I love Yoga Nidra.
I got hooked after my first session back in Chicago in 2012 and I’ve taught it for the last five years (with short breaks here and there, aka giving birth to children 😉 ). I see it on the faces of the women in my sessions how amazing it makes them feel which is really wonderful to see.
Yoga Nidra translates as “yogic sleep”. It’s name sounds quite off putting in a way (I certainly receive very confused looks when I tell people I teach it, like “what the heck is that???!”). But it’s so simple and transformative that I’m amazed it isn’t as mainstream as it is…
And particularly since it blows most other meditation practices out of the water (in my opinion anyway!) And here’s why…
During Yoga Nidra you lie down AS IF YOU ARE GOING TO SLEEP.
Yep, you read that right.
You lie on a mat, cover yourself with a blanket, support yourself with cushions if you need to and shut your eyes.
Most other meditation practices require you to sit up, often with a straight back and crossed legs, which for many, can be pretty uncomfortable to maintain for an amount of time. Lying down on the other hand is probably the most natural pose our bodies does. And if you can’t lie on your back for whatever reason, you can do yoga nidra lying on your side or sat in a comfy chair.
Yoga Nidra takes you down into the deep sleep/brainwave states where true healing and transformation can occur.
And it does it a lot easier, and faster than most other meditation practices which simply scratch the surface of these deeper states of consciousness and healing.
Yoga Nidra uses a technique called breath awareness.
This is where you consciously follow the movement and direction of your breath into and out of your body without controlling it in any way. This keeps your mind in the present moment, without having to concentrate on controlling your breathing.
It’s about noticing and watching the breath as it naturally heals and soothes your body. Breath control (which is a very powerful and effective technique that I also use a lot in my classes and programmes) tends to be used a lot more in other, more traditional meditation practices and can often be a tricky and more uncomfortable technique to learn and implement.
I could list many more I’m sure, but for me, these reasons alone are why I consistently and exclusively use Yoga Nidra as my preferred type of meditation.
I like an easy life – or rather, simple things. Life is bonkers enough without having to put ourselves under any more pressures or expectations. So lying down, getting comfy and simply listening as I’m guided down to a deeply profound state of relaxation without having to do very much at all wins hands down every time!
Have you tried yoga nidra? How does it compare for you with other meditation practices? I’d love to hear what you think…