Anyone who’s ever practiced Yoga Nidra knows that it’s deeply restorative. This is a simple fact that is hard to deny. But when it comes to the benefits of Yoga Nidra (also known as “yogic sleep”), there are far more than just the simple quality of restoration.
In fact, the benefits of Yoga Nidra are really far-reaching and profound. From the way that it influences the nervous system to the fact that it is widely accessible, “yogic sleep” is a practice worth adopting and integrating into your everyday life.
45 minutes of a Yoga Nidra practice is as deeply restorative as three hours of sleep!
As a simple practice of guided meditation that lulls you into a semi-conscious state, Yoga Nidra offers more than just a quick cat nap. It moves your body and your consciousness into an altered state of deep rest and rejuvenation. Yoga Nidra is actually believed to be more refreshing than deep sleep.
Want to practice right away? Follow These 7 Steps for a Peaceful Yoga Nidra Practice
Here Are 8 OMazing Benefits of Yoga Nidra:
“Yogic sleep” offers many different types of benefits and each practitioner gains something different from the practice, but there are a few overriding benefits that are hard to dispute.
This is in no way an exhaustive list, but it gives you a basic understanding of some of the overarching benefits of Yoga Nidra.
1. It’s Accessible for Everyone
You don’t need to be able to put your foot behind your head or balance on one finger to practice Yoga Nidra. In fact, you have to let all that go in order to practice.
This simple guided meditation is accessible to all because the only thing you need to do is lie down. Therefore, this practice is available for everyone – from young children to aging seniors, total meditation beginners to advanced practitioners, and everyone in between.
2. It Requires No Accessories
You don’t need a fancy mat or expensive yoga clothes to practice Yoga Nidra. In fact, you don’t need any equipment or accessories at all. So, yet again, it’s highly accessible.
Just find a comfortable, quiet space to lay down and turn inward.
3. It Takes Minimal Effort
Yoga Nidra really doesn’t require great effort to practice either. It’s slow, simple, easy to do and, perhaps best of all, it’s guided (so you don’t need to think about what’s coming next or how to clear your mind).
So it’s not only easy to do, but it’s also easy to continually maintain a practice because of how easy it is to follow.
4. There’s No Wrong Way to Practice
That’s right, one of the greatest benefits of Yoga Nidra is that you literally can’t do it wrong. Therefore, there’s no stress involved whatsoever.
While traditional meditations can sometimes be very specific and task-oriented, Yoga Nidra is all about listening and absorbing the practice. After all, it is a practice of guided “sleep.” All that’s needed is some subtle awareness of the body and the breath – nothing more.
Even if you fall asleep, you’re still doing it right! This is because it’s believed that your subconscious can still benefit from the practice even when your conscious mind has checked out.
5. It Helps to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Dreaded stress and anxiety plague our modern society like few other ailments. But by simply drawing your awareness to your body and your breath in Yoga Nidra, research shows that you can drastically affect your nervous system to quell anxiety.
Deep breathing and systematic muscle relaxation helps to calm your parasympathetic nervous system, and this is exactly what Yoga Nidra does, thereby promoting stress relief and rejuvenation.
Swami Rama even said that “Yoga Nidra is a practice of self-mastery of the autonomic nervous system.”
6. It Will Energize and Nourish You
It’s believed that 45 minutes of a Yoga Nidra practice is as deeply restorative as three hours of sleep! Some have even claimed that great ancient yogis never slept at all, but only practiced Yoga Nidra intermittently to refresh and nourish their bodies.
While you may still need regular sleep as well, “yogic sleep” can be a really refreshing practice to swap out for an afternoon nap – you might actually feel more energized after Yoga Nidra than your cat nap!
Looking for some other restorative practices? Try These 4 Restorative Yoga Poses to Relax Your Body and Mind
7. It Calms the Nervous System
Perhaps one of the most important benefits of Yoga Nidra, the simplicity of the guided meditation helps to soothe and relax the nervous system.
The simple act of lying down and closing your eyes is already deeply soothing to the nervous system and helps to move you toward a parasympathetic state (AKA your rest-and-digest response).
“Yoga Nidra is a practice of self-mastery of the autonomic nervous system.” – Swami Rama
By moving into this parasympathetic state, Yoga Nidra can help to slow your heart rate, soften skeletal muscle tone, relax your breath, and still your mind.
8. It Allows You to Deeply Connect Within
The simple practice of turning inward that Yoga Nidra guides you to do creates an unbreakable bond between you and your deeper psyche.
The practice not only teaches you about your internal state, it also teaches you how to affect that state with breath, visualizations, body scans, and mindfulness.
This guided meditation opens the door to your inner world so that you have the capacity to enter into that space whenever you need.
Don’t Underestimate the Benefits of Yoga Nidra
Without a doubt, “yogic sleep” is a deeply beneficial practice and, in reality, there is no limit to the benefits of Yoga Nidra.
When practiced with sincerity and care, Yoga Nidra has the power to drastically alter your mood, feelings, sensations, and more. It can make you feel rested and relaxed, soothed and energized.
With so much to gain and so little to lose, Yoga Nidra is well worth exploring!
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