Based on ancient yogic practices, Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation that takes you through each level of your body (physical, energetic, mind-emotional, intuitive) to your deepest self. It allows you to move consciously into your unconscious, where rejuvenation, transformation and healing can occur.
I discovered the practice when I was suffering from severe back pain, and it became one of my primary paths to healing. In 2012, I trained to become a certified Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra® guide. I'm so looking forward to sharing this practice online, beginning Saturday, April 11 through Peak Power Yoga Ojai.
Why do it?
For your physical, mental, and emotional health...
The human nervous system consists of two parts: sympathetic (feeling stressed and in the fight or flight response) and parasympathetic (deep relaxation). Stress impedes the immune system and leads to over 80% of health problems.In order to recover from stress, you need the balance of deep relaxation and regeneration. (Watching a movie, talking with a friend, playing sports or music, etc. are entertainment forms of relaxation but do not activate the parasympathetic nervous system.)
For manifesting your intentions without the blockages of limiting beliefs...
Yoga Nidra includes working with a life affirming intention (sankalpa) that you create yourself. In a state of deep relaxation, your brain can accept the sankalpa without argument. The more you practice yoga nidra, the more you unconsciously make decisions to manifest your intention. Limiting beliefs (about who you are, what you are capable of, and how your life usually unfolds) are transformed into empowering ones.
How do you do it?
You simply lie down on the floor and listen. There are no complicated techniques to learn. You cannot make a mistake or do it wrong. It is easy and usually feels good. Even if you fall asleep, you get the benefits of the practice.
You are guided through the five layers of your being (the five koshas):
1. The physical body
2. The breath and energy body
3. The mental-emotional body
4. The higher mind (intuition and witness consciousness)
5. The bliss body (True Self)
Passing through each layer gives access to the next. You become more and more relaxed but remain awake and aware—coming into a state of wakeful sleep or conscious unconscious where deep healing and transformation can occur.
Does it work?
Yes, it has been proven to:
- strengthen the immune system
- increase and recharge vital energy
- stabilize mind and emotions
- enhance creativity
- cultivate heart opening and self-compassion
- balance and strengthen the endocrine system
- increase blood flow to the heart
- permanently lower high blood pressure and cholesterol levels
Research at universities and medical centers including Stanford University, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Ohio State University shows that regular practice of yoga nidra offers a viable means of prevention and reversal of numerous ailments and diseases.
Sources: Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra® handbook and Jennifer Reis, creator Divine Sleep Yoga Nidra®