Yoga Nidra induces a great sense of relaxation and promotes sleep: here are the recommended positions and how to practice it
How many has happened to be in a period of high stress? Many, but not all, know one of the many yoga disciplines whose purpose is to relieve tension and worries so as to induce a true relaxation comparable to sleep. Stress can make it difficult to make even the most obvious decisions and even enjoy moments of escape. In fact, a nervous state involves brain and physical activation that stresses the entire system more than necessary, and this is where yoga Nidra comes in, but what is it? Also called sleep yoga (in Sanskrit nidra means sleep), it is a systematic method to induce complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. The birth of the discipline winks at the experience gained by a contemporary Indian master, Swami Satyananda Paramahansa.
In particular, it is a conscious and somewhat active mental condition, different from the state of unconsciousness associated with the night. Yoga Nidra is a specific meditation that reveals to what extent the mind, in the phase before falling asleep, is sensitive and active in receiving external stimuli while the body seems to sleep. The practice requires the presence of an expert who can lead to a state of relaxation. Yoga Nidra is a type of yoga that is based on guided relaxation that requires trust in the teacher through a tone of voice and an approach that communicate serenity. Alternatively, physical presence can be replaced by a recording or video. All you have to do is listen while lying on your back and lying down. Usually, the duration of a Yoga Nidra session can vary from a minimum of 20 minutes to a maximum of one hour.
Yoga Nidra: benefits
The practice, which is particularly relaxing unlike the others which engage the muscles in an active way, therefore allows you to reach a deeper state of awareness with the help of an expert. Yoga Nidra has benefits that affect the mind, and consequently the body, favoring the release of muscle tension. On average, it is calculated that an hour of practice is able to regenerate as much as 4 or 5 hours of sleep. One of the benefits is the ease with which it causes people to fall asleep and therefore fight the sense of exhaustion and headache.
First of all, given its advantages for those who have difficulty falling asleep, it is advisable to practice Yoga Nidra to sleep during the evening, after having a light meal. It is also possible to practice several times during the day, perhaps to arrive at the evening practice more relaxed and facilitate sleep even more. Yoga Nidra is also an excellent ally for many pathological conditions, acute or chronic. In fact, it helps fight heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, digestive problems and some chronic degenerative conditions including arthritis. Being a tool for managing stressful conditions of various kinds, this discipline is also valid in post-operative recovery.
The exercises (or rather the phases) of yoga Nidra
Just have a yoga mat or a bed with you where you can lie down in maximum comfort. It is important to choose a room where you do not work habitually, feel free and have the actual space (including visual) to get the best results. In yoga Nidra the exercises are transformed into phases. The first phase is the preparation, in which the position in Shavasana is performed (position of the corpse) with the body lying on the ground, belly up. The lying attitude leads the legs to be slightly apart, the feet will naturally fall outwards. The arms are soft along the sides, as are the hands, with the palms facing upwards.
Purpose: Purpose, or sankalpa in Sanskrit, is a positive phrase or concept repeated mentally three times to initiate the relaxation process. Then there is the rotation of the Consciousness: the teacher's voice, naming the parts of the body starting from the right side, activates certain brain areas to increase the perception of relaxation and release of tension.
We then move on to awareness of the breath, where the emphasis is placed on the mode of breathing, trying to make it natural following its own flow. Breathing, in this as in other practices, more than important is essential as it represents the preparatory starting point for relaxation. The fourth phase takes the name of awakening of opposite sensations, a technique to balance and harmonize the conceptual dualism that has repercussions on a physical or emotional level such as hot / cold, well-being / malaise and so on.
The exercise of visualizations is also fundamental, as it stimulates the yogi's creativity in knowing how to produce positive visual images or those that in some way induce calm. Then, the phase of purpose already seen at the beginning is repeated through the repetition of phrases or concepts. Finally, the awakening. The mind is invited to awaken by the teacher through external stimuli that bring it to a state of complete wakefulness.