Now more than ever we can powerful tools to shift the daily worry, fear and anxiety so prevalent in our lives right now. All in all, 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.

Before Yoga Nidra

As an illustration, years ago, high stress and sleepless nights motivated me to begin the practice of Yoga Nidra. The direct translation of “nidra” is sleep or “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.

Yoga Nidra is Yogic sleep!
Yoga Nidra is Yogic sleep!

Since Yoga Nidra

Looking back, I find myself feeling amazement 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. I would awake feeling calm, refreshed and peaceful. 

Comparatively, 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. 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. Its known to the yogis as the Anandamaya Kosha.

Current Yoga Nidra Benefits

As can be seen, today I sleep more and stress less. Moments filled with boundless joy in my life have increased tenfold. I feel incredibly empowered with this phoenix like tool of change just at my fingertips. 

Honestly, 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.

Lastly, 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. Take 4 minutes to listen to the introduction as it will help you settle into your practice.

Students enjoying Yoga Nidra during a 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Soma Yoga Institute
Students enjoying Yoga Nidra during a 300-Hour Yoga Teacher Training with Soma Yoga Institute

The Gift of Yoga Nidra

Take 30 minutes today and give yourself this gift – allow yourself to enter 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

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.


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