An Introduction to Yoga Nidra


Taking a breath and a step back from the hustle and bustle of everyday life can be a challenge, which is why we turn to the calming routine of yoga and meditation.

Yoga gives our brains a chance to slow down and focus on something physical, removing the outlying stressors as we focus on poses and practice during guided classes, calming our minds.

Yoga Nidra is the ideal practice for serenity and meditation, but what exactly is Yoga Nidra?

What is Yoga Nidra
What is Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra is the practice of guided auditory meditation, sometimes referred to as a “sleepless sleep”. This meditative state often puts you between sleep and wakefulness as your mind and body relax, focussing on the guided meditation provided by the instructor leading the session.

Yoga Nidra isn’t there to empty your mind, but instead to focus it on your body and mind in an act of mindfulness. You may be asked to focus on relaxing certain areas of your body, imagining yourself in certain settings or paying particular interest in the length and depth of your breaths.

This highly adaptable technique can aid in relaxation, perfect for a mindful break!

Who can practice Yoga Nidra?
Who can practice Yoga Nidra?

There are so many different levels of yoga, but the beauty of Yoga Nidra is that it is a practice available to everyone! From children and beginners to professionals and seniors, Nidra is an easy-to-follow method that takes you out of your head for some well-deserved rest and relaxation.

Whilst most Yoga Nidra sessions encourage you to lie comfortably on the floor, the practice is still possible to complete whilst seated, as long as you are comfortable and ready to begin drifting into mindful meditation!

How to practice Yoga Nidra?

There is no right or wrong way to practice Yoga Nidra, it’s as simple as following the guidance your instructor is feeding you or following a few simple steps to work towards your daily affirmation for psychic sleep.

1. Create an affirmation

Creating an affirmation to follow helps to ground your yogic sleep. This affirmation can be positive, such as ‘I am loved’, ‘my body is healthy’ or something else to guide your practice.

2. Find a comfortable space

Yoga Nidra is a wholesome practice but it can also feel very vulnerable. Find yourself a space where you feel comfortable, preferably somewhere you can feel grounded.
Lay down on your back with your feet as wide as your mat, with your arms by your sides, palms facing up. Close your eyes and make yourself comfortable.

3. Try not to fall asleep

It’s easy to start feeling sleepy during your meditation, but try to remind yourself to keep hold of your affirmation and practice. Try including ‘I will not sleep, I will stay away’ within your internal mantra to help with this!

4. Be aware of your body

If you are following a guided practice you may be made aware of your body through instructions. Alternatively, you can move through your body, bringing attention to each limb and digit. Feel your body growing heavy and grounded, mentally repeating the name of that part of your body as you go.

5. Breathe

Now it’s time to pay attention to your breathing, and how long or deep your breaths are. Begin to concentrate on elongating and holding your breaths for a few seconds longer, concentrating on the airflow to your body, on how your abdomen and chest rise and fall with every inhale.

6. Emotional and mental awareness

Blocking out thoughts and emotions is hard, they’re a part of our human nature. Instead of trying to block or suppress any negative emotions or swirling thoughts, try to welcome them in. Acknowledge the thought or feeling, before brushing it away for another time.

7. Return to your body

As your guided or self-guided Yoga Nidra practice comes to an end, come back into your body slowly. Start by moving your fingers or toes, slowly bringing movement and awareness back into your body before opening your eyes and reflecting on your session.

Why you should try Yoga Nidra
Why you should try Yoga Nidra

The deep meditation of this dreamless sleep allows you to take stock of your mind and body, acknowledging any pain or concern, allowing you to focus on a deeper healing than you would usually undertake as you take note of everything you feel without outside distractions.

Nidra also helps to soothe the nervous system, allowing your body to relax and release any tension you may be holding.

Try Yoga Nidra in Falmouth with St Michaels Resort

Get ready to release tension and open your mind for a moment of relaxation and self-care. Yoga is a mindful practice that can take place anywhere, from Yoga Nidra in a candle-lit room to Ayurvedic yoga on the beach.

No matter your preference or skill set, our selection of yoga experiences are available to try out to find the perfect practice to suit your lifestyle.

Find out more with St Michaels Wellness Experiences today!