Yoga Nidra Explained in 5 Points

Yoga Nidra, or the Yogic Sleep, is an integral part of the Art and Sciences of Yoga. One of the most accessible ways of practicing yoga, Yoga Nidra is not necessarily the most well known one. Read here briefly what it is all about, in 5 points. 

Yoga Nidra translates as “Yogic Sleep”

Yoga Nidra, or the Yogic Sleep as can be described, is a technique of achieving a state of conscious rest. It follows a specific format that can take anything between 10 to 90 minutes. During the practice of Nidra, the practitioner appears to be asleep, but maintains a consciousness at a deeper level of awareness. Yoga Nidra is always guided, and in expert hands can allow for the practitioner to feel complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation.

A non-physical practice, it is suitable for most individuals

Yoga Nidra can be practiced lying down or seated, in any type of clothing, and regardless of one’s physical ability. The main thing is to have a set up that feels comfortable, safe, and free of distractions.

Scientifically proven health benefits

In several studies Yoga Nidra has been proven to calm the nervous system, improve blood pressure, heart rate variables and hormone irregularities. It can also be an incredibly soothing experience for those suffering from anxiety, depression and PTSD, to name but few.

Yoga Nidra does not require a lot of time

Not much time? No problem! Yoga Nidra can be practised as a standalone method, and at any point of the day. You can listen to a Nidra recording in your bed first thing after waking up, do a 30 minute one during your lunch break, or enjoy it as an addition to your sweaty Vinyasa Flow. Most Schools of Yoga Nidra follow reasonably similar structures. This means the practice is highly adaptable and works just as well, regardless its length.

Can be practised by listening to a recording, or in a live setting

Interested in trying out this practice? There are plenty of very good recorded and free resources: My favourites include the recording as Yoga Nidra Network page, and those you can find on the Insight Timer app. You can also find them on YouTube. There is no wrong way of doing a Yoga Nidra so you can easily start by picking up one and moving on from there and discover if you have preferences: Female voice, male voice, with or without soundscape in the background… There are several different types of Nidra available.

Twice a week I teach a 60 minute Restorative Yoga and Yoga Nidra class on Vivaya Live. The Friday class is at 17:00 BST, and the Sunday class is at 18:00 BST. Drop ins are welcome, you can book your spot from here.

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