What is Yoga Nidra?

The literal definition of Yoga Nidra is “Yogic Sleep”, but
as with many literal definitions, this encompasses only the slimmest insight into what it is and what it can offer.

Yoga Nidra is essentially a profound relaxation, where the physical body, mind and emotions are completely enveloped in relaxation HOWEVER  the consciousness is awake and aware during practice. Yoga Nidra itself is the state of consciousness (just as we might be asleep or in meditation) and the practice is only one possible path that will lead in to this state. Yoga Nidra is the destination and not the journey!

At a physical level, the brain and central nervous system operate by sending electrical signals that can be measured and this activity is often referred to as “brain waves”. During different stages of consciousness, including sleep and hypnosis, neuro-scientific studies have revealed that brain waves operate at different frequencies (measured in Hertz/cycles per second). During Yoga Nidra the brain waves are slowed to the deepest level, Delta Waves, which are normally only experienced during deep, unconscious, dreamless sleep. In
Yoga Nidra the practitioner experiences Delta Waves but is completely conscious.

Yoga Nidra is a totally restorative and healing process, but its benefits are many and can be adopted or experienced to suit an individual at any given time. The practitioner may simply need to experience physical and mental relaxation. This in turn may help reduce stress, anxiety and insomnia or it may be used to access an auto-suggestive un/subconscious state and work on changing habits or behaviours – Yoga Nidra can be especially useful in goal setting and fulfilling. At other levels it can be used to tap in to creativity or as a problem solving tool, tuning into your innate wisdom (think of a time
when you have woken up knowing the answer to a challenge you’ve been faced with). Also this practice can become a meditative resource.


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