Yoga. What is yoga? In the simplest terms, it means “to be in union”. Union with what exactly? With ourselves and everything. Everything as in the whole of existence.

For millennia, Indian sages explored yoga’s depths, paving the way for Patanjali’s renowned Yoga Sutras, which established the eight limbs of yoga.

The need for yoga has become more relevant today than ever. Despite the fact that we humans are living the most comfortable lives, we are unable to cope up with our lives, luxuries and our own thoughts. 

Patanjali, in his Yoga Sutras, perhaps acknowledges this best in the opening line, “Atha Yoganusasanam” – translated as “And Now, Yoga.” It implies that when all the other approaches fail, finally yoga offers a path.

Today, the 21st of June, is the International Day of Yoga. What better day to begin your journey inwards. 

When practiced consistently, yoga gives you the space to reconnect with yourselves and feel grounded. It can reinvigorate all the “feel-good” chemicals within your own body to not just get through overwhelming schedules but leave you ecstatic as default. 

“But I don’t have time for yoga”, if that’s what you are thinking, we’ve got a practice for you that is hard to say no to.

Allow us to introduce you to Yoga Nidra.

What is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is one of the most simple practices that puts you in a deeply relaxed state between being awake and asleep. Known as “yogic sleep”, this practice helps reduce stress, release tension, improve overall well-being, and importantly brings you a sense of complete awareness. 

How to Prepare?

  • Create a peaceful environment: Choose a quiet, comfortable space where you won’t be disturbed. 
  • Dress comfortably: Wear loose, comfortable clothing that allows for easy movement and doesn’t restrict your breathing. Avoid tight-fitting garments that may cause discomfort during your practice.
  • Set up your space: Ensure that your bed is comfortable and inviting, with a supportive mattress, soft pillows, and warm blankets. Adjust the temperature in the room to promote relaxation and help you ease into sleep.

How to Practice Yoga Nidra?

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) Relaxation Technique

1. Lie on your back with legs straight and arms at your sides.

2. Close your eyes and take several slow, deep breaths.

Body Scan: 

3. Focus on your right foot, relaxing it completely. Gradually move your attention up to your right knee, thigh, and hip.

4. Repeat this process for your left leg.

5. Continue the scan: pelvic area, abdomen, chest, right arm and hand, left arm and hand, throat, face, and scalp.

Deep Relaxation

6. Take a deep breath and observe the sensations in your body. Remain still for a few minutes.

Gradual Awakening: 

7. Slowly become aware of your surroundings.

8. Roll onto your right side and rest for a moment.

9. When ready, gently sit up and open your eyes.

Note: This practice can also be done before sleep. After completing the steps, focus on your breath as you drift off.

What are its Benefits?

Yoga Nidra offers numerous benefits for both physical and mental well-being:

  • The deep relaxation achieved during Yoga Nidra helps lower stress levels and alleviate anxiety.
  • Regular practice can enhance your ability to fall asleep faster and experience deeper, more restful sleep.
  • By calming the mind and reducing mental chatter, the practice improves focus and concentration, making it beneficial for productivity and decision-making.
  • Yoga Nidra has been shown to strengthen the immune system by reducing stress hormones and promoting overall relaxation.
  • The practice can help process and release stored emotions, leading to improved emotional balance and resilience.

Yoga’s ability to help us navigate the demands of modern life cannot be overstated. It provides a much-needed refuge from the chaos of our daily routines, reconnecting us with ourselves and fostering a sense of balance. The ancient practice of Yoga Nidra, in particular, offers a practical and accessible method for relaxation, stress relief, and personal growth. 

Get out of your head and into your body, all from the comfort of your bed. Happy Yoga Day. 

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