Yoga Nidra for Ultimate Relaxation

Everyone has moments when stress feels like a giant boulder sitting on their shoulders. At the end of a stressful day, some people head to happy hour or grab fast food for a quick dinner, but these coping mechanisms can’t quell that inner voice saying to slow down and take a deep breath. Jobs, carpools, bills, daycare, commutes – the list of stressful life events goes on and on. The practice of yoga nidra is exactly what everyone needs to take a moment and be mindful.

Yoga nidra is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping. It is a state in which the body is completely relaxed. Yoga nidra is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness.

To practice yoga nidra, find a quiet place to unroll your yoga mat and place a bolster length wise on top of it. Next, place a blanket or block at the top of the mat where your head will be. Lie with your sitting bones on the matt with the bolster supporting the spine from the lower back to the top of the head. As in corpse pose, rest arms alongside the body at a comfortable angle, with palms facing up. Take a deep breath and let go of those muscles that are holding onto the stresses of the day.

This is the time to connect to the inner self. Be mindful and acknowledge feelings and thoughts without judgement. Notice if breaths are fast or slow, shallow or deep. Breathe naturally and easy. Close your eyes and visualize your body floating without restriction.

When ready to move out of the pose, take a moment to reorient yourself to the environment. Notice the smells, the light, the sounds of the room. Open your eyes, wiggle your toes and emerge feeling calm and refreshed.

“Mindfulness is important for all sports and daily activities to prevent injuries and keep the brain fit,” says Dr. Seth Camhi. “Any form of yoga is an asset to healthy aging.”

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