Have you ever been so tired that you haven’t had the energy to do something that will truly relax your body and mind (like sleeping, meditating or doing something creative?)
Vegging in front of the TV can be great but it’s not relaxing in terms of helping your system enter that state which allows healing, regeneration and true rest.
Lots of relaxation techniques can feel a bit arduous if we wait until we’re overtired before deciding to take extra special care of ourselves.
Yoga nidra, on the other hand, is easy to do. And you just need to lie down or sit down comfortably.
We benefit most when able to gently relax into the instructions, staying aware and keeping still but we’re human and yoga is all about learning to be kinder to ourselves, supporting ourselves by making tweaks on the yoga mat which then helps us spot potential tweaks to make our day to day lives more beneficial for us. Just as sometimes, we’re able to do a strong physical practice and other days we need to take it easier, sometimes, it’s easy to follow the instructions and be still. Other times, our concentration feels shot or we may fall asleep.
This is perfectly fine. It’s relaxation, not endurance. If you fall asleep, your body is telling you you need sleep! Another day, you may feel better able to stay aware throughout. Be kind to yourself.
Similarly, sometimes, you may notice physical sensations and let them go. Other times, you may need to move or itch or whatever. Relaxation not endurance – do what’s right for YOU.
Benefits include boosting dopamine by up to 70% (so not only does it feel good but it helps us with motivation), changing brain waves so that an hour’s yoga nidra is equal to 4 hour’s sleep (although taking good care of yourself means doing all you can to ensure you get adequate regular sleep, too), boosting immune function, decreasing inflammation and reducing pain.
It also helps – alongside medical care – with symptoms for migraines, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and asthma.
I’ve created a free MP3 for you, partially inspired by Shaura Hall at YogaLove.co.uk.
While some are long (experiment with those too – there are plenty on YouTube and similar), this is under 14 minutes so is very easy to fit into your day. For those times when you haven’t the energy (or schedule won’t allow) class attendance, you can simply hit Play and benefit in the comfort of your own home.
To access it, click here and follow the instructions.