5 Amazing Benefits of Yoga Nidra

I remember being at Kripalu to celebrate the successful completion of my 200 hour yoga teacher training in 2009. I went there to simply be. Practice yoga and give myself an inner high five. Initially I dove into yoga teacher training to deepen my seven year practice. I wanted more than what I was receiving in my regular yoga classes. Once I started yoga teacher training I knew I was being pulled in the direction to share and teach the sacred art of yoga.

During my weekend celebration at Kripalu, I woke early one morning and went to a 6am “gentle” yoga class. Jennifer Reis, master Kripalu yoga instructor, was teaching class. Between the early morning hour, the sound of Jennifer’s voice, and the fact that I had zero coffee, I began my morning practice in a semi daze. I lost track of time and then we were all in shavasana. Before I could even tell you where I was, Jennifer was guiding us in yoga nidra meditation. I don’t remember much but what I do remember has stayed with me for over 10 years.

How I Feel When I Practice Yoga Nidra

I left Jennifer’s class feeling lighter than air. I felt like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. And this feeling of lightness and ease stayed with me for days. Days. Oh my gosh days. I wanted more of this yummy feeling. I wanted to feel like I was walking on clouds.

My Journey To Becoming A Yoga Nidra Teacher

No one was teaching yoga nidra where I lived in southern New Hampshire. So, I decided that I would become the yoga nidra teacher I needed. I researched the heck out of yoga nidra online. I bought two books, one by Richard Miller, founder of iRest, and the other by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. I bought Jennifer’s yoga nidra CD so that I could practice on my own. I paid attention to pacing, words, and scripting. I began offering yoga nidra in the salt cave at Bien Soigne in Salem, NH.

In 2010 I received my 500 YTT and I chose to celebrate by taking a yoga nidra workshop with Jennifer at Kripalu. And I continued teaching this practice. I recorded two yoga nidras and made them available for purchase. Fast forward to 2016 when I discovered Hot Asana Yoga Studio in Hampstead, NH and after a few months of practicing there, I demonstrated a yoga nidra class and began offering this class at Hot Asana. I teach a regular Sunday night class, Yin to Zen. 45 minutes of Yin followed by 30 minutes of yoga nidra.

In the fall of 2019 I found Shiva Shakti School of Yoga, a fabulous yoga school with two amazing teachers, that offered an online 30 hour advanced teacher training and certification for yoga nidra. I loved what they taught, the material, the additional nidra scripts, all of it. So much so that I’m taking their advanced teacher training in yoga philosophy (both sessions) in 2020.

Can you tell? I’m pretty high on yoga nidra. I’ve worked through lots of my own stuff and I’ve received some amazing inner insight. I love, love, love teaching yoga nidra and I strongly believe that everyone who practices this will receive innumerable benefits. Here’s my top 5:

5 Amazing Benefits of Yoga Nidra

  1. Experts say that 45-60 minutes of yoga nidra is the equivalent of 4-5 hours of restful sleep. Raise your hand if you could benefit from a practice that has this type of effect on your body…your mind. I’m wildly raising mine which is probably why I love this practice so much. I feel refreshed and so well rested after 60 minutes of yoga nidra
  2. According to Karen Brody, yoga nidra magic maker and author of “Daring to Rest,” we can’t continue to pour from an empty cup. Yoga nidra helps you to “find your way back to that spark inside of you.” Furthermore, “you create the potential fo flip your internal power switch back on, and this recharges your body, mind, spirit, and deep knowing.” (Disclaimer, I spent 2 1/2 days with Karen at Kripalu in July 2019 where I seriously got my yoga nidra on. LOVE Karen!)
  3. When you practice yoga nidra, you engage the relaxation response in your body. Your brain literally shifts from lots of activity (beta) to a state of calm (alpha). Allowing your brain to downshift into a deep state of relaxation helps calm and reduce anxiety and stress. Our bodies become deeply relaxed and go into a rest and restore mode – achieving theta and delta states. Thoughts dramatically slow down in these states. You may see images or receive random thoughts. You may also experience profound insight.
  4. The more you practice yoga nidra, you may experience the 4th state of consciousness, turia. Not everyone experiences this state and even long term practitioners don’t always experience it. Honestly, I’m not sure if I’ve experienced it. It’s in a realm that’s difficult for me to put in words. I do know that what I’ve experienced always brings lightness and ease and sometimes, I experience what I call “yoga nidra downloads.” I don’t experience a download every time, but when I do, I take notice and do my best to incorporate the download into this physical plane of my existence.
  5. Yoga nidra is easy to do. It means, “sleep with trace awareness.” If you can lay down on your back with a bolster under your knees and maybe a pillow to support your head and neck, you can do yoga nidra. You don’t need to be skinny or tall, touch your toes or lick your elbow. You simply lie down and fall awake.

Do you practice yoga nidra or other meditation on a regular basis? Drop a comment and share your experience!

Opportunities to Practice Yoga Nidra With Me

Yoga Nidra in the Salt Cave at Bien Soigne in Salem, is almost sold out for March 14th. I have 2 spots left!

You can also join me every Sunday evening at Hot Asana Yoga Studio in Hampstead, NH for Yin to Zen. 45 minutes of yummy yin poses, which are done either seated or laying down, followed by 30 minutes of deep relaxation in yoga nidra meditation.

Sample 15 Minutes of Yoga Nidra!

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In August 2020 we’ll be going to Spain. I hope you can join us! Use code ‘EarlyBird’ when you register today! Only 4 spots open!

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There are 2 comments

  1. Kathy murray

    Hi Peggy
    I would like to sign up for Feb 22 2020 9am salt cave & yoga bein seign! I didn’t see any where to sign up! On facebook! Thank You
    Kathy Murray

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