Yoga nidra (usually translated as “yogic sleep”) is a guided practice that helps you contact a deep state of awareness that exists between a waking state of mind and a sleeping state. It’s a powerful practice that creates a deep state of relaxation and rest. During the practice you are guided to bring your attention slowly inward and asked to deepen your inner attention from gross aspects of your experience to more subtle aspects. Paradoxically, the body is asleep yet awareness is thought to remain “awake”.
During the practice, the mind becomes progressively more settled. Oftentimes, this leads the body into deep sleep. Although the practice can lead to sleep, the deeper purpose is to let go of patterns (“samskara”) while in the yoga nidra state.
Yoga Nidra, or ‘conscious sleep’, is a form of restorative meditation. It can restore the body and mind and is ideal for sleep deprivation. It is a tantric meditation practice that induces brainwave patterns associated with ‘rest and digest’ nourishment. Attention is focused on the breath and guided through the body, activating a state of effortless non-doing. It is commonly practiced lying down and meditators may fall asleep, de-focus and let attention ebb and flow naturally.
Free Guided Yoga Nidra Meditation
Please find a comfortable position laying on your back preferably, and enjoy this 30 min. free guided meditation audio. If you do fall asleep that is completely ok! Let go and enjoy.
I hope you’ enjoyed this yoga nidra practice. If you’d like to check out more guided meditations you might enjoy:
- Meditation for nourishing Kidney Qi
- Meditation on Kindness (metta)
- Pause and Relax Meditation
- Calm Abiding Meditation
How is it Done?
Let’s take a breath, and try and relax. This panic is definitely not helping our immune system, which is our best defence mechanism.
We hope you enjoy our FREE Brave Yoga guided 25 minute Yoga Nidra meditation. The intention of providing this for free, is to allow people to relax and recover during high-stress periods or anxiety.
Yoga Nidra means ‘Yoga sleep’ – The goal is to be in-between wakeful awareness and a sleeping state. What this means in real terms, is you are aware of the sound of my voice, but you are in a blissful state. If you fall asleep, it doesn’t matter either – you can’t do this wrong! So find a comfortable spot and position, close your eyes and get ready to relax!
Please note: At the end of 25 minutes you are brought back to wakeful alertness. So this can be used either to help you sleep before bed, or during the day if you need a little relaxation before getting on with your day.
Difference between Nidra and Yoga Nidra
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar says,
“Nature compels you to go into silence unconsciously and that is sleep. This gives you energy. When you choose to be silent consciously, that is meditation. It gives you more energy and can help open doors to subtle dimensions.
In other words, Yoganidra is to “sleep consciously”. Yoganidra instantly recharges and brings an incredible quietness and clarity within you. Yoganidra in Sanskrit means Yogic sleep. The rest that you get through this power nap is much more powerful than sleep because the relaxation takes place consciously.
A yoga routine provides deep restoration to your body and the mind. And to make your practice more effective, it is ideal to end your yoga sequence with Yoganidra. In Yoganidra, we consciously take our attention to different parts of the body and relax them. This can be done by anyone and everyone.
Yoganidra helps conserve and consolidate our energy and relax the entire system, preparing it for pranayama and meditation. It is therefore important to keep aside sufficient time for Yoganidra after yoga posture. Yoganidra is an essential end to any yoga pose sequence. While the yoga postures ‘warm up’ the body, Yoganidra cools it down.