What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is a liminal state of mind, on the border of sleep and conscious presence. You may be familiar with this state from Savasanah. In a really good final relaxation pose at the end of yoga class, you sometimes know you weren’t completely awake, but you also weren’t asleep.You’re aware of things going on around you, but not participating in them. You are more attuned to your inner landscape. This is the state of Yoga Nidra, also called Yogic Sleep.

Yoga Nidra is a set of body based relaxation procedures you can use in nearly infinitely modifiable ways to achieve deep, restful states of relaxation for many purposes. The most obvious is simply for its own sake: rest and relaxation are difficult to achieve amidst the to and fro of everyday life. Often activities such as television seem the most relaxing in a moment because they allow us to “shut off” and “just be.”

Yoga Nidra allows you to just be any time you’d like without a lot of effort and wondering whether you’re doing it right. If you’re doing it and feeling it, you're doing it “right.”

Outline of a Yoga Nidra Practice

  • Internalisation
  • Sankalpa
  • Rotation of consciousness
  • Breath awareness
  • Experience of opposites
  • Creative visualization (yogachitska)
  • Sankalpa
  • Externalisation