We often come to our yoga mat to sweat, strengthen, and balance the stress in our life through a vinyasa classes. We want to settle our restless monkey mind and stretch through the stiffness of our muscles from being sedentary all day or doing monotonous repetitive tasks for work. We seek to balance the stress in our life. Yang Yoga, or this more active yoga, is wonderful for invigorating the body, getting the heart pumping, and finding movement in our lives. On the flip side, the yin side of yoga, there are wonderful slower practices such as restorative and yin yoga. Restorative focusing o the healing of the nervous system and yin focusing on opening up the energetic channels of the fascia, ligaments, and tendons. However, I bet you haven’t heard much about another slower type of yoga called Yoga Nidra.
Yoga Nidra is a powerful practice of deep relaxation and transformative self-inquiry. A practice devoted to allowing your body and mind to rest while your consciousness remains awake and aware, creating the opportunity for you to tap into a deeper understanding of yourself and your true nature. On a scientific level, which has been studied for many years through the iRest Institute for military veterans and at Cleveland Clinic, it has been shown that Yoga Nidra directly impacts brain waves. We are often in the gamma and beta cycle of brain waves in our everyday life, working, thinking, driving, studying, and being active. We start to move into the alpha brain waves by sitting down to read, watch a show, or listen to relaxing music. Yoga Asana and Pranayama help us move into the slower and more flowy alpha brain waves as well. Traveling even deeper into the settling of the mind and detached conscious awareness of theta and delta brain waves, we fall asleep or we are in meditation. This is where the magic of healing happens on a cellular level through yogic sleep.
At its heart, Yoga Nidra is about waking up to the fullness of your life. During a nidra, the guide will take you through the five subtle layers of the body called Koshas. The physical body by way of a body scan exploring from head to toe. The energetic body by way of the breath, providing you a distinct pranayama to practice while seated and laying down. The mental body by way of exploration of life’s dualities in our senses such as light and dark, hot and cold and the dualities of our feelings such as content and discontent, joyful and sad, amongst others. Moving deeper into your consciousness, while your physical body is in complete relaxation, the guide will take you to the intuitive body by way of subtle imagery and visualizations. At this point, you may find yourself sleeping, yet awake. You are experiencing the in-between, you reach the fifth and final bliss body. Moving towards a greater sense of stability, peace, and clarity in all aspects of your life as you deepen your Yoga Nidra practice and discover its true power. Yoga Nidra helps with insomnia and sleep issues, it is a powerful tool to allow a sense of complete surrender in a safe space of guidance. It is said that 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equal to 2-4 hours of sleep. Curious? Join Sirena Tuesdays nights at 7:30pm for Yin & Nidra.