Curious to find out more about yoga nidrā?
Imagine dissolving into a fluffy cloud of nothingness. Feel yourself melting into the ocean of absolute comfort and security. Then, envision being wrapped in a warm protective cocoon and happily surrendering to what is here and now. Finally, see yourself emerging from all this, feeling rejuvenated and blissfully grounded.
This is what yoga nidrā means for me.
We attain yoga nidrā (or “yogic sleep”) when our awareness is guided into a blissful, relaxed state. During this guided awareness, the tensions in the body and mind are resolved with the help of specific cues pronounced by the guide/facilitator.
Our body enters a state of deep sleep. Our mind remains awake and aware (unless you drift off, which is okay).
This can feel like bliss. It might feel like deep rest. It could even feel like experiencing the Supreme Consciousness. Or simply, like a deeply rejuvenative nap. You will experience whatever you are ready for and whatever is the most beneficial for you at this moment.
Gently sowing the seeds of change
Whenever we are in a state of deep relaxation, we are VERY receptive. For this reason, a yoga nidrā practice will usually involve a sankalpa (a resolve, an intention) woven into it. A guide might offer a universally applicable sankalpa (such as “I am whole and complete, just as I am”) or invite participants to craft their own.
This short positive statement is planted deep into the subconscious. With time (and regular practice), the subconscious mind gathers our inner resources to bring about its manifestation.
What this may look like in practice is a subtle change in some of our core beliefs, leading to a gradual change of behaviour. For example, when we overturn a common limiting belief that “I am only worthy when I achieve/produce/perform XYZ”, we may finally start establishing certain boundaries.
Yoga nidrā as a tool for healing insomnia
To fully receive the transformational benefits of yoga nidrā (including experiencing the Supreme Consciousness), one needs to remain awake. However, even though yoga nidrā is an advanced practice, it is still accessible.
Even if we fall asleep during the guided awareness of nidrā, we will still experience a deep relaxation of body and mind, which is incredibly healing for those of us suffering from insomnia (this was my case for 6 years).
As a householder with worldly responsibilities of motherhood and work, having to face the day after a sleepless night used to be a down right nightmare. I discovered that listening to a yoga nidrā recording in the middle of the day or the beginning of the afternoon (when the energy used to be at the lowest), provided me with enough energy to carry on with my life instead of hooking myself up on caffeine and other stimulants.
Yoga nidrā, an advanced practice at its core, became my instant go-to for insomnia relief (and that until I figured out a sustainable way to support my circadian rhythms naturally with the help of Āyurveda). It became one of the tools to support me on my journey towards quality sleep.
Now my relationship with yoga nidrā is evolving. I became a guide myself after the completion of my training with my teacher, Kaya Mindlin. I developed a specific yoga nidrā offering for those who are struggling with sleep and who find it difficult to function during the day without consuming nervous system stimulants.
- In-person lunchtime yoga nidrā sessions for insomnia relief will kick off on 21 October 2022 in Etterbeek, Brussels.
- COMING SOON: online yoga nidrā sessions for insomnia relief – Stay tuned!
Vytautė, your Āyurvedic sleep coach