Often when I mention Yoga Nidra to anyone their head falls slightly to one side, a quizzical look emerges and is followed by yoga nidra?
When I explain one hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to four hours of deep, restful sleep they step slightly closer eager to learn this ancient wisdom.
Using ancient Tantric texts, Yoga Nidra was brought to the modern world in the 1950s by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Since then many practitioners have taken the principles of yoga nidra and have brought their own unique signature to Nidra including Richard Millar and Rod Stryker.
All follow the same principles, through a series of guided steps taking you inward, slowly withdrawing your senses. Creating a space for deep rest and rejuvenation.
30 minutes of dynamic sleep yoga is equivalent to two hours of deep, restful sleep
All that is asked of you in yoga nidra is to lie down comfortably, close your eyes and melt into the ground (and try not to fall asleep).
You will be guided from a state of being actively awake, through resting to deep “awake” sleep.
We have four different types of brainwaves. Beta, Alpha, Theta, and Delta.[G7]
When you are awake and active, your brain is in beta . Yoga Nidra takes you from beta through to alpha, the relaxed awake and resting phase.
Moving you into theta (sleep) as you are gently guided on your yoga nidra journey. Some will move into delta waves, deep (non-REM) sleep.
As you lie blissfully still you drift into what is known as a “hypnagogic state,” the threshold between alpha and theta waves, not quite awake, not quite asleep.
A place not only of deep rest but where you can receive insights from the subconscious mind.
Edison, Einstein, Dali, Shelley and possibly Archimedes all utilized the hypnagogic state to access their subconscious, using the state between sleep and wake to solve problems, find inspiration and drive creativity.
Benefits are plentiful:
· Boosts your immune system
· Aids recovery from injury
· Enhances focus and creativity
· Balances the nervous system
· Calms and clears the mind
· Releases tension, increases alertness
Yoga Nidra has a cumulative effect, it removes barriers and lets in the light, allowing your subconscious to shine.
With regular practice it can change the way you think, helping shed limiting beliefs, live in the now and step forward into the life we want to lead.
I have fallen in love with Yoga Nidra, I hope you do too.
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