Yoga Nidra is a form of meditation that is usually practiced lying down. The aim is to learn to access the state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. In that place of transition the physical body rests, restores and revitalises. Sessions are usually between 20 – 40 minutes in length.
Ideally you should have a blanket to cover you and a pillow or two just under your head and also possibly under the knees. If you are unable to lie down, you can do the practices sitting up. Just be sure you are well supported and able to relax physically.
During a yoga nidra session you are talked through a relaxation and then what is essentially a guided meditation follows. It is a potent meditative resource for relaxation, insight and empowerment, as your mental awareness is first guided and then set free. Through this process there is an opening of new possibilities in terms of accessing the power of the sub or un-conscious aspect of the mind.
Cultivating an overall sense of wellbeing is the end result. These sessions provide the benefits of a restorative relaxation that invigorate the body. After a yoga nidra session I usually feel as though I have had a couple of extra hours of sleep. It is a great way of providing a moment of stillness in a hectic or stressful day.
By practicing yoga nidra once or twice a week, in the words of Rick Hanson “You really can nudge your whole being in a better direction every day” (Psychologist and author of Buddha’s Brain)
MORE INFORMATION AND FREE YOGA NIDRA DOWNLOADS CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING ON THE FOLLOWING LINKS
Integrative Restoration(irest) here
This has free sessions to download on reducing anxiety/stress and improved sleep. It also has a useful page of research links for studies of various therapeutic applications of yoga nidra. The website was developed by Richard Miller.
Yoga Nidra Network here
Developed by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli and Nirlipta Tuli this website has session uploaded by many people.
Here are some recommended Yoga Nidra guided relaxations taken from the www.yoganidranetwork.org in “Free yoga nidras” section. There are a wide range of sessions offered that are worth exploring.
http://www.yoganidranetwork.org/mp3/pain-management Total length is 22 mins
http://www.yoganidranetwork.org/mp3/yoga-nidra-good-night-sleep Total length is 28 mins. This recording has a horrible clicking sound at the start so I would recommend jumping the audio forward to 2.30 into the recording.
http://www.yoganidranetwork.org/mp3/inner-journey Total length is 28 mins. An inner journey particularly addressing issues of self worth and related anxiety and also a great guided relaxation.