Understanding Yoga Nidra and its Benefits
Jun 11, 2021
Yoga Nidra refers to a state of consciousness that is arrived at through a set of verbally guided instructions given by an experienced teacher. To be awake and aware in the deep sleep state is Yoga Nidra. Some may call it Yoga Nidra Meditation but unlike "true" meditation, which is done in a seated posture, Yoga Nidra is done in Savasana (corpse pose). This ancient Tantric technique has a multitude of benefits that are known to many but are simply side effects of the practice. Some Yoga Nidra benefits include a better night's sleep, a calm mind, improved health, and a greater connection with Self, to name a few.
To learn more about Yoga Nidra and how to practice the techniques that lead you to this State, please consider taking a workshop or training. You'll dive deep into the philosophy to better understand:
What is Yoga Nidra?
How does it work?
What are the Benefits of Yoga Nidra?
How to teach and guide others?
In Yoga Nidra, we are consciously moving from the waking state of consciousness, through the dream state, to the causal state consciously. To remain awake and aware through the process is the goal, then you may abide in your true nature. Yoga Nidra is used for many things these days, including Yoga Nidra for Sleep and Yoga Nidra for Stress. Although these are wonderful uses, it is not the intended purpose. Yoga Nidra was used by Yogis to burn the karmic seeds, the samskaras, in the Chitta or unconscious, so that they would not have to come back again, lifetime after lifetime.
Yoga Nidra is a state of consciousness in which the body remains completely relaxed and the mind is guided to its highest state (Satva), allowing for abidance in your true nature, Svarūpa. All this is achieved by following the voice of a guide who’s familiar with the inner worlds; the physical, subtle, and causal worlds.
This state of consciousness is similar to meditation but different in its approach. Whereas Yoga Nidra is achieved lying down, meditation is done in a seated position. Yoga Nidra is an expansion of the mind, including All, whereas, meditation is a contraction of the mind to a point of focus, allowing you to pierce the veil of illusion (Maya). Both allow you to abide in your true nature. The ultimate goal on how to do Yoga Nidra and achieve meditative consciousness known as Samadhi is a sense of self-realization.
You are in a deep state of relaxation while being fully conscious, “aware, and awake”. To understand the process, and to experience this “state” firsthand, you can take a Yoga Nidra workshop. To teach this practice to others, Yoga Nidra training is imperative. Both options are quite beneficial.
Let’s understand some of the benefits of Yoga Nidra:
A lack of quality sleep is harmful to the body and mind as it can result in stress, depression, burnout, and a weak immune system, among other issues. Thus, it is important to get enough sleep at night. If you incorporate the Yoga Nidra techniques at bedtime, you may fall asleep much faster, deeper, and longer. There is a process involved in powering down your body & brain. The techniques used in Yoga Nidra allow you to do this consciously, training your body & mind in the relaxation process, allowing for deeper states to be reached quickly.
Moving through the physical and subtle bodies, while relaxing and releasing the tension, stress, and emotions, allows for a release of pain and tension in the physical and subtle bodies. If you don’t consciously remove tension in the body, over time, you may develop dis-ease in the body/mind system. Alternatively, If you are aware of the sensations that are present in your body, then you can easily get to know about the worries and stresses that tend to hold you back.
Research has shown that Yoga Nidra can help out when it comes to emotional self-regulation and the release of stress from the physical body. Reduced levels of stress allow for less worry, depression, and anxiety, allowing for an increase in quality of life, mood, and well-being.
The techniques can be practiced anywhere and are accessible to everyone. You’ll just need a quiet space to lie down, where you’re comfortable and able to listen to an experienced teacher guide you inward. Thus, anyone can practice the techniques, be it young children to aging seniors, beginners & advanced. All are welcome and encouraged in this simple, yet profound practice.
The good thing about Yoga Nidra is that you don’t need expensive yoga clothes or a fancy mat to practice the techniques. It is highly accessible and doesn’t require any accessories or equipment. All you need to do is find a quiet & comfortable space to lie down and perhaps turn inward.
Yoga Nidra doesn’t need your efforts in order to arrive, on the contrary, it requires you to be effortless in your approach, to just Be. Here – There, are words that don’t apply in this space, and with the least effort you find yourself non-local - beyond words, beyond space/time…
It has been said that a Yoga Nidra session of 45 minutes is equivalent to three hours of sleep. Yogi’s move to the state of Yoga Nidra easily and are able to nourish and refresh their bodies, pulling energy from the source. Because they’re capable of moving into this state at will, they’re known for not sleeping, as they’re awake and aware in the state of deep sleep. For the average person, Yogic sleep can really help to refresh you and leave you feeling more energized and relaxed.
An important benefit of Yoga Nidra is that it relaxes and soothes the nervous system. It helps you to move into the parasympathetic state. Here, your heart rate slows, your breathing relaxes and your mind becomes still.
Yoga Nidra helps to create an unbreakable bond between you and your higher self. Once the connection is made, you may imbibe wisdom, and live life from a place of balance, centeredness, and strength. Additionally, it opens the door to your inner world and helps you to understand life as it is.
The techniques that lead you to the State of Yoga Nidra are beneficial on many levels, physically, emotionally, mentally, intellectually, and spiritually. It’s a complete practice that will leave you energized yet relaxed, fully refreshed, and in harmony with the world around you. This powerful Tantric technique has the potential to take you beyond the three states of consciousness, into the fourth state, Turiya.
Are you interested in learning more? Yoga Nidra Teacher Trainings are open to all. Yoga Nidra Trainings
Some people live their Life for a Cause. And Chitra Sukhu is one such Lady. She has committed her Life in diligent Service (Seva) to enhance the Lives of so many Others. Her Cause is, “To Enrich, Empower, and Enlighten (E3) through Yoga, Ayurveda, Vedanta, and Meditation.” Her Purpose (Dharma) is, “To raise the Consciousness of the World, so that All may live Happier, Healthier Lives together as a Whole.” Chitra was born in Guyana to a Family of Indian ancestry. Although raised mostly in the United States, She also grew up in the many Sivananda Ashrams scattered around the world. Chitra’s parents, Yogi Hari and Leela Mata, joined the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Organization when She was three years old. And since the tender age of three, Chitra has practiced Yoga and Meditation daily. Such immersion in this Classical Culture, Discipline, and Celebration of Life has given Her a rather rare orientation for someone in the Western World. Reflecting Inner Wisdom She says, “Even though I come from the Sivananda lineage and respect all Teachers, I don't claim any Guru. My Guru has been Life – and through Life I have learned My greatest Lessons.” During her University years, while continuing Her “Foundational Practice” of Yoga and Meditation, Chitra also developed an interest in “the pleasures of the material world”, and pursued a career in Modeling and Acting. And while garnering success in this area, She did not attain Fulfillment. Later on, following the 9/11 attacks, Chitra experienced a powerful Spiritual Calling. She recognized the need to provide answers to the multitude of (often disregarded) questions inside a Child’s mind – questions about Terrorism, Killing, Death, Suffering, and the many other complexities of Life. People everywhere were fearful and confused, and these young minds were hardly ever given straightforward answers. She soon realized that many more and more people find it difficult to face stressful and demanding situations, and this inability to cope could be attributed to a failure to recognize One’s Inner Self. Being Herself a Mother, Chitra has always encouraged her Children to meditate and find an Inner Peace, a state of Mind, which helps them find the answers themselves. Chitra is an experienced Yoga teacher, registered with The Yoga Alliance at the E-RYT 500 level. She has a Diploma in Ayurvedic Sciences from Kerala Ayurveda. She is also an accomplished Indian classical dancer in the ancient style of Bharata Natyam. Chitra’s Mother, Leela Mata, travels the world teaching Ayurveda, Yoga, Vedanta Philosophy, and Meditation. Leela has a Spiritual Center (Leela Mata Peaceful Valley Ashram) in Pennsylvania. Her Father, Yogi Hari, a Master of Hatha, Raja, and Nada Yoga, is well known and respected around the world, has an Ashram in Florida, and has published over 20 CDs and 3 books. Chitra now continues the distinguished legacy of her Parents' LifeWork. She teaches and leads many Retreats around the world for adults and children. She has “birthed” the organization, New Age Kids Inc. -- a sincere effort to generate well-balanced individuals with a Sense of Self, from an early age. She has eleven Guided-Meditation CD’s and one CD where she sings Vedic slokas. Some of her CDs have become part of the Curriculum at schools. They have proven to reduce stress and confusion for Children, propagating healthy lifestyle, creativity, happiness and success. She has authored an acclaimed Children’s book, “Elven Rhyme – Journey through Time”. Chitra is now a published Playwright with Her play “To My Amazement”, garnering praise from recent performances in Canada. Chitra was the first to create the Youth Yoga Teachers Training Course (YYTTC) for Youth ages 16-21, Herein, young people can come together to learn more about Higher Consciousness and the Journey of the Self, while becoming Certified Yoga Teachers. Chitra is currently working on a Yoga video for Teens and Tweens, and one for Youth. When She is not traveling, She resides in Los Angeles.