The Amazing Ways Yoga Nidra Can Change Your Life
Meaning “yogic sleep,” Yoga Nidra is a powerful guided meditation practice which brings you into a deeply restful state. This can be as restorative as sleep but allows you to remain fully conscious. It works by leading you through experiencing the sensations in your body while you rest in savasana. Yoga Nidra is a powerful technique for developing your body’s relaxation response. A consistent Yoga Nidra practice can benefit you not only with that extra window of rest, but also by teaching you how to challenge your beliefs about your personality and world view, and the illusion of separateness.
Life Changing Benefits of Yoga Nidra:
1.) Improve Your Sleep and Reduce Insomnia
One of the biggest problems facing modern society is sleep deprivation, which is responsible for a whole host of issues that grow increasingly common: depression, burnout, and a weakened immune system, to name a few. As we cram more into our days and relax with our devices at night, we almost can’t help ourselves; sleep is often one of the first things we compromise in order to make everything else work. Incorporating Yoga Nidra into our routine, especially at bedtime, can help us fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly. The practice calms the body and mind, facilitating the entrance into the sleep state. By setting down your phone at night and incorporating a Yoga Nidra session into your routine, you can have a profound, positive impact on the quality of your life.
2.) Reduce Stress and Detach From Your Thoughts
Humans are astonishingly bad at determining the source of our stress; in fact, we tend to develop stress reactions to environments, rather than specific things or events, because of where we were when something stressful happened to us. We can also feel anxious about something that’s coming up. Yoga Nidra helps us to let go and distance ourselves from these things. A session lasting a mere 30 to 45 minutes will not only leave you feeling rested and refreshed, but while your mind is quieted, you can allow these thoughts to drift in and out of your mind without taking hold. After all, thoughts are nothing more than thoughts, and it is the fact that we fixate on the negative ones that causes us stress. In addition to helping with your overall mental well-being, reducing stress can also having certain physical affects: namely, the reduction of cortisol production, which will assist with weight management.
3.) Release Tension and Pain
We tend to hold a lot of tension in our bodies; in fact, most of us probably sleep in a way that increases tension in many places instead of letting our entire bodies truly rest, and tension can be a major contributing factor in chronic pain and headaches. In addition to the emotional regulation it provides, Yoga Nidra also allows the practitioner to benefit from a complete physical relaxation. You can benefit physically from even a single Yoga Nidra session, and having an ongoing practice can provide noticeable relief.
4.) More Energy!
You are probably familiar with REM sleep, or at least have heard the term. This is currently believed to be the deepest level of sleep, the one in which we dream. REM sleep is also the most recuperative stage of sleep for our bodies; our muscles are relaxed, and our brain is receiving an increased flow of oxygen. We believe that a 45-minute session of Yoga Nidra can be the equivalent of as much as three hours of REM sleep. There is some science backing this up: meditation practices have a restorative impact on our hormonal and nervous systems, which in tandem control our mood and stress levels.
5.) Increased Mental Clarity
Intentions are key in all things in life, and Yoga Nidra is no different. An intention in Yoga Nidra is called a sankalpa, which is a desire of the heart. This is similar to a mantra, but remains distinct in that it is more of a goal you set for yourself. A sankalpa should be set in a way in which it is being phrased as already being true. For example, “I am in alignment with health and wellness.” In doing so, you are creating new neurologic pathways in the brain and planting a seed for the mind to grow. Goal-oriented guided meditations have been shown to enhance memory, cognitive processing, and creativity by removing mental fog and confusion.
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