7 benefits of Yoga Nidra

Why am I blogging about Yoga Nidra?

Since March 2020 the world has changed like never before in our lifetime. The pandemic has caught us off guard and changed our lifestyle all too sudden. Many are confronted with new challenges and some are not able to cope well with the changes. The burden is both physical and mental.

To share my personal experience in these times, as a Yogi, I landed up committing many more yoga teaching sessions than I could fathom (thanks to virtual learning becoming the new normal).

In such circumstances, quiet unknowingly, the exhaustion manifests into anxiety. In the spirit of practicing what you preach, I always rely on an impromptu, on-demand – i.e. whenever I feel my body or mind draining – Yoga Nidra session. A 20 to 40 minute Nidra equals recovery of about 2 to 4 hours sleep and it rejuvenates you completely.

This ancient science of yoga continues to prove it’s value in today’s modern lifestyle. Yoga Nidra helps individuals keep pace with the fast moving world. It is a fairly quick and simple method to follow, requiring no prior experience or special props. How cool is that?

Yoga Nidra Benefits.

It helps in

  1. Suitable for all ages from kids to seniors.
  2. Helps the mind in achieving Delta and Theta wave.
  3. Easy to practice in our daily routine.
  4. A practical tool to reduce stress.
  5. Helps to introspect and improve self-realization.
  6. Helps relieve chronic pain and trauma.
  7. Helps to relieve symptoms of insomnia and improve quality of sleep.

Did you know?

Our brain has 5 types of waves.

  1. Gamma- fastest of all the waves 100 Hz
  2. Beta – when we are awake and engaged, or when you are pounding or mooning the wave is 12-38 Hz
  3. Alpha – when one is stress-free and romantic the wave range 8-12Hz
  4. Theta- it is slower than alpha waves but faster than delta wave ranges from 4-8 Hz
  5. Delta – occurs when we are in deep sleep the wave range is 0.5-4Hz

In Yoga Nidra, Theta and Delta play the primal role. Research has shown that alpha and theta waves help with stress and anxiety. GAD (general anxiety disorder).

Studies have also shown that with Yogic sleep university students could ease stress and increase their self-esteem.

Richard Miller, Surgeon of the United States Army, backed Yoga Nidra at military bases to help rehabilitate individuals in pain and in particular with soldiers returning from war with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

Instructions for performing Yoga Nidra.

Music by Benjamin Tissot.

  • Lay down on your back with legs relaxed and arms resting on either side (alternatively you can do this sitting on a couch too). Be comfortable and relaxed. Take in deep breaths and exhale long like a sigh!
  • With eyes closed, take your attention to each part of your body starting from the forehead, shoulders, arms, legs… and repeating the cycle, staying awake and conscious of your body.
  • During this time, the mind may wander in random thoughts. Do not try to control it. You may fall asleep and that’s OK too.
  • Your tired body recoups in a short span of time. Batteries recharged and energized, you will feel refreshed and all set to start out and go about your business.

What props are needed to perform Yoga Nidra

  • Yoga mat, pillow, blanket, eye mask, bolster (to place under your knees)

FAQ (frequently asked questions)

What happens during Yoga Nidra?

In Yoga Nidra, the mind reaches the Theta wave where the body is slow and relaxed, and you experience the results of tranquility and calmness, reaching a stage of sleep but still in a conscious state, being able to sense your body and mind.

What happens if you fall asleep during Yoga Nidra?

Often, people fall asleep during Yoga Nidra, this is a stage of unconsciousness,. hence you are not able to learn or notice any changes that happen in your body. However there is nothing wrong with it – enjoy the deep sleep, your body needed it.

Is Yoga Nidra a form of hypnosis?

These are two different states of mind. Although both may be similar at initiation, Yoga Nidra extends far beyond hypnosis.

The aim of Yoga Nidra is to take consciousness as far as you can control it.

Yoga Nidra vs hypnosis.

Yoga Nidra

Hypnosis

Brain is awake

Brain is in deep sleep

Mind reaches its meditative consciousness

Mind is disassociated from sensory knowledge

Mind is controlled, brain receives stimuli

Brain is shut down

Mind is in state of awareness

Mind is in state of sensory withdrawal

Creates ‘Satvik’ condition – energizes

Creates ‘Tamasic’ condition – decreases energy of the body