Yoga nidra is also known as “yoga sleep.” It is the state between sleeping and dreaming. A transitional experience. It is done in the relaxation pose, shavasana. It combines breathing techniques (pranayama), sensory training and control (pratyahara), and meditation (dharana, dhyana, and smadhi). This progression naturally leads us into conscious deep relaxation. It is believed that one hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to four hours of regular sleep (Goel, 2001).
Pratyahara is a technique used to redirect sensory awareness from an external focus to an internal one. It is not withdrawal from living life. Instead, the process expands our awareness and we become more sensitized to living life more authentically. With practice, our senses are no longer outwardly active (noticing sounds, smells, etc.). When this happens, our attention naturally turns inward and we are lead into a natural state of inner concentration or meditation.
Yoga nidra gives us space and tools, via the koshas, to understand and experience our true Self. Through a systematic process, our senses move inward and past each of the kosha layers, bringing us into profound relaxation and renewal.
Practicing Yoga Nidra
The following yoga nidra meditations are currently available on my podcast, Resilience & Grace:
More Listening Options
Click on any episode above to listen through your browser, or listen to the podcast on the following platforms:
Subscribe to the show for more meditations and wellness inspiration.