Yoga Nidra

5 Life-Changing Benefits of Yoga Nidra

Yoga nidra (also known as yogic sleep) is a powerful technique for controlling your body’s relaxation response. Yoga nidra can be as restorative as sleep, while you remain fully conscious. Giving your mind and body an extra window of deep relaxation offers powerful benefits!

 

As the temperature drops and the year winds down, we’re excited to offer a new yoga nidra class at our McKinleyville Club.

 

In this class, you’ll build a deeper connection between mind and body. Cultivate conscious relaxation, ease ongoing stress and anxiety, and feel your body melt away into a soothing state of being.

 

From beginner to advanced yogis, anyone can reap the benefits of yoga nidra in our McKinleyville yoga class.

 

Here are 5 ways yoga nidra can change your life for the better:

 

     1. Improve Your Sleep and Reduce Insomnia 

We all know lack of sleep contributes to a whole list of other stresses. From burnout, depression, and a weak immune system, it’s important to get enough zzz’s every night.  Incorporate yoga nidra at bedtime and you’ll fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.

 

How? Yoga nidra slows the wavelengths in your mind as you enter a sleep-like state. The experience often starts with sensing the body and mindfully breathing to trigger the relaxation response in your body. This response balances both your left and right brain, plus the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, in preparation for yogic sleep.

 

Similar to driving, parking, and turning off a car, there’s a process to go through before completely powering down your brain and body. Yoga nidra trains your mind and body for this relaxation process so you can reach a deeper state of sleep. 

 

     2. Detach From Your Thoughts

In our yoga nidra meditation classes, you’ll immerse yourself into a natural resting state. As your mind begins to quiet, you’ll slowly start to recognize that your thoughts are simply thoughts as they come and go. As you develop a deeper awareness of yourself in this resting state, you’ll also learn to integrate this sense of mindfulness into your everyday life.

 

There’s power in being still and being able to quiet your mind, and yoga nidra can help you reach this state. Many people who maintain a regular yoga nidra practice report feeling rested after a mere 30 to 45 minute practice. 

 

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

 

If you have any doubts about whether or not you can do yoga nidra, it’s time to release those preconceptions. As one of the easiest yoga practices to develop, there are no twists or turns, head stands, and there’s no “wrong way” to do yoga nidra. 

Simply lie down on your back in savasana or corpse pose, close your eyes, and let the outside world melt away.

 

     3. Release Tension and Pain

By becoming more aware of the sensations in your body, you become more aware of the stress and worries that hold you back. 

 

Research on the overall benefits of yoga and yoga nidra has revealed improvements in emotional self-regulation—with reduced levels of depression, stress, and anxiety—and an increase in mood, quality of life, and well-being. 

 

Yoga nidra is also one of the most effective techniques, not only for physical or mental relaxation, but for preparing the mind for a disciplined yoga practice. 

 

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”  – Socrates

 

Our expert yogis and instructors at McKinleyville will guide you through a series of meditative techniques to help you achieve a “sleepless sleep.” A state of being where you enter between sleep and wakefulness without losing awareness. Similar to a mini vacation or retreat for your mind, yoga nidra is the perfect way to end a busy day.  

 

     4. Connect with Yourself

Give yourself permission and the time to focus on your health and wellness everyday. Our yoga nidra classes are safe spaces where people from all walks of life can join. 

 

Over time, yoga nidra creates more space in your mind, opens a window into your soul, and provides an opportunity to learn about yourself through a reflective and restful experience. 

 

Yoga nidra can also serve as a pathway to freedom without adding bodily stress. You might come into the practice with an intention you want to work on whether it be living in the present moment or letting go of past negative thoughts or events. The intention, often prompted by the instructor, is set at the beginning of the practice. 

 

When challenging feelings start to arise, you can allow yourself to wholeheartedly experience these emotions. As you move through the practice and begin to understand your reaction, you’ll begin to release unwanted energy, connect with your consciousness, and liberate yourself from what no longer serves you.

 

A different experience for everyone, yoga at McKinleyville is all about guiding you through your own unique yoga practice and journey.

 

     5. Enjoy Life to the Fullest

A regular yoga nidra practice has all the potential to help you develop, change, or alter your routines and lifestyle for the better. 

 

Over time, you’ll see the world with a different pair of eyes as you draw strength and joy from your surroundings and the present moment. Even in your darkest hours, it’ll be easier to find a moment of joy, happiness, or appreciation. 

 

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built.”  – Rumi

 

While yoga nidra works on the inner harmony within yourself, it also enhances your abilities and experiences as you move forward in life. Meditation and yoga nidra invites you to treat every moment and encounter as an opportunity to cherish.

Remember, yoga nidra is easy to start (no prior yoga experience necessary!)

 

If you’re ready to reconnect with yourself on a daily basis, achieve your ideal work/life balance, and bring more peace of mind into your daily life, yoga nidra is here to help.

 

Other Tips to Keep in Mind

For yoga nidra beginners, here’s how you can get cozy, comfortable, and enjoy your class from start to finish.

 

  • First of all, come as you’re genuine self. If you’re feeling uneasy about trying something new, it’s okay. It’s normal. Our instructors and staff are here to help with any and all questions.

 

  • Give yourself plenty of time to get to your class (so you arrive calm and composed instead of frazzled from trying to beat the traffic).

 

  • Wear comfortable clothes and consider bringing a pair of socks plus a sweater or long-sleeved shirt to keep you warm.

 

  • If you’re worried about accidentally falling asleep, don’t be. There’s no need to feel guilty or embarrassed if it happens. It’s also natural to be distracted by random thoughts during the class. Accept your thoughts and let them come and go.

 

  • Ensure your body is supported while lying down on the mat, especially for those with lower back pain or those recovering from a recent injury. From bolsters and blankets, our McKinleyville Club yoga instructors can help you choose the props you need.

When you’re all settled in, take a deep breath, relax, and continue to follow the sound of your instructor’s voice.

 

Ready for yoga nidra at the McKinleyville Club?

View our yoga class schedule here.

If you’re looking for a different type of yoga class, HealthSPORT McKinleyville Club also offers power flow, slow flow, restorative yoga, and more!

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