Now more than ever we need powerful tools to help us shift the daily worry, fear and anxiety so prevalent in our lives right now. The practice of Yoga Nidra (guided deep relaxation) is a perfect antidote. It is a truly accessible tool that will help you dismantle deeply held layers of stress and tension and transport you into a deep state of blissful well-being.
Years ago high stress and sleepless nights motivated me to begin the practice of Yoga Nidra. The direct translation of “nidra” is sleep and this practice can also be referred to as “yogic sleep”. The first few times I tried this artful form of deep rest I had the sensation of falling. It was very hard for me to surrender as I was invited to drop away from my usual hyper-alert state into relaxation. I responded by tensing and startling myself awake.
Looking back, I am amazed at how afraid I was just to let go. After some practice, I was able to surrender and be lulled into a deep relaxation, I fluctuated in and out of conscious awareness. During this period, I accepted Yoga Nidra as a very lovely technique for creative napping and I would awake feeling calm, refreshed and peaceful.
More recently, I have had opportunities to spend intensive periods practicing Yoga Nidra every day. The consistent practice over an extended period of time has been astonishing; I have found myself letting go more and more deeply into a profoundly relaxed state yet at the same time I am present and completely awake. It is here where I plant the seed of change, set a Sankalpa (an intention), shift my limiting thought patterns and tap into my own innate source of bliss known to the yogis as the Anandamaya Kosha.
My sleep patterns have improved, my stress levels decreased, moments filled with boundless joy in my life have increased tenfold and I feel incredibly empowered with this phoenix like tool of change just at my fingertips.
I can honestly say that consistent Yoga Nidra has helped me unwind and undo years of accumulated tensions, so much quicker and more fully than 20 years of yoga asana.
I would like to invite you to discover the amazing benefits of Yoga Nidra for yourself. Here is a link to a free audio recording: https://soundcloud.com/liz-heffernan/signature-gift-yoga-nidra-practice. If you have never practiced before please take 4 minutes to listen to the introduction here as it will help you get settled into your practice. https://soundcloud.com/liz-heffernan/a-brief-introduction-to-the-yoga-nidra-experience-4-minutes
Take 30 minutes today and give yourself this gift – allow yourself to be guided into a place of deep rest, ease, wellbeing and joy. Let us know what you think.
Article written by Liz Heffernan, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT Yoga Therapist, Director and Faculty at Soma Yoga Institute https://somayogainstitute.com/.
Om Shanti, Liz
Consider joining Liz for Yoga Nidra For Healing and Transformation, 20 Hour Yoga Alliance CE. Next Course Begins October 15, 2023. Find more information here.