The Origins of Yoga Nidra
This ancient Yoga practice started in India and has roots in Sankhya philosophy. These early teachings date back as far as 1000 B.C. (verbal tradition) and have writings that date back to 700 B.C. Within the teachings, the Sankhya philosophy’s dualist beliefs held in the separation between the Purusha (witness) and Prakriti (that being witnessed). This means that thoughts, feelings, objects, and even other beings were separate from the individual. To find true happiness, Sankhya philosophy teaches one must be aware of dualism.
The Benefits of Yoga Nidra
Anyone can practice Yoga Nidra, and it requires no previous experience. Students of all ages will feel comfortable and are not required to make any stretching or balance moves. You won’t need any special equipment.
Yoga Nidra is an excellent practice for people who struggle to let go. It is an enlightening practice that is helpful for those in crisis or facing spiritual issues. It is very restful for those who are struggling with insomnia or sleep deprivation. Some of the conditions that benefit from Yoga Nidra include:
Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Insomnia, Chronic pain,
Substance dependency, Stress, Burnout, Tension headaches, and more.
How to Practice Yoga Nidra
Through verbally guided meditation, you can achieve a sense of calmness with Yoga Nidra that encourages setting intentions and creating inner balance.
Yoga Nidra starts in a fully relaxed position, usually lying down. A session may last between 30-45 minutes, depending on the class. The teacher guides the student through several relaxation stages into a deep state of rest using verbal instructions.
In most classes, the teacher will start by asking for fully focused and concentrated thought. You will be asked questions about what you want from life and to push away whatever you feel may be holding you back. The yoga instructor will set an intention for the practice before meditation begins. Through soothing instruction, the teacher will guide you through breathing exercises and mental mantras to create an inner sanctuary.
The practice encourages you to notice every part of your being, which enables you to feel the breath’s sensations. You will be asked to explore your emotions and thoughts, letting them go to achieve a deeper state of rest. You will learn how to consider your feelings and thoughts as a witness, not caught in the thoughts or sensations you feel. You will learn how to be welcoming and grateful for these sensations because they are part of your journey.
You will form a recognition of yourself that goes beyond your thoughts. You will become the one who is aware (the witness). While Yoga Nidra can be done on your own, it is usually more beneficial to follow a guide who provides an objective voice and outside perspective.
In many active Yoga classes, short versions of the Yoga Nidra practice are used during Savasana.
Discovering Toco Hills Yoga Nidra Classes
If you are ready to schedule a Yoga Nidra class, we would love to have you join our practice. Our classes provide expert teachers to guide you on your journey toward mental relaxation. You can bring your yoga mat, blanket, blocks, and even a pillow for the class. These classes are available for adults at any level or age (over the age of 18). You will leave feeling revitalized and invigorated after completing the class.