No, this is not clickbait. This is the epic reality and game-changing benefit that resides under the umbrella of what we refer to as Yoga Nidra.
Put in a few words, Yoga Nidra is a magically mindful journey into the subconscious, or just simply yogic sleep. Yes, you read that right. This alternative voyage of meditation enters into the space between waking and sleeping, comparative to a dream-like state.
Let’s put it this way: Think Alice in Wonderland through the rabbit hole into an unknown realm of existence. This so-called ‘unknown realm of existence’ can be paralleled to our subconscious mind, something we often overlook unless we are forced to face it during bouts of anxiety, depression, and other debilitating emotions. Believe it or not, entering into or harnessing the subconscious can alter the way you eat, sleep, think, and behave. So, with this practice, we can watch this mind-altering magic unfold.
Yoga Nidra is your VIP backstage pass into the mind that enhances relaxation, sleep, and total awareness — like hypnosis, but so much better! Totally accessible to every human being on this planet, Yoga Nidra uses a rotation of consciousness — or the focus on a specific point in your body — as a tool to focus the busy mind and ultimately enter into a deeeep state of relaxation.
Fun fact: 30 minutes of this practice is equivalent to 2-4 hours of restful sleep. Pretty nuts, eh? Feeling trapped or aggravated, with no place to go? Perfect. Lay yourself down and allow your soul to take off on a journey of subtle transformation via the mind’s eye, our ‘sixth’ sense.
Here are my nine simple yet mind-altering steps of Yoga Nidra:
1. Step up your safe space
Now’s the time to set up and settle in a space that best suits your body’s wants and needs. Consider an oil diffuser to set the mood. A bit of aromatherapy to calm the mind and some soothing beats to cultivate a dreamy atmosphere may just set your soul on fire.
2. Start lying in Savasana
Get comfy and cozy somewhere, anywhere. On a bed or sprawled out on the floor. Really, whatever helps float your mindful boat.
3. Set an intention
Before embarking on a trail into your subconscious, set your mind’s eye on a word, a thought, a goal, an intent—something you may desire to resolve through this epic journey.
4. Bring an awareness to your breathe
Begin to inhale deeply through your nose and exhale the stale air out through your mouth. Notice the rise and fall of your chest and the subtle warmth that circulates throughout your body. Repeat this until you feel your body relax and let go.
5. Tame the restless mind
Starting with your right side, begin your rotation of awareness through every part or limb on your body. For example “right hand thumb, first finger, second finger, etc.” Repeat for the left side of your body. Do this as many times as it takes to enhance your state of bliss and relaxation.
6. Be aware of your whole body
Notice the still space surrounding your unique physical vessel and allow any sensations to pass over you quietly and unperturbed.
7. Repeat your intention three solid times
Visualize or say your intention aloud (and proud) to yourself until it resonates from the inside out. Don’t just say it, feel it.
8. Bring awareness back into your body
Notice the subtle sensations surrounding you. Maybe it’s the brisk air on your face or the smell of cookies in the kitchen. Whatever that may be, draw an awareness to the space that gently encapsulates your being.
9. Wakey wakey (I know, it’s hard)
Slowly move your limbs, take a few deep breaths, and open your eyes to a feeling of utter bliss.