strictly follow the instructions of your teacher because you will risk losing the thread and eventually dozing off.
The last piece of advice that seems obvious but that is still good to remember, is not to come to this kind of session if you are exhausted, that you have no more energy and that you do not want to be there. It remains an activity to be fully dedicated to, when you are fit and want to learn.
Is Yoga Nidra for you?
To find out if a type of yoga is right for you, it’s like for a particular posture, you just have to try it and draw conclusions from it. Do according to your preferences and according to the benefits you get from each of your sessions, this is how you will know which type of yoga is better for you and which one is better to practice.
If you liked this article, do not hesitate to consult others present on our site such as the one on the meaning of namaste. Also take the time to visit our online shop that offers clothing of all kinds like outfits and beautiful mats made for yoga.