What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a technique from the great yoga adept Swami Satyananda Saraswati of the Bihar School of Yoga in India. The word yoga means conscious connection to Self. Nidra means sleep. Yoga Nidra, therefore, is a yoga meditation technique that allows you to relax, recharge, rejuvenate and awaken higher consciousness.

Harness the power of Yoga Nidra for relaxation and healing

While Yoga Nidra is often used to help people relax, recover from stress, and heal from illness, it has many additional benefits that can enhance your health and strengthen your life purpose.

Yoga Nidra is a powerful meditation technique where the mind remains conscious during the normally “unconscious” state associated with deep sleep. Practiced in the lying position, it is one of the most popular yoga meditation techniques, because it induces a profoundly deep state of rest. It is effortless, enjoyable, soothing and recuperative. As it is practiced today, Yoga Nidra is a technique that carries awareness deep into you, layer by layer. This process is called introversion, or pratyahara in Sanskrit. The pratyahara of Yoga Nidra induces deep relaxation.

Yoga Nidra takes your awareness deep into parts of you that tension often prevents you from accessing. As you systematically relax each part of your physical body and move your awareness to your subtle layers, emotions, and deeper mind, you will relax and rejuvenate your whole self. By tapping into your subconscious, which is the deeper part of you, you gain access to innate knowledge and wisdom that can positively transform your life. Within you lie strengths, abilities and energies that you can use for healing and improving your life in many ways.

Yoga Nidra is the easiest and most effective way to create a bridge between conscious awareness and your subconscious mind. It is a tool for mining the strengths and talents that usually lie hidden within you, buried under old patterns.

The three stages of Yoga Nidra

The complete Yoga Nidra experience occurs in sequential stages:

Stage 1. Rest, recuperate and rejuvenate

Stage 2. Manage old patterns, undigested negative memories, emotions, and desires

Stage 3. Awaken to the experience of your deeper self and your life purpose.

In stages one and two of Yoga Nidra you experience relaxation restored vitality and psycho-emotional purification. Old, outmoded patterns of feeling and thinking are released from the body-mind through the process of cultivating deep relaxation and a sense of inner control.

Once negative feelings and old conditioning have been released, your intuitive and creative abilities are progressively revealed through easy and enjoyable self-development. You begin to feel and intuit who you are and understand what your deeper self really wants. You are freed from feeling trapped in the superficial desires of your lower, sensory-based thinking mind and begin to access your higher, knowing mind.

Start using Yoga Nidra to experience profound relaxation, recuperation, and healing benefits.

The need for deep rest and relaxation

In today’s frantic, high-tech world, many people find that their sleep is not completely restful. They are unable to resolve tensions, or they are unaware of how much tension they are holding and carry it into their sleep. Over time, stress and tension travel deep into the body-mind and plant the seeds of physical and psychological illness.

Disturbed sleep, sleep deprivation and sleep disorders such as insomnia have reached epidemic proportions in recent years. Chronic sleep deprivation has been shown to greatly increase the risk of chronic degenerative illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, depression, and obesity, while increasing the chance of premature death. (See the research article on heart disease at the end of this page for more details).

The statistics are dramatic:

  • More than 30% of the population suffers from insomnia.
  • More than 60% of people over the age of 60 suffer from insomnia.
  • 30% of people suffer from some form of insomnia during their lives.
  • More than half of Americans lose sleep due to stress and/or anxiety.
  • Approximately 30 million people in the U.S. (10% of the population) use prescription sleep medications.

Many people try to sleep with their mind still switched on. Over-thinking is a symptom of stress and worry. Unchecked, it can become an unconscious habit that undermines your health and happiness. Learning how to turn off excessive thinking and worry is the key to getting deep restful sleep – and practicing Yoga Nidra is one of the easiest ways to eliminate worry, rumination and tension.

Yoga Nidra is a practice that enables you to experience deep rest, so that you can recharge and rejuvenate yourself. By removing longstanding tensions, you will also improve your capacity to sleep deeply and peacefully. Although it does not replace normal sleep, 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is the equivalent of 3 to 4 hours of unconscious sleep.

Removing deep-seated tensions

Tensions block awareness and energy. Yoga Nidra releases blocked energy that is trapped within the body-mind – often frozen by anxiety and worry. Releasing energy during relaxation rebalances and harmonizes the body and the deeper mind, promoting healing and positive growth. Removing tensions also allows you to penetrate your awareness into the unconscious areas of yourself. You become aware of and can connect to your inner abilities and potential, which expands your inherent sense of self.

Yoga Nidra therapy

Yoga Nidra is a yoga meditation technique that can be used in therapy to help people recuperate from exhaustion and illness. It can be applied as both a primary therapeutic tool and as an adjunctive treatment for many acute and chronic physical and psychological disease conditions.


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