It’s for everybody
The meditation can be used easily to experience the positive effects of yoga without prior knowledge and without use of body-related exercises. It’s done while lying down, with support and blankets to allow the body to fully relax.
Reduced stress levels, better sleep
Yoga Nidra can reduce stress levels, help you sleep better, and improve overall well-being. Participants often report that they felt more relaxed after Yoga Nidra than they have in a long time. (“My body turns to jelly,” says one private client.) Some may even fall asleep while practicing, and while that is not the goal of Yoga Nidra, it may be much needed rest – trust that the teacher’s instructions are still being heard on some level.
Sankalpa, Intention: The heart of Yoga Nidra meditation is a personal resolution that addresses a topic important to the person. This intention is put into a simple, short and positive sentence (“I am calm and relaxed.”) The purpose is to train the unconscious to achieve the desired state through regular mental repetition. Studies that used such intentions during meditation have shown that cognitive restructuring processes are stimulated. Read More: Tips on Finding Your Intention
Relaxation is crucial
For people who regularly practice Yoga Nidra, the realization of this intention is more important than pure relaxation. However, relaxation is a crucial prerequisite for giving the body and mind the opportunity to resolve underlying tension. For this purpose, Yoga Nidra contains a systematic sequence of breath and body awareness that can activate the parasympathetic nervous system and increase the amount of alpha-waves in the brain. In the 30 minute class, students receive a guided visualization, allowing the mind to travel freely while the body is relaxed.
History: Yoga Nidra was developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati in 1976 as a relatively easy-to-learn meditation to be used by people of various backgrounds and cultures and independent of previous knowledge. His renowned book, Yoga Nidra, is the textbook most often referred to, and used by the Yoga Therapy Training program at Prema Yoga Institute in NYC.
“The intuitions received in Yoga Nidra enable one to find within himself the answers to all problems. One’s true nature and integrity manifest, enabling him to live a meaningful and peaceful life in any environment.”– Swami Satyananda Saraswati
A randomized study of 500+ participants published in Current Psychology in 2020 found that Yoga Nidra decreased stress levels, improved sleep quality, elevated well-being, and increased the mindfulness of the participants, who practiced a short Yoga Nidra over the course of 30 days. All effects remained stable at a follow-up six weeks later. Overall, a large, heterogeneous sample showed that a very short dose of meditation can positively influence stress, sleep, and well-being.
Moszeik, E.N., von Oertzen, T. & Renner, KH. Effectiveness of a short Yoga Nidra meditation on stress, sleep, and well-being in a large and diverse sample. Curr Psychol (2020)
What Students Are Saying:
- “I usually revisit the sessions each week, and find them very helpful. Helpful all around. For feeling better balance, and more present, and also a good antidote to insomnia.” – Leslie R
- “I really enjoyed the Yoga Nidra. I was feeling very stressed at the start of the session. My heart rate was 92 and after the session it was 70. I felt so much better. It was a great session.” -Barbara S
- “I stretched out on the sofa to listen, somewhat concerned that I might just go to sleep, even though I was not especially tired. Your voice has such a hypnotic quality that before I knew it the 25 minutes had passed. I don’t think I fell asleep, because I was alert to the guidance that brought the session to a close, opening my eyes, feeling relaxed and refreshed as it ended. Magic!” -Judy S.
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Email Ann for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.-Bhagavad Gita
ABOUT THE INSTRUCTOR: Ann Grace MacMullan is a certified yoga instructor (E-RYT 200, RYT 500) and believes in the therapeutic value of yoga for everyone, no matter what age, level of fitness, or life circumstance. Ann is currently pursuing her C-IAYT, certification in Yoga Therapy. She has been teaching yoga and meditation throughout the Philadelphia area for over five years. She can be reached directly at email@example.com