My own personal yoga journey has been one of discovery, and the more I learn, the more I love about it and the physical and mental health benefits. Now I’m soon-to-be qualified to teach sleep yoga, officially known as Yoga Nidra, and anyone can do it!
After qualifying last year to teach Pranayama, Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga in Goa, I continued to attend courses to advance my knowledge – it was a great thing to focus on during the various lockdowns and helped me significantly to focus and relax.
Fortunately, I was still able to attend a meditation course in London back in August where I learnt a lot more about guided meditation and the benefits. So naturally, I started to include this in my normal sessions and the feedback was fantastic.
It encouraged me to go one step further and embark on a Yoga Nidra course.
What is Yoga Nidra?
Everyone is aware of how important physical fitness is for our bodies, but few of us understand how to exercise the other layers of our subtler bodies that make up our personality and mindfulness.
In yoga, these five layers of being are called Koshas and include your life energy, thought processes and spiritual body.
Yoga Nidra is a powerful meditation technique that takes you through the five layers of self through visualisation while simply lying flat on your back with your arms by your side, otherwise known as the savasana corpse pose. No challenging Asana holds or Vinyasa flows are needed – just lie down and have a rest!
You’ll enter yogic sleep, or effortless relaxation, and end the session feeling a sense of wholeness which will reduce stress levels and improve your overall health.
Each time you practice Yoga Nidra, you’ll encounter a new experience, as your visualisations will be wholly dependent on how you are feeling at that time.
Why do it?
The real question is, why not? This time last year, it was easy to think that working from home and not being allowed to go out would free us from the distractions of everyday life. But in fact, it’s raised stress and anxiety levels for many of us.
By doing a 45-minute session of Yoga Nidra, you can achieve the same as what you would in a 3-to-4 hour nap! It helps you to clear your mind, focus and relax.
And the great thing is that the current climate accommodates Yoga Nidra perfectly. I find that it’s actually better to do this from home rather than in a studio.
Not only can you avoid driving anywhere and disrupting the meditative state you’ll achieve during the session, but you can also find a space at home where you can truly relax and set a scene that’s right for you. Maybe turn the lights down low, light some incense candles or a diffuser.
It can be done first thing in the morning to revitalise you for the day ahead, or in the evenings to help you wind down before bed and encourage a deep sleep. Your screen can be turned off too so that all you hear is my voice guiding you through meditation techniques – it’s practically a 1-2-1 session!
Any anyone can do it no matter their age, fitness levels or ability. It might be something you choose to do alone, but you can also get the whole family involved too.
All you need is a mat or towel, blanket and pillow and you’re ready to go.
If you’re interested in joining me, get in touch to find out about free trial sessions or 1-2-1s.