‘All you need is …Sleep!’
Have you ever hoped for the wonderful experience where you get into bed, close your eyes, fall asleep, stay asleep through the night and wake up feeling re-energized? Well, help is on its way to you through this article which is about Yoga Nidra for sleep!
Let’s See What is Yoga Nidra!
‘Quiet the mind and the soul will speak!’
Yoga Nidra is a guided sleep meditation technique which takes you to a state between sleeping and waking. In simple term, it means ‘Yogic Sleep’. This nighttime meditation technique will let you experience deep relaxation, mentally, physically and emotionally. Yoga Nidra originated from India and has been practised for many years.
Yoga Nidra for deep sleep involves being aware of each part of your body and your senses. You will learn to stop controlling them, (or the other way round!) and ease into a blissful state. All the distractions of the mind are contained and the mind is absolutely relaxed.
What Happens When You Don’t Get Enough Sleep?
‘‘Exhaustion makes wimps out of all of us’
Simple. When you lose sleep, you lose your mind and your health. Some of the effects of sleeplessness are:
- It affects your decision-making ability
- Being irritated all the times.
- Weakens the immune system.
- Risk of heart disease
- High levels of anxiety and depression.
Reasons for Sleeplessness
‘Sleeping is so hard when you can’t stop thinking’
Common causes are said to be anxiety, depression, and stress. Other reasons could be medication, caffeine intake, use of nicotine, alcohol etc. Following the practice of Yoga for sleep will help you in dealing with all these negative factors.
Why Yoga Nidra?
‘No Yoga, No Peace….Know Yoga, Know Peace!’
There are varied options available to help you sleep. So, why choose Yoga Nidra for sleep?
- It is a simple guided sleep meditation which can be followed by all age groups, young or old.
- The actual practice of the Yoga Nidra for deep sleep is very easy and the making of any error in following the instruction is very minimal or even does not exist.
- This nighttime meditation is very practical and can be actually included in your daily routine. All you need to do is lie down and follow instructions. You will not find any excuses for NOT doing it.
- Yoga Nidra is a proven and time-tested technique which brings down your stress levels. This guided sleep meditation calms your mind and relaxes your body.
Why Do We Need a GUIDED Sleep Meditation for Yoda Nidra?
‘True Guidance is like a small torch in a dark forest.
It does not show everything at once. But gives enough light for the next step t be safe.’
You will not exactly need a yoga class to practice Yoga Nidra, but it is best performed with an audio recording of the instructions. These instructions are given out in soothing voices and guide the practitioner gently and gradually to a blissful state. Also it very possible for you to fall asleep or get easily distracted without the voice instructions.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra
‘Wise ones say that a good laugh and long sleep are the two best cures for anything!’
Now that you know what Yoga Nidra is, let us see what happens when you start practising yoga for sleep…
- Increase in immunity of your body. No side effects!
- Lower the levels of stress and helps you handled problems better.
- Longer and better quality of sleep.
- Lowers your blood pressure.
- Improved concentration levels.
- Emotionally stable.
- Helps you wean of negative and addictive habits like drugs, smoking, alcohol etc.
- Positive thought leading to positive words and actions.
- Appreciate life and people involved in their lives.
- Yoga Nidra cools down your body.
In short, Yoga Nidra for Sleep benefits one and all. It applies to all age groups in all walks of life. The benefits of yoga can be realized in the workplace, by the students, sports person, artist, and many other professions. You will become better performers in all aspects of life!
Steps To Perform Yoga Nidra – A Guided Sleep Meditation
‘The soul always knows what to do to HEAL itself. The challenge is to silence the MIND’
1. What Will You Need to Practice Yoga Nidra?
- Comfortable loose clothing.
- Preferably a thin mattress which can be laid down on the floor.
- No pillows, please.
- There are various audio and videos available in the market or the net which can give you guided sleep meditation. This is optional.
2. Best Time for Yoga Nidra for Deep Sleep
- Yoga Nidra gives best results when does as a nighttime meditation.
- The perfect time would be when it is dark and the environment is void of sound and distractions.
3. How to Practice the Yoga Nidra for Deep Sleep?
- Lie down straight, eyes closed. Be aware of all the sound of silence around you and relax.
- Spread your legs and hands slightly and keep your palm facing up.
- Take slow breaths and allow your body parts to relax.
- First concentrate on your right leg. Start with the right foot and move up to your calf, knees, thighs, hip and then the entire leg. Let it relax in its own time. It should not be forced.
- Do the same with your left leg.
- Now, relax your front and back torso. While doing so, be aware of each part of your front and back. Your whole back, abdomen, stomach and then the chest.
- Gently move your thoughts to your hands. Start with your right arm and move towards the palm and fingers.
- Do the same with your left arm.
- Then, move to your throat, neck, face and gradually your head.
- Take deep breaths and stay in this state for few minutes.
- Slowly awaken each of your body parts in the same way.
- Gently sit up and open your eyes.
4. Do’s and Don’ts of Yoga Nidra for Sleep
- The Yoga for Sleep should be practised regularly on a daily basis. Especially for the sleep deprived.
- Ensure that you take your meals at least 2 hours before you start the practice.
- It is advised to choose the same time and same place to practice the night time meditation.
- The minimum duration for each session should be of minimum 30 minutes. Most of the Audio recordings will also be for the same duration.
Yoga Nidra for Sleep and Sankalpa
‘Journey to your heart’s desire!’
Sankalpa means personal intention or a resolution to self. During the beginning of the nighttime meditation, the practitioners can take a resolution in their mind. When you recall the Sankalpa at the end of the guided sleep meditation, the thought is deeply embedded in your sub-conscious and the mind is receptive to the idea.
Taking a Sankalpa during Yoga Nidra helps in coming over hard to lose habits or to achieve seemingly impossible goals. Some examples of Sankalpa are:
- I resolve to stop smoking.
- I resolve to control my anger.
- I resolve to be happy.
- I am at peace with myself.
- I resolve not to eat meat.
The idea will be seeded in your mind and with regular practice, turn into reality!
Yoga Nidra, Meditation, and Normal Sleep – a Comparison
|Yoga Nidra||Meditation||Normal Sleep|
|You are lying down in a comfortable position.||Sitting Posture||Lying down|
|Conscious state||Conscious state||Unconscious state|
|Easy to practice||Not easy for everyone||Very difficult for the sleep deprived.|
|Neither awake nor asleep.||Awake||Asleep or trying to!|
|For all ages.||All meditation is Not for all ages.||Depends on the mental and physical health of the person.|
|Cools the body||Heats the body||Cools at the start and heats up when sleep ends|
Did You Know?
- …if when doing yoga for sleep, you actually fall asleep, it means that you are sleep deprived?
- …that 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra equals 4 hours of sleep!
- …it has been scientifically proven that Yoga Nidra practised as night time meditation keeps the ‘Alpha’ waves in the brain going and hence the practitioner experience a state of deep relaxation and reduced stress.
- …that Albert Einstein followed a ritual similar to Yoga Nidra? He used to take a ‘conscious’ nap holding something in his hand. When the object begins to fall, he would get up fresh and relaxed!
- …that Yoga Nidra for deep sleep used by many cancer patients for helping them undergo cancer treatments? Relaxation is a basic necessity for healing and Sankalpa gives them the strength to fight cancer!
- …that there are numerous Yoga Nidra apps available for you to download in your mobile phone? It’s simple and effective. Especially for travelling people!
Now that we saw what is Yoga Nidra, I am sure the amazing benefits are very clear. The practice of the night time meditation is definitely transformative and makes a remarkable change in your lives. Make time for Yoga Nidra for Sleep and experience the positive changes that you always wanted to see in you!
“Find your inner peace!”