Yoga Nidra is an old discipline based in the tantric Nyasa, a meditation technique in which the focus moves around the body from one body part to another to create consciousness in and of each body part. "Nidra" is the Sanskrit word for rest. The goal of this practice is for your body to sleep while your mind stays conscious (creates a circle of energy).
The practice was developed in the 1960s by Satyananda Saraswati. It’s a powerful practice that leads to complete physical, mental, and emotional relaxation. Yoga Nidra is comparable to meditation, but is more accurately described as a type of "conscious sleep". it’s also known as "yogic sleep".
Yoga Nidra is performed laying down on your back (in Savasana). The only thing you need to do is close your eyes and follow the yoga instructor’s voice as it guides your consciousness around your body. You will become aware of your surroundings, body parts, and your breath; and at the same time as you will enter into a yogic sleep. If your mind drifts from the practice, bring it back gently to the instructor’s voice and your breath.
45 minutes of Yoga Nidra is comparable to 2-4 hours of deep sleep, but it should not be practiced instead of a good night’s sleep. Rather, it’s a way to revitalize when you have not been able to get the rest you need and is a great way to relieve tension and stress.
At Yolistic Integrative Wellness, we have recently begun incorporating breathwork targeted at your parasympathetic nervous system to allow for maximum benefit during your practice.