If you’ve been practicing yoga for awhile chances are you’ve heard of yoga nidra, but if you’re new to yoga the practice of yoga nidra might be something completely new to you. Yoga nidra is “yogic sleep”. Sounds pretty good, right? You get to lie in Savasana (corpse pose) the whole time while you’re systematically instructed through a deep relaxation exercise that guides you through the koshas and relaxes the body and awakens the unconscious and subconscious mind. Don’t worry. You don’t need to know what the koshas are to practice yoga nidra, but if you do want to learn more take a peek at this blog post I wrote about the koshas.
Yoga nidra has numerous benefits ranging from better sleep to stress reduction and beyond. In this post I will list out some of yoga nidra’s benefits. Also, if you’re interested in a free guided yoga nidra you can practice in the comfort of your own home join my newsletter and you’ll receive a link to the practice.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra
- Yoga nidra guides the student into the deepest state of sleep where the brain produces delta waves (1-4 hertz), but the student remains conscious throughout.
- Yoga nidra can be used to heal from trauma. According to an article in the Boston Globe, “In 2006, the Department of Defense conducted research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center on the efficacy of yoga nidra on soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with post-traumatic stress disorder. This led to the incorporation of yoga nidra into weekly treatment programs for soldiers in several VA facilities across the country.”
- Yoga nidra reduces stress. In the United States there has been a dramatic increase in hospitalizations due to stress in both men and women. Yoga nidra is proven to help reduce stress and anxiety. Yoga nidra reduces chronic pain. According to the same Boston Globe article before “the US Army Surgeon General endorsed yoga nidra as an intervention in treating chronic pain”.
- According to a recent study, “… patients with menstrual irregularities having psychological problems improved significantly in the areas of their wellbeing, anxiety and depression by learning and applying a program based on Yogic intervention (Yoga Nidra).”
- Yoga nidra improves sleep and reduces insomnia. Insomnia and sleep deprivation contribute to mental disorders, stress management (or lack there of), and immune suppression. Yoga nidra trains the mind and body to relax and move more easily into the deeper states of sleep. 45 minutes of yoga nidra is equal to up to 3 hours of sleep!
- Yoga nidra may also reduce symptoms of type 2 diabetes. According to a recent Huffington Post article, “A recent study published in the Indian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology found yoga nidra may reduce the symptoms of diabetes and help control blood glucose levels.”
The work done in yoga nidra with a sankalpa (an intention or positive affirmation) can facilitate life altering changes in one’s thought patterns, relationships and achievements.
Autumn teaches yoga nidra at Midtown Juniper Yoga in Bend, Oregon and on all of her retreats. Don’t forget, you can listen to a free guided yoga nidra by joining the Ambuja Yoga Newsletter. Hope to see you on your mat soon!
Love and Light,