yoga nidra

5 reasons you should practice yoga nidra

If you haven’t yet discovered the miracle of yoga nidra, here are five reasons why you should. By Vicky Richings

It’s no surprise that with the events of the last year, people have been looking to this ancient practice for comfort. Here’s why you should add yoga nidra to your yoga routine.

Dating back to The Upanishads, the practice of yoga nidra now uses several different techniques to guide you to a place of conscious, but deep relaxation. There is no wrong way to practice this restful form of yoga and while it may take a few attempts to settle fully, it can be a wonderful way to connect with ourselves.

Here are five reasons why you should give it a try:

  1. Withdraw from the busy world for a little while

We are bombarded by images and sounds, whether it be from our mobile phones, televisions or traffic while out for a walk. The human brain loves stimulation, but only to a point…then it all gets too much! If you enjoy a little quiet time, yoga nidra can offer just that. The practice draws you lightly inwards and guides your focus away from your environment, to give you a break from the hectic world.

  1. Feel rested

Yoga nidra is often called yogic sleep, as it can leave you with the feeling of having rested, just as being asleep does. Scientific studies have shown, through techniques such as rotating awareness to different body parts and visualisations, yoga nidra can evoke delta waves in the brain, the same as those found during deep sleep. This can be really beneficial if you feel in need of some good quality rest or have trouble sleeping.

  1. You can practice in any position

If you find it difficult to lay in stillness for any reason or fall asleep as soon as you are horizontal, there are alternative yoga nidra practices that you might want to try. Yoga nidra can be taken in a comfortable seated position if that feels better for you. There are also standing and walking yoga nidra practices that can still give you all the same great benefits.

  1. Alleviate stress and feelings of anxiety

Regular practice of yoga nidra has been shown to reduce tension and feelings of anxiety. Yoga nidra can help to alleviate tension headaches, lower blood pressure and increase self-esteem. It has also been used to help veterans cope with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

  1. Anyone can practice

While asana practice isn’t for everyone, yoga nidra is accessible to everybody: from children to those who are older, everyone can benefit. There are many different recorded audio yoga nidras available that can be used anywhere and anytime.

Please be aware: once you start a regular yoga nidra practice, you may find that you want to spend more and more time in this blissful state!

Vicky Richings

Vicky Richings, founder of Equanimity Yoga and co-founder of Your Yoga Training Limited, is an experienced, 500 hour qualified yoga teacher, YTT and CPD tutor, mentor and podcast host.