Yoga Nidra, is Sanskrit for yogic sleep, it is an intricate form of guided relaxation. It is a journey round the body with different visualisations and normally in laying down posture. A yoga teacher is a guide for the Yoga Nidra session, which is usually for 45 minutes. The mind gets focussed on the journey round the body as the receiver listens to the instructions from the teacher. This process of listening is an advantage for people who brood or get anxious when trying to relax without guidance.
Research on the brain’s activity during Yoga Nidra has shown that participants are in a deeply relaxed state during a 45 minute session. It is effortless concentration, that facilitates total body relaxation. Another research study has shown that there is an increase in dopamine levels by up to 65% – low levels of dopamine are linked to increase in motivation and enthusiasm; therefore, an increase in dopamine levels creates positive feelings and encourages a person to take on activity that improves well being.
Many critical illnesses leave people fatigued and anxious. The Yoga Nidra technology is recognised world over to have many healing benefits:
- It helps in relieving muscular, emotional and mental tension.
- During Yoga Nidra, the mind relaxes and releases stress and anxiety.
- The mind’s capacity is opened to learning, as memory is enhanced.
- Many people experience an increase in energy levels and are able to do more activity.
- The endocrine system is balanced and optimal functioning can be restored.
- Yoga Nidra practice leads to improved senses and more cultivated body awareness.
- The body’s capacity for self-healing is improved; as one of the most important benefits is a boost of immunity.
Regular practice of Yoga Nidra has the potential to improve overall well being of the body, the mind and the spirit. Several research studies in the last five years have shown how Yoga Nidra has significantly improved mental health and psychosomatic diseases.
Relaxation does not mean sleep, Relaxation means to be blissfully happy, It has no end, I call this bliss absolute relaxation. Swami Satyananda Saraswati
Yoga Nidra Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Yoga Publications Trust
Yoga as Medicine, Timothy McCall, M.D.
The Impact of Yoga Nidra and Seated Meditation, Ferraira-Vorkapic, Borba-Pinheiro, Murilo Marchioro and Santana – International Journal of Yoga September – December 2018