As we know, you can find so many different types of yoga in studios! Often times we start our yoga journey wanting to gain flexibility and strength, but then start to see there is so much more to yoga. One style of yoga that brings great peace to our hearts at Soul Strong Yoga is Yoga Nidra. It’s an ancient, accessible, and beloved style of deep meditation.
What Is Yoga Nidra?
Yoga Nidra can also be referred to as “yogic sleep” and is considered to be a place between sleeping and being awake. A class will typically be placed in Savasana (Corpse Pose) on a mat with comfortable props and blankets. Then, they will be instructed by the Qualified Yoga Nidra Instructor through a specific guided meditation. This meditation is relaxing, effortless, and involves pranayama (specific breathing techniques) combined with a focus on certain areas of the body to induce a semi-conscious and utterly relaxed body and mind.
So what are the benefits of such a subdued and relaxation-based practice? How can including Yoga Nidra in my daily routine help me if I’m just lying there? Here are the top five benefits why you should consider starting Yoga Nidra Today.
1. Yoga Nidra is a Fully Inclusive Yoga Practice for Everyone.
Anyone can do Yoga Nidra, and everyone can benefit. The simplicity of lying on a mat and being fully guided through meditation means that nothing is stopping you at all. Even if you have an injury that means you cannot lay flat, you are encouraged to use pillows, bolsters, and even a blanket to get as comfortable as you wish. There are no expectations or judgments in a Yoga Nidra Class. You can even fall asleep and get all the benefits as the subconscious mind is still engaged and listening, even if your conscious self is resting. The entire family can be involved, from the young child to the older grandparent. Every generation is welcome.
2. Yoga Nidra is easy to add to your daily routine.
Even five to ten minutes a day of Yoga Nidra can be incredibly beneficial to you. The low impact and expectations mean that you do not require specific clothing, a non-slip yoga mat, or a sweaty clean-up after. If you have a half-hour lunch break, you can lay down for ten minutes, get up, and go forward with your day refreshed and not be disheveled. It’s such an effortless practice that you will not struggle for motivation. Even on tired days, it will not take a lot to convince yourself to do your Yoga Nidra Practice because you will still benefit even if you fall asleep.
3. Yoga Nidra is a Stress relief that requires Very Little Effort.
Yoga is recommended frequently to combat stress and the symptoms that a fast-paced stressful lifestyle causes, but how does Yoga Nidra help when there are no actual yoga Poses or flow? Yoga means to yoke or to join. And the practice of joining the body and mind together with a goal of relaxation with body-focused guided meditation can still provide the mental health support and benefits of a Hatha or Vinyasa Practice. Yoga Nidra takes you from a fight or flight response of the nervous system and promotes the body going into parasympathetic nervous system function. This is the function where restoration of the mind and healing of the body occur. Stress directly affects the immune and endocrine systems, placing them both at risk of being imbalanced and causing risk of illness, infection, or chronic and acute stress. Illness and constant stress can affect heart health, gut health, circulation, and many other long-term diseases. So keeping these systems and hormones balanced means better physical health and longer life expectancy.
4. Yoga Nidra Increases the Quality of Your Sleep and reduces Insomnia.
Yoga Nidra reduces the symptoms of stress and anxiety, conditions that are often responsible for loss of sleep. In addition, regular practice teaches your body how to relax, and subconsciously your mind learns to live in the moment and relaxes very quickly. This leads to falling asleep faster and more profound, higher-quality sleep. Better sleep means more time for your body to physically heal any injuries and rest a weary body, leading to better mental health, more energy during the day, and improved health overall.
5. Yoga Nidra Can Assist with Chronic Pain and Injury Recovery.
Often Chronic pain is caused by inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by injury or illness and can lead to lack of sleep, reduced sleep, or pain so great it is difficult to sleep. Yoga Nidra does not claim to be a cure, however, being able to relax and set the body in “rest and restorative mode” means that there will be quicker healing. This state also allows the body to remove toxins, which include inflammation, so it is flushed out quicker, reducing pain and encouraging the body to heal. This is why Yoga Nidra is often the Yoga Practice of choice when recovering from injury or severe illness. It promotes physical healing without placing further stress on the body.
Curious to find out more about this All-inclusive, no-impact, relaxing style of healing yoga? Contact us now at Soul Strong Yoga to discuss how we can help you get started.