Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation practice to achieve deep relaxation while remaining fully aware and conscious.

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Yoga Nidra – ongoing, check schedule

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is perfect for anyone, including those who are brand-new to yoga and meditation. All that’s required is a willingness to lie down, let go, and rest. Also known as “yogic sleep” or “psychic sleep”, Yoga Nidra aims to bring about a state of inner awareness, clarity, and calmness. During a Yoga Nidra practice, the practitioner is led through a series of instructions that help them calm their body and mind, focus on their breath inorder to enter a state of deep relaxation.

The benefits of Yoga Nidra

  1. Reducing stress and anxiety: Yoga Nidra helps calm the mind and reduce stress and anxiety levels.
  2. Promoting better sleep: Regular practice of Yoga Nidra can improve the quality and duration of sleep.
  3. Improving overall well-being: It can help improve concentration, boost creativity, and enhance overall well-being.
  4. Boosting the immune system: Yoga Nidra has been shown to boost the immune system, helping the body fight off illness and disease.
  5. Lowering blood pressure: Yoga Nidra can help lower blood pressure, which is important for those at risk for heart disease.
  6. Enhancing self-awareness: Practicing Yoga Nidra can help increase self-awareness and improve self-understanding.

Effects on the Brain

Yoga Nidra has been found to have several beneficial effects on the brain. Here are a few ways in which Yoga Nidra can help the brain:

  1. Reducing stress and anxiety: Yoga Nidra has been found to reduce the activity in the amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for the fight-or-flight response. This can help reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
  2. Enhancing relaxation: The deep relaxation induced by Yoga Nidra has been found to increase the activity in the parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for rest and relaxation.
  3. Improving cognitive function: Studies have found that Yoga Nidra can improve cognitive function, including memory, attention, and concentration.
  4. Increasing gray matter: Regular practice of Yoga Nidra has been found to increase the volume of gray matter in the brain, which is associated with improved learning, memory, and emotional regulation.
  5. Boosting creativity: Yoga Nidra has been found to increase activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with creativity.
  6. Improving sleep: Yoga Nidra can improve the quality and duration of sleep, which is important for brain health and function.

Overall, Yoga Nidra can help improve brain function, reduce stress and anxiety, and enhance relaxation and creativity.

Getting Ready

To get ready for a Yoga Nidra session, here are some things a person can do:

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable space: Choose a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed during the session. It should be a comfortable and peaceful environment that allows you to fully relax.
  2. Wear comfortable clothing: Wear loose-fitting and comfortable clothing that allows you to move freely and breathe deeply.
  3. Use props: You can use props like blankets, bolsters, and pillows to support your body and make yourself comfortable.
  4. Set an intention: Setting an intention for the session can help you focus your mind and get the most out of the practice. You can set an intention for relaxation, stress relief, or any other personal goal.
  5. Avoid heavy meals and caffeine: It’s best to avoid heavy meals and caffeine before the session, as they can interfere with relaxation and sleep.
  6. Turn off electronics: Turn off all electronic devices like phones, TVs, and computers to eliminate distractions and help you fully relax.
  7. Practice mindful breathing: Before the session, take a few deep breaths and focus on your breath to help calm your mind and prepare for relaxation.

How is Yoga Nidra different from Meditation?

  1. Physical positioning: In meditation, the practitioner can sit in a cross-legged position or any other comfortable position. In contrast, Yoga Nidra is usually practiced while lying down on a yoga mat or comfortable surface.
  2. Guided vs. silent practice: Meditation can be practiced silently, without any guidance or instruction. However, Yoga Nidra is typically guided by an instructor or recorded script, with the practitioner following specific instructions throughout the practice.
  3. Focus: In meditation, the practitioner focuses on a particular object or sensation, such as the breath, a mantra, or a visualization. In contrast, in Yoga Nidra, the practitioner is guided to move their awareness through different parts of the body and visualize specific images or experiences.
  4. Brainwave state: In Yoga Nidra, the practitioner is guided to move into a state of deep relaxation and often into a state of “yogic sleep,” a state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep, where the brainwave patterns slow down significantly. In contrast, in meditation, the goal is often to achieve a state of focused attention or mindfulness.

 

Overall, while there are similarities between Yoga Nidra and meditation, they are distinct practices with different goals, techniques, and effects.

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Feel free to email Alka directly with any questions at alka@presentwisdom.com 

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