A New Tool for Sleep and Anxiety
After experiencing Yoga Nidra first hand here in Colorado Springs, I decided to explore it more and found out that it is a must-have in anyone’s tool belt as a way to love and accept yourself, release negative thought patterns, and help you become the highest and best version of yourself.
Yoga Nidra, also known as yogic sleep, is a great complementary tool for the biofeedback work I offer. Both working on the experiences registered in the mind as grooves (in yoga known as samskaras) that reside on a level deeper than the mind.
These experiences become beliefs and habits that may not serve us. Both Biofeedback and Yoga Nidra offer a way to release various long held emotions and negative beliefs about ourselves and the opportunity to create new beliefs as your consciousness travels through one layer to another.
It’s a beneficial practice that can increase your ability to concentrate, improve sleep, increase stress resilience, improve brain neuroplasticity, reduce anxiety, and relieve psychosomatic conditions such as hypertension and asthma.
Did I get your attention yet?
Yes, I did say better sleep and less anxiety, and well…who doesn’t want that?
Yoga Nidra is a practice designed to take you to that brief space in time between sleeping and waking first thing in the morning.
The good news is that a single hour of yoga nidra can be as restful as 4 hours of sleep.
One of the best things about Yoga Nidra is that you can’t do it wrong…so let go of any beliefs about yoga you are carrying.
A proven antidote to anxiety, Yoga Nidra has been adopted by veterans, recovering addicts, and average stressed-out people. Source – yogajournal.com
Yoga nidra is an ancient yogic practice that typically is done for 35 to 40 minutes at a time. It is a systematic form of guided relaxation that has a single-pointed awareness that’s becoming increasingly popular as both a form of meditation and a mind-body therapy. This form of guided relaxation rotates your consciousness through different parts of the body.
It does not require any physical movements but instead requires you lie in corpse pose (savasana), stay aware, and move your mind freely as you listen to the instructor’s voice.
This practice can release long held thoughts and emotions no longer servicing us by bringing deep layers of the conscious experiences as you travel through one layer to another.
“In yoga nidra, we restore our body, senses, and mind to their natural function and awaken a seventh sense that allows us to feel no separation, that only sees wholeness, tranquility, and well-being,” says Richard Miller, a San Francisco Bay Area yoga teacher and clinical psychologist who is at the forefront of the movement to teach yoga nidra and to bring it to a wider audience.
While many prominent teachers offer classes, CDs, and books on yoga nidra, Miller is responsible for bringing the practice to a remarkable variety of nontraditional settings. He’s helped introduce it on military bases and in veterans’ clinics, homeless shelters, Montessori schools, Head Start programs, hospitals, hospices, chemical dependency centers, and jails. What’s more, thanks to Miller, it’s beginning to get serious scientific attention. Researchers are examining the practice’s potential to help soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; addicts struggling to get clean; people with depression, cancer, and MS; health care workers; and married couples coping with stress and insomnia.
“Most people are trying to change themselves,” Miller says. “Yoga nidra asks them to welcome themselves. That moment of true welcoming is where the profound transformation takes place.” Source: Katherin Griffin – yogajournal.com
Learn more here:
Read Richard Miller’s 10 Steps of Yoga Nidra.
Listen to this guided Yoga Nidra audio practice.
See also Breathe to Relax in Restorative Yoga + Meditation
I can see this practice becoming very popular for those struggling with anxiety and sleep based on my experience. It’s another avenue to source, our beloved self, and self-love.
Being with ourselves without wanting anything to change, including our body, environment, and any other triggers is a practice to surely help us build resiliency in this life.
After all, we are living in a multi-tasking, externally focused, and impersonal day and age. Having a practice to help shift our attention inward is something that we can all practice in becoming the best version of ourselves, bringing our gifts and more compassion into this world.
If you haven’t tried it yet, find a local class or comment below. It may just change your life.