Yoga Nidra - Jana Kyriakou
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before you practice read

ABOUT YOGA NIDRA

 Let’s slow down, pause, observe and allow…Connect with your inner wisdom

 

Yoga nidra, or yogic sleep as it is commonly known, is a powerful, yet easy meditation technique. While you rest comfortably laying down, this systematic meditation takes your attention through your body, breath and mind. And through all phases of regular sleep - it's like exercising for a good night sleep later!

 

Why practice yoga nidra:  

Research shows that regular practice of yoga nidra relaxes the nervous system, reduces overall stress and improves the quality of sleep. When we don't sleep well, our body and mind cannot regenerate, our memory and learning capacity is compromised and the risks of inflammation and illness increase. We won't do well on that test or with the presentation next morning if we study late into night, really really not!

So yes! Medical professionals prescribe good sleep for optimal physical and mental health. It's simple, it's relaxing...we just need to ALLOW ourselves to rest :)

How and where to practice:

Find a quiet place where you can lay down - in your bed, on the couch, on a yoga mat. Make sure you are comfortable and warm. You may cover yourself with a blanket, place a relaxation pillow on your eyes, diffuse a relaxation essential oil like lavender in the room. 

How does the actual meditation look like:

As you are laying down, just listen to my voice and try to follow the instructions without trying too hard or worrying if you are doing it right. There is no wrong way :)

We usually start with guided relaxation, some gentle breathing, then continue with guided attention travel through individual body parts and visualisation. The purpose of yoga nidra is to relax, but keep awake and follow the guidance of my voice. But if you fall asleep, don't worry, you will still benefit from it. In your mind there is always a part that is awake and that part will hear me. So just relax and don't try to force anything.

 Important part of yoga nidra is also defining our “Sankalpa” - a deep heartfelt desire, our soul whisper, our intention, something that is really important for us. When you are prompted to create your Sankalpa during the meditation, just open your heart to it. Don't think about it, it's not coming from the thinking mind, but rather from our intuition. Once a word or sentence or image arrives, create a short sentence, a positive affirmation in the present tense. For example "I'm well rested" or "I am calm" or "I'm confident".  Don't worry about it now, I will guide you in the meditation.

This affirmation can be safely imprinted in our mind thanks to the specially relaxed state. So this way we have an opportunity to rewrite some unhelpful patterns of our mind and create new outlooks and habits. We don't need to believe our mind telling us sentences like we are stressed or not smart or not pretty. We can create new beliefs.

What time of the day and how often to practice:

You can practice any time of the day or right before going to sleep. Practicing relaxation and good quality sleep is like exercise - you need to do it regularly to see changes in your life. You can practice yoga nidra every day or few times per week. If you have a lot of stress in your life or suffer poor quality sleep, I recommend you stick to a regular practice (everyday or 3-4 times per week) for at least one month. 

Do you have more questions ? Contact me: janakyriakou@bewellinstitute.com

This specific yoga nidra has been inspired by Karen Brody and her book: Dare to Rest