What is Yoga Nidra?


ANyoNe can Practise Yoga Nidra

Yoga nidra is a meditative state in which you neither awake nor asleep and your body is at rest. You don’t need any experience or special skills to practice yoga nidra. In a class, the teacher will guide you into the state as you simply lie down and listen. It will feel effortless. For this reason, yoga nidra can be a great alternative to setting about a formal meditation practice. Lying down encourages a natural state of surrender, unlike sitting for meditation, and the support of the teacher makes it easier to relinquish responsibility and let go of the controls.

What does yoga nidra feel like?

Even if you’ve never attended a yoga nidra class, you will have experienced yourself as being conscious though on the edge of sleep. Perhaps you can remember lying on the beach on holiday, half day-dreaming half sleep-dreaming, and recall how good it felt to be aware but not thinking or trying to work things out. As you lay there, you weren’t thinking about anything you had to do, or get, or be, you were simply being.

When we’re this relaxed, but still conscious, our brain settles into its inherently meditative state. We experience ourselves as pure consciousness and get to loiter in the stillness that exists behind all movements, thoughts, feelings and sensations.

Here, sometimes we receive insight, or resolution, or are simply reminded on the deepest level that beneath it all, we need for nothing. There is part of us that is always satisfied. It can be a deeply nourishing, soothing and even transformative experience.

Without us having done anything, we feel whole, we feel connected, and we feel better able to find ease amidst the challenges faced in our waking life.

Why should You practise yoga nidra?

Some people engage in a regular yoga nidra practice or class simply because it feels soothing and restorative, but equally burnout, stress, anxiety, physical pain and insomnia, for example, are a daily reality for many of us. Very often relief can be as simple (and as difficult!) as finding a way to stop, rest and be. Yoga nidra offers a forum and guidance to find relief in your own spaciousness – a place within you that is utterly unburdened, always.


Sound good?

And you can watch James present a short yoga nidra class on Ekhart Yoga here: