What is Yoga Nidra?

Updated: Apr 9

Your Ultimate Guide to Yoga Nidra: Everything You Need to Know


What is Yoga Nidra you may wonder? And what kind of yoga is it? Who can do it and what do I need in preparation for Yoga Nidra?


Look no further as we will answer all of these questions in this post.


 

What is Yoga Nidra?


First thing is first: if you think Yoga Nidra is similar to a yoga class you can attend at your local yoga studio or online, then you might be surprised. It is much less physical than Hatha or Vinyasa Yoga or any other kind of yoga.


The name Yoga Nidra might be a little misleading at first, but on closer examination, we can get down to its meaning.


 

What is the meaning of the name Yoga Nidra?


“Yoga” in modern mainstream is mostly associated with the practice of physical poses (asanas) in a specific sequence during a yoga class, ending in a short relaxation at the end, known as Savasana (corpse pose).


But when we dig a bit deeper in the yogic scriptures, we come to realise that the practice of asana is really just a preparation for the body to be able to sit still and comfortable during meditation. The ultimate goal of yoga is to reach a point during meditation, where you become one with your object of concentration and you forget your sense of “I”, you disconnect from your physical surroundings and your senses, your mind is calm and you just are. This is known as Samadhi, or the blissful state.


“Nidra” can be loosely translated as ‘dreamless sleep’ and relates to the unconscious level of the mind.


When we put these both together, Yoga Nidra means ‘Yogic Sleep’. What is yogic sleep? It is a state of body and mind in which the body is still and resting as if it were sleeping while the mind remains fully aware in a superconscious state.


 

What are the benefits of Yoga Nidra?


In traditional Hatha Yoga tradition, it is said that one hour of Yoga Nidra gives your body the same rest as 3 hours of regular sleep.


You will feel deeply relaxed, recharged and rejuvenated.


 

"One hour of Yoga Nidra gives your body the same rest as 3 hours of regular sleep."

 

How to do Yoga Nidra?


The easiest way to do Yoga Nidra is to let an experienced teacher guide you through it.

While in a traditional guided meditation, you might be sitting in a chair, on the floor or on a meditation cushion or bolster, Yoga Nidra is usually done lying on the floor. You may choose to lie on a sofa or on the bed instead.


Much like a guided meditation, Yoga Nidra usually starts with some generic cues to invite you to relax and slow down your breath.


Different teachers might have different approaches for the main part, but commonly it will involve bringing your awareness to specific parts of your body in a pre-determined order.


A complete Yoga Nidra session can last anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes or longer.



 

How can you get started with Yoga Nidra?


It is recommended to follow the guidance of a teacher and simply allow the instructions to take place. It is a much more passive process than you might expect.


Andrew Johnson, Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher with over 27 years of experience, has just released a free Yoga Nidra meditation on the Relax Change Create Meditation app.


Everyone is welcome to try it out, completely free. Simply click here to register for your free access. Once registered, you’ll need to download the free meditation app if you don’t have it already.


Enjoy this deeply relaxing meditation experience from the comfort of your home at a time that suits you.