I’m happy you’re here. If you’ve been on retreat with me before, you know how much reverence I have for the natural world. Today I would like to share with you a yoga nidra script inspired by nature, one of my regular retreat destinations and cowritten by fellow retreat leader Toni Larson and myself. It’s also one of the yoga nidra scripts that my yoga teacher training students learn in their yoga nidra module.
This short yoga nidra script will take approximately 20-25 minutes and its format is inspired by the teachings of the Bihar School in India and it follows an inward journey through the koshas, from annamaya kosha to anandamaya kosha.
Yoga nidra has so many benefits… from relieving stress to improving sleep and accessing that bliss state, ananda. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of yoga nidra, check out this blog post here.
A Few Tips For Teaching and Practicing Yoga Nidra
Remember that when you’re preparing your yoga nidra script, you want your language to be simple and precise. When you’re reading or reciting your script, avoid too much inflection in your voice. Speak clearly, with an even volume and tempo.
Yoga nidra is a wonderful and fertile space for working with a sankalpa. Formulate your sankalpa as a positive “I am” statement. If one doesn’t come to mind, I encourage you to use the sankalpa, “I am the witness”. You may just discover that your sankalpa was hidden within this whole time.
If you are facilitating yoga nidra, make sure that you are seated upright in a position that you can be still in. Make sure that you are comfortable. If you are distracted by discomfort in your body, that distracted energy will carry over to your students.
If you are practicing yoga nidra, make sure that you are comfortable. Use a pillow or folded blanket under your head and a cushion or bolster underneath your knees will help release your lower back. The body temperature does drop while yoga nidra, so drape a blanket over your body. You want to be as still as possible, so make sure that you’re as comfortable as possible.
Yoga Nidra Script Inspired by Nature Written by Autumn Adams
We will practice yoga nidra in Savasana, lying on your back. Please take a moment to make yourself as comfortable as possible. Use any props you have available to support your body.
Before we begin, bring into your mind’s eye your sankalpa, your “I am” statement. Repeat it quietly and internally to yourself three times. [PAUSE]
As you settle into Savasana, bring your awareness to the spaces between your body and the earth beneath you. Invite your body to soften and rest. As you begin to surrender into relaxation, notice the spaces between your body and the earth beneath you becoming smaller and smaller. Your body relaxed, lying on the floor.
We will begin a rotation of awareness. All you have to do is allow your awareness to follow my voice as I guide you from point to point within your body.
Option #1: An Abbreviated Rotation of Awareness — Perfect for when you’re short on time
Right heel. Left heel. Right calf. Left calf. Right knee. Left knee. Right thigh. Left thigh. Right hip. Left hip. Both hips together. Lower back. Middle back. Upper back. Back of right hand. Back of left hand. Right wrist. Left wrist. Right forearm. Left forearm. Right elbow. Left elbow. Right upper arm. Left upper arm. Right shoulder. Left shoulder. Both shoulders together. Neck. Back of head. All points of contact with the earth. [PAUSE]
Option #2: Long Form Rotation of Awareness
Move your awareness to your mouth. Become aware of your tongue. Lower jaw. Lower row of teeth. Upper row of teeth. Gums. Upper lip. Lower lip. Space between your lips. Both cheeks. Right ear. Left ear. Forehead. Both temples. Top of the head. Back of the head. Tip of the nose. Right nostril. Left nostril. Right eyelid. Left eyelid. Right eye. Left eye. Right eyebrow. Left eyebrow. Space between the eyebrows. Now go to the right hand. The right hand thumb. Second finger. Third finger. Fourth finger. Little finger. Palm of the hand. Back of the hand. Wrist. Forearm. Elbow. Upper arm. Shoulder. Right armpit. Ribs. Waist. Hip. Right thigh. Knee. Calf. Ankle. Heel. Sole of the foot. Top of the foot. Right big toe. Second toe. Third toe. Fourth toe. Little toe. Go to the left hand. The left hand thumb. Second finger. Third finger. Fourth finger. Little finger. Palm of the hand. Back of the hand. Wrist. Forearm. Elbow. Upper arm. Shoulder. Left armpit. Ribs. Waist. Hip. Left thigh. Knee. Calf. Ankle. Heel. Sole of the foot. Top of the foot. Left big toe. Second toe. Third toe. Fourth toe. Little toe. Groin. Right buttock. Left buttock. Lower back. Mid-back. Upper back. Right shoulder blade. Left shoulder blade. Back of the neck. Back of the head. Right inner ear. Left inner ear. Roof of the mouth. Throat. Right collar bone. Left collar bone. Right chest. Left chest. Middle chest. Upper abdomen. Navel. Lower abdomen. Groin. Whole spine. The whole head. Right arm. Left arm. Both arms together. The whole right leg. The whole left leg. Both legs together. Whole front body. Whole back body. Be aware of the whole body. [PAUSE]
Now bring your awareness to your breath. Follow the gentle tide of your breath without altering it. Now, envision your breath as a golden light flowing up and down your spinal column. With your inhale, the golden light flows from the tailbone to the crown of the head. And with your exhale, it flows from the crown of the head back down to the tailbone. A cosmic tide of prana. Stay with your breath as it flows up and down your spinal column, golden, vibrant, radiant. [PAUSE]
Now bring awareness to the sensation of heat. Your right leg warm. Your left leg warm. Both arms warm. Torso warm. The whole body becoming hot. [PAUSE]
All at once, your body becomes cold. Legs cold. Arms cold. Torso cold. The entire body cold. [PAUSE] Now let that go. [SHORT PAUSE]
Guided Imagery Journey
Imagine that you are standing outside in nature
You feel your bare feet on the earth
You’re standing in an open meadow surrounded by a lush forest
You tip your face upward to feel the warmth of the sun
Smell the wildflowers in the air
In the distance you see a path leading into the forest
You walk toward the path and step into the forest
Once inside the forest, your eyes adjust to the shade of the trees
The path continues in front of you and winds easily up the hillside
Sunlight shines through the trees, birds sing in the distance
You continue on the path as it climbs steadily uphill
Near the top of the hill you see a small opening in the side of the mountain
This opening is a cave
You feel drawn to the cave and walk toward it
Within the cave you see a single lit candle
You realize you’ve stumbled into a sacred temple
You sit down upon the earth
A sense of calm washes over you, you feel at peace with all that is
You need nothing from the outside world, you gaze into the candle flame
You drop into deep meditation
In the middle of the flame you see the purest golden seed, untouched by the flame
On the surface of the seed, see your sankalpa inscribed.
Gaze into the flame once again
The seed is no longer in the flame
The seed is now in your heart
Repeat your sankalpa 3 times, quietly, internally and with meaning.
[PAUSE FOR FIVE MINUTES]
The practice of yoga nidra is now complete.
Gently guide your awareness back to your physical body, lying on the earth. Become aware of your breath. Your body slowly breathing in and out. Without opening your eyes, become aware of your surroundings. The earth beneath you. As your awareness comes back, invite your breath to deepen. When you feel ready, stretch your arms long overhead, extend your legs long, point your toes and take a full-body stretch. Slowly roll over into the fetal position on your right side. A posture that resembles a newborn child or fertile seed, a posture that symbolizes new beginnings. Take a moment here. When you’re ready, gently press up to a comfortable seat.
So many of you have asked for a recording to practice with, so I’ve just recorded this yoga nidra script and put it up on YouTube. Here it is. Enjoy!
Please feel free to reach out with questions. Happy healing!
Love and Light,
Permissions for live in-person classes only: This script is copyrighted Ambuja Yoga© 2019, all rights reserved. You may use this script to guide live in-person classes or events only. Descriptions and advertising for any live in-person class using this script in whole or in part must include one of the following attributions: script ©Ambuja Yoga used by permission, or modified from script ©Ambuja Yoga used by permission.
This use does not convey the right to borrow from this script or to reproduce it in any way. No part of this script may be reproduced, distributed, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, digital copying, print, audio or video recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.
Other Resources for Yoga Nidra
- Book: Yoga Nidra by Swami Satyananda Saraswati
- Book: Yoga Nidra: A Meditative Practice for Deep Relaxation and Healing by Richard Miller
- Book: Yoga Nidra: The Art of Transformational Sleep by Kamini Desai (this one is really good on Audible)
- Gratitude Revolution: Simple Ways to Spark Joy in Your Life - November 21, 2023
- Yoga and the Immune System - May 17, 2021
- Could a Yoga Retreat in Greece be Your Next Girl’s Trip? - March 10, 2021