With yoga more popular than ever and with mindfulness a focus for many, it makes sense that yoga nidra, a practice in which yogis use the savasana relaxation stage to practice a guided meditation, would be enjoying a boost in popularity.
Here, a look at this traditional yoga style and how and why you should incorporate it into your practice.
Sometimes called yogic sleep, yoga nidra is defined by yoga master Anandmurti Gurumaa as “a kind of deep sleep in which you don’t lose consciousness.” Devotees of the practice believe that during yoga nidra the body is allowed to go into a more restorative and healing state as brain waves switch from beta to alpha, and the mind is able to reach a new level of tranquility as it switches from activity to meditation.
As well as creating a more restorative state of relaxation, Gurumaa also explains that yoga nidra can relieve stress, frustration and insomnia as well as muscular, emotional and mental tensions. In short, in can help us all deal better with the stress of modern life.
The best way to do yoga nidra is lying down in savasana, also known as corpse pose, to allow for a moment, or longer, of pause and relaxation. During yoga nidra a blanket can also be used for warmth, as well as a bolster under your knees and a pillow propping your head.
Yoga nidra teachers will use specific instructions to guide students through relaxation and help to induce this state in the body, and some asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing), chanting and meditation may also be included.
For those wanting to try the practice, class offerings are currently growing across the United States, Europe and Asia thanks to the newfound demand for this more peaceful style of yoga.
Gurumaa also offers a variety of products on her website for those who would like to try the meditative practice at home. Online yoga site YogaGlo also offers classes to help you set up a home practice to take you through next year.
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