Yoga nidra is a form of guided meditation, also known as ‘yogic sleep’, which helps to create a deep sense of relaxation for your body and mind. There are plenty of benefits when practicing yoga nidra, and we believe it’s the perfect style of yoga when you are tired and don’t feel like a vinyasa flow.

During yoga nidra, all you have to do is lie down and listen to the guided meditation. No movement, no posture holding, just you resting in Savasana. Sounds perfect, right!?

Yoga nidra has plenty of benefits and we offer this deeply relaxing experience at our yoga retreats in Victoria. We hope this guided meditation script will help you to restore balance in your body and mind in between our retreats.

BENEFITS OF YOGA NIDRA

When you practice yoga nidra, your body has the opportunity to heal. We personally feel that a 20 minutes nidra sesh makes us feel like we’ve had a decent 8 hours of sleep. True story!

Yoga nidra influences your autonomic nervous system. Whereas we often are ‘hanging out’ in our Sympathetic Nervous System – our Fight and Flight response – experiencing yoga nidra will help activate the Parasympathetic Nervous System – our relaxation state.

When you allow your body, and therefore your mind, to deeply relax, it will reduce levels of stress and anxiety. Yoga nidra is a movement-free way of allowing yourself to fully unwind.

IS YOGA NIDRA THE SAME AS SLEEPING?

Another bonus of the practice – especially when done right before bed – is that it helps to improve the quality of your sleep. Although it’s often referred to as ‘Yogic Sleep’, yoga nidra is not the same as sleeping.

When you sleep you lose awareness of what’s going on around you. When you practice yoga nidra, you consciously want to try and keep your mind active and aware. Even though yoga nidra helps you to reach a deep state of relaxation – similar to a good night’s rest – your aim is to stay alert and awake.

There is no wrong way to practice yoga nidra. If you drift off and fall asleep, that’s OK. It just means your body really needed the rest. However, try to remain awake as best as you can by listening to the guided meditation.

THE STAGES OF YOGA NIDRA

There are hundreds of different types of yoga nidra scripts. Whereas they all vary to some degree, most scripts usually follow similar steps. The script that we use for our nidra meditation, follows the below 8 steps:

STEP 1: INTRODUCTION

A short and sweet introduction in which we ask you to lie down and get comfortable, and tell you some of the ‘best practices’ for yoga nidra. Remember, there is no wrong way to experience the guided meditation. Always listen to your body, and if you fall asleep, that’s ok.

STEP 2: RELAXATION

The first step of getting your body and mind as relaxed as possible, with sound awareness and visualisation techniques.

STEP 3: INTENTION SETTING

You will be asked to set an intention – also known as Sankalpa – for your practice. Your Sankalpa is a short and positive statement and can be related to the desired outcome of the practice (I am deeply relaxed), or it could be something that you wish to manifest in your daily life (I am happy and healthy).

STEP 4: BREATH AWARENESS

The next step focuses on your breath, encouraging you to let go of any further external distractions. Concentrating on your breath will allow an even deeper state of relaxation as you notice the breath flowing in and out of your body.

STEP 5: BODY SCAN

The body scan part is also called ‘rotation of consciousness’. It’s a systematic journey of sensory awareness throughout your body, where you rotate your awareness to various parts of your body. The body scan encourages you to draw your attention inwards, away from external sensations.

STEP 6: OPPOSITE SENSATIONS

In this step we will ask you to move your awareness to various opposing sensations in your body, in this instance – light and heavy. Imagining these opposite feelings in your body will stimulate different parts of your brain, and thus creating new neural pathways.

STEP 7 : IMAGE VISUALISATION

One of our favourite parts, this rapid image visualisation will ask you to ‘jump’ from image to image in your mind. The idea is to visualise a number of different objects and situations as an image in your mind on the level of emotion and memory that works for you.

STEP 8 : RETURN

You will be asked to come back to the intention you set at the start of the yoga nidra practice. Once this is done, we’ll slowly guide you out of your meditation by refocussing on the connection with your body and the floor, and the connection with your body and your breath.

YOGA NIDRA GUIDED MEDITATION VIDEO

Keen to give yoga nidra a go? We have created a guided meditation that is easy to follow. Make sure that you are warm enough and cover yourself with a blanket if that feels good. Find a position that will be comfortable for the duration of the practice.

Yoga Nidra | Deep Relaxation Guided Meditation

We hope you enjoyed the practice and that you will reap the benefits of yoga nidra. More guided meditations are in the making. Feel free to subscribe below to stay in the loop.

Sabijn, founder of Retreat Here

- Sabijn Linssen


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