How to Perform Yoga Nidra?

As the first steps in the practice of Yoga Nidra, we use body sensation and breath awareness. Unsurprisingly, when we practice deep relaxation, we frequently become so relaxed that we fall asleep. After just 10 to 15 minutes of deep relaxation, we can feel less worried and tense, primarily if we focus on breathing and begin to direct our consciousness inside as the initial steps toward peace. The parasympathetic nervous system is activated, and the body recognizes that it can start to relax.

Steps to Follow

1- Lie down in Savasana (Corpse Pose) with your eyes open, or sit in a chair. Feel your breath, inhaling and exhaling. Feel the breath caress the skin inside your nose, observing the temperature of the in-breath and out-breath and the difference between them. (Two minutes)

2- Move into two-pronged awareness: watch yourself breathe while also being aware that another part of you is observing from a different angle as if you were watching yourself in a movie.

3- Continue to remain mindful of your breathing, this time noticing your navel rise on inhalations and sink on exhalations. (Two minutes) Keep your eyes open and attentively observe your actual environment.

4- Close your eyes for 3 seconds and note the blackness, then gradually open your eyes halfway and notice the light flowing through. (three seconds)

5- Take note of what you feel or experience in your body as you open and close your eyes. Close your eyes and gaze out into the darkness beyond your eyelids. Cover your eyes with an eye cushion (if it feels safe and comfortable to do so). Allow your awareness to rest in the shadows. (Two minutes)

6- Continue to notice the rise and fall of your tummy while keeping your eyes closed. Continue to be aware that you are breathing while also being aware that a part of you is observing you, watching yourself breathe. Make yourself conscious of your awareness. (Two minutes)

7- Allow your attention to be drawn to sound. Listen for the furthest distant sounds you can detect. (3 minutes)

8- Continue to be aware of your awareness. (3 minutes)

9- Allow your focus to jump from sound to sound, letting go of recognizing what the sounds are and simply allowing your attention to move. Begin to bring your perception of sound closer to you. Hear your breath, then the sound of your heart pounding and the blood and fluids flowing through your body. Just let go of the awareness of sounds for the time being. Allow all sounds to float away in the distance. Imagine you are in the middle of a circle, with all sounds outside of it.

10- Consider your body lying on the ground (or on your chair). Take note of all the body parts that are in contact with the floor (or chair). Scanning your body for these sites of contact should be done carefully and thoroughly. Feel your body being drawn to the soil as a result of these locations. (Two minutes)

11- Feel how much space there is between your body and the floor. Consider the space around you. Consider yourself to be the space around your body. Rest in your awareness. (Two minutes)

12- Remember that you had a portion of yourself before you had a body.

13- Remember that you were present when the world was formed. (One minute)

14- Take comfort in the fact that you are everlasting. (One minute)

15- As you slowly regain consciousness, pay attention to the sounds around you.

16- Return your attention to your body and deepen your breath while keeping still.

17- Take note of your breathing and remember where you are—the room, the building. Thank you for returning.

18- Begin by opening your eyes and finishing with 3 minutes of freewriting.

Bonus Tips

1- During practice, keep your eyes slightly open.

2- Experiment with a trustworthy person or a pet in the room.

3- Touch or move the portions of your body where you want to relax. Let go of the notion that you must “stay perfectly still.”

Stand up and practice.

4- When practicing in a group, inform your teacher that you want a comfortable spot for yourself rather than lining up or being contained in a circle. 

5- Perform Yoga Nidra under the supervision of an expert like in Yoga Nidra 101- Chakra Activation Course, which multiplies its impact on your body.

6- You can find more healthy and life-changing courses on Omidlife, a global holistic platform.

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