Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep is a profoundly relaxing guided relaxation. It is appropriate for anyone regardless of level of physical fitness or experience with yoga.
In a Yoga Nidra class, you will be guided to a state of consciousness somewhere between being awake and asleep that is deeply relaxing. For those of us who do not feel rested from our night-time sleep, Yoga Nidra can provide the rest we crave. For many of our students, especially those living with the effects of trauma, Yoga Nidra provides the first real rest they’ve had for years.
The practice of Yoga Nidra also helps develop the ability to see things more objectively. It cultivates the skill of seeing what is happening around us and within us without being affected by it. Practicing Yoga Nidra supports us in learning to let go, to relax, and to release the stresses which are generated in our mind, body and emotions without any conscious control.
What is a Yoga Nidra class like?
The first step in a Yoga Nidra class is to get as comfortable as possible. Students who are able to recline comfortably on the floor are invited to do so. It is also fine to sit in a chair if reclining on the floor is not accessible for any reason. Students typically use props and blankets for added comfort and to stay warm.
Once students are settled comfortably, the instructor will guide them to relax even more and then you will typically be invited to choose an intention for the practice. Sometimes students are encouraged to choose more general intention. For example: to heal my emotions, to open to more love, to heal my body, to find more joy in life, or to accept myself more fully. Generally, I encourage students who haven’t already chosen an intention to choose something very practical that has a built in time-line. Examples of this kind of intention are: when I get home today I will take a walk, before bed tonight I am going to floss my teeth, for lunch today I am going to eat some green vegetables.
Next, you’ll typically be invites you to systematically rotate awareness through the body. The instructor will lead you by naming different body parts to feel. Following the prompts, you’ll feel them and move on. Nothing more. In the beginning, it can be difficult to really feel all the places. That’s to be expected. Simply continue to follow along with the instructor as best you can.
Rotation of awareness is usually followed by a breath awareness exercise. Again, the instructor will guide you. There is no need to concentrate. Just listen and follow along.
Lastly, the instructor might name some soothing images from nature or guide you through a more story-like visualization. Again, there will be no need to concentrate. You will just listen and allow the images to wash through you.
Yoga Nidra concludes with repeating the resolution with which you began.
How Do I Get Started?
Just show up!
Anyone with any leve of physical fitness or experience can do Yoga Nidra. All are welcome!
Yoga in ME typically offers Yoga Nidra as a member appreciation pop-up class once per month. Check our schedule for the next scheduled session. We hope to see you there!