The Powers of Yoga Nidra👁
When I finally committed myself to yoga teacher training it was like learning a new language. News words, sounds, and phrases I’ve never heard before, but I knew I finally found a huge community of weirdos that were into this stuff just as much as I was. When I learned about yoga nidra from my teacher for obvious reasons, I fell in love with the practice.
Yoga nidra was definitely a practice I could get behind because 1. I love to sleep (duh) 2. I usually don’t have enough time to sleep (just like everybody else…) So when someone tells me I can do a 45 minute meditation that is the equivalent to four hours of sleep, I am pretty sure I lost it.
So what is this magical practice?
Yoga nidra translates to yogic sleep and is considered one of the deepest states of complete relaxation, somewhere between sleep and consciousness resulting in serious mind and body healing. Although you are laying on the floor all cozy through what is similar to a guided meditation, you remain conscious by staying focused to the instructions which gives the mind an important task to follow and be aware of. For beginners, a shorter nidra practice is sufficient, still granting tons of benefits.
But what if I actually fall asleep?
Did I read your mind? Because this is a very common concern and trust me, I understand. Unlike savasana, you will have instructions and in most practices I’ve gone to the instructor continues to say, “You will remain awake!” which will snap you right out of it, at least that’s my experience. Besides, at the beginning you are usually invited to set the intention to stay awake. Surprisingly that works so take that seriously and resist drifting off. If you are following the instructions you should stay focused and awake.
My first time doing nidra I didn’t really know what to expect but it sounded cool and I was soon to enter my world of yoga teacher training so naturally, I needed to know everything. I set up station at the back of the room (just to be safe just in case I started to snore and had to leave out of embarrassment…) covered up with my blankie and began following the instructions.
It was interesting watching my mind go from, “wait! don’t surrender! think about something else! you CAN’T relax!” to “screw it. we’re going there… this is DOPE.”
It was a Saturday afternoon and I still had to go to work, my usual closing shift at a Starbucks in a mall store (aka the worst aka too much stress over freaking coffee) and when I got there (late) my boss took one look at me and said, “YOU’RE HIGH.” I remember clearly how she drilled me about taking drugs and I just kept laughing (not helping my claim to being sober) and was unable to explain myself. I was calm when everything around me was in chaos. This feeling lasted for awhile, maybe even the whole weekend.
Why is any of this important?
Again, I can only speak for me and I KNOW how important a “reset” is. I KNOW how much I push myself every freaking day because I simply have a hard time stopping and that’s WHY I crave meditation and yoga. Sometimes being so busy I notice a shift out of alignment and that’s why I’m exhausted. The reason I can keep going most days is because of my spiritual practices. It brings me back to that calm during the storm. The inner work fills me up so I am confident the outside world cannot break me when I come from a place where the energy is inexhaustible.
Overall, the stronger my inner work is the more helpful I can be to others connecting me deeper to my purpose and to God and for me, that’s what it’s all about.
Here is a cool picture I stole from Pinterest outlining some cool benefits:
I encourage you to look for a studio near you that offers yoga nidra if any of this appeals to you. If you are near me, there are tons of options including one class I am hosting on September 29th in Macomb. Check out my events page for more info on this workshop.