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Yoga Nidra- Frequently Asked Questions

October 3, 2020, Author: Toni

Before I experienced Yoga Nidra myself; I had never heard of it so it’s not surprising that the people I meet are unfamiliar with yoga nidra. Often, those familiar with yoga nidra are often yoga teachers. What is often the case, those I meet share their or their loved one’s difficulty getting to sleep or staying asleep or who are just so stressed out that they realize they are in “bad shape” so I’m answering the top questions that I get relative to Yoga Nidra.

Why do I need Yoga Nidra?  Yoga Nidra is a tool to combat chronic stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. It re-balances your body’s chemicals: neurotransmitters and hormones, which rids your body of stress. It re-trains your body to rest and surrender to sleep. Time and time again, I witness the changes in participants’ bodies when they have attended a series of yoga nidras. Each time, they relax even deeper than they did before. We all have been exposed to articles and news on the effects of chronic stress and sleepless nights. Addressing these issues are the utmost of importance for self-care.

I have never done yoga before. Can I do Yoga Nidra? The simple answer is yes.  Yoga Nidra requires you to lay down, as comfortably as possible, and listen for 45 minutes.  If laying down is not comfortable for you; you can sit comfortably and listen.

What do I wear?  Wear clothing that is comfortable for you: loose fitting clothing. Participate without shoes. If you are going to prepare for bed; you could wear your pajamas.

How do I join?  You can follow this link to choose the Tuesday evening that you want to attend and pay. You will be asked for your email address and mobile phone number. A zoom link for the evening’s yoga nidra will be sent to your email address. A day after the Yoga Nidra; a beautiful image with the evening’s affirmation will be sent to your mobile phone.  You will need the link to add to an internet browser on the evening of the Yoga Nidra to join.

How do I prepare for my first yoga nidra?  Create a comfortable space for your yoga nidra practice. Use earbuds or head phones for your electronic device. Have two pillows: one for under the head and one for under the knees. Gather a blanket, because your body temperature lowers 10 degrees, and an eye mask (if the light in the room will distract you and you cannot turn off the lights). If you have an essential oil, sprinkle a calming oil on your clothing or blanket to encourage deep breathing. If you don’t have an essential oil; I recommend Döterra’s Adaptiv blend or lavender. You can purchase these here

What if I am unfamiliar with Zoom?

See the video on the website    to learn how to use Zoom.

What if I fall asleep?  You will receive the benefit of the yoga nidra. Many people believe they sleep and reap no benefit yet they wake up when given directions. I have never had to physically nudge someone to wake up. EEG studies have shown that, like sleep, theta brain waves increase but alpha waves don’t decrease to the extent that they do in sleep which means you are aware of what is taking place and in conscious awareness.

What are the benefits of a Yoga Nidra session?

  • a physiologically relaxed and rebalanced brain
  • a greater positive outlook
  • sense that one deeply relaxed
  • detachment from repetitive thoughts, worries
  • rebalances the body’s chemicals that bring one to a state of neutrality: neither hyper aroused (anxiety, high arousal, stress) or under aroused (depression, adhd symptoms, problems learning).
  • a sense of focus and clarity
  • decrease in muscle tension
  • reduction in pain and blood pressure
  • clears out an effect of the stress hormone, cortisol.

What are the benefits of long-term yoga nidra practice?

  • an increase in grey matter in the front of the brain which improves problem solving, creative solutions, and planning
  • improves memory consolidation to facilitate learning
  • ability to focus to learn new material
  • increases gamma brainwave activity in the waking state and theta brain waves that increases memory and learning to restore motivation and desire to learn.
  • thicker areas of the parietal lobe that increase in one’s ability to empathize with others and have compassion
  • decrease in size of the amygdala which means a decrease in stress.

Yoga Nidra has been a major tool for me in my ability to de-stress, rejuvenate, find focus, and create. It has opened doors to a beloved community and given me to strength to do what my family and I thought I’d never do (travel to India). The timing was perfect as I joined the Amrit Institute in a memorable trip to India just before the Covid-19 pandemic began earlier this year. Yoga Nidra is a beautiful tool that has been effective for me and I’d love to share it with you. I hope you join me in one of the four yoga nidras scheduled this week on Tuesday nights at 7 pm MST. Click here