De-Stress with Yoga Nidra

De-Stress with Yoga Nidra

The Healing Power of Yoga Nidra - By Anandmurti Gurumaa

Reading time: 3 minutes

Stress has become synonymous with modern living. It is hard to find someone who is not stressed! Its deleterious consequences can be seen not only in the mind but also in the body.

Stress is unpleasant but also leads to serious health issues caused by adrenergic and cortisol surges in the body. This can lead to acid peptic disease, hypertension, heart attacks, strokes etc. The mind too is not spared leading to all sorts of mental imbalance and emotional upheavals that in turn further increase the stress levels. It is a vicious circle.

Many think that stress is inevitable and learn to live with it. Exhausted by their jobs and family commitments, everyone likes to unwind at the end of the day. Relax on the couch in front of a TV, read a book, drink a glass of wine and so on. But none of this imparts any deep or lasting relaxation.  You feel temporarily better but this is at a very superficial level and fleeting.

There is no magic pill for stress but fortunately, there is a drug-free remedy that can be availed by everyone. And this is an ancient technique called Yoga Nidra.*


What is Yoga Nidra

Nidra means sleep. The usual state of sleep is not only unconscious but is predominantly associated with dreaming, hence not restful.  Yoga Nidra, on the other hand, is a state of deep yet conscious sleep hence also known as yogic sleep. It is sleep with a trace of awareness. It is an ancient technique devised by sages centuries ago.


Benefits of Yoga Nidra

This unique technique imparts deep relaxation at all levels - physical, emotional and mental. Thus, it not only acts as a powerful stressbuster but heals the body right at the cellular level.

This technique of conscious sleeping gives all the benefits of deep sleep. Alpha waves calm the nervous system, lower blood pressure and cortisol and promote deep relaxation.

There is alleviation of stress, enhancement of creativity, improvement of memory, mental equanimity and more.

The resolve you make during the practice can help you give up addictions (smoking, drinking etc). This is because the resolve is directly planted in your subconscious mind which provides it with great strength for its fulfilment

This technique is also an important tool for spiritual aspirants. If done properly and over some time, it can give a glimpse of one’s existence separate from the body. Indeed, Yoga Nidra is a form of pratyahara, the fifth limb of Patanjali Yoga Sutras. Thus, it helps the practitioner progress on the path to samadhi (total absorption of the mind).


How to practice

The 40-minute-long practice has some key features: making a mental resolve, breath awareness, moving awareness through different parts of the body and visualization.

The resolve is made at the beginning of the practice. It relates to a desired change the person wishes to manifest in their life. It is recommended that the resolve pertains to the overall upliftment of the person rather than any particular materialistic gain.

This is followed by moving awareness of the body from one part to another. Then begins reverse counting -which begins from 27 and moves down to 1. This is done in tandem with inhaled and exhaled breath, focusing on the abdomen and then the chest.

Towards the end of the practice, a conscious dream state is created through various visualizations and imagery of diverse objects. The practice ends by repeating the same resolve made in the beginning.


Who and when can one practice Yoga Nidra?

It can be practised by people of all ages, even children. It can be practised any time of the day. All you need is a reasonably quiet room, semidarkness and a comfortable mat/mattress to lie down.

One thing that should be paid attention to here is that it should only be done in a language that is comfortable for you to understand. As of now, I have made Yoga Nidra available in Hindi, English and Spanish language.

For more information visit and the Amrit Varsha app.

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Anandmurti Gurumaa

An awakened being and a contemporary spiritual master, Anandmurti Gurumaa continues to guide thousands of people worldwide on the path of yoga.