Yoga nidra and its benefits.
August 29, 2016
Our bodies are subjected to a whole heap of pesticides and preservatives in our food, chemicals from household items and cosmetics and stress from our crazy, hectic lifestyles. We drink way too much coffee in the day to stay awake at work and naturally find it really hard to wind down and fall asleep at night. Most of you reading this exercise a few times a week and are pretty consistent with this but we all know that late nights and binge drinking over the weekend take a toll on us in the long term.
Do you toss and turn in bed several times before you fall asleep? Is it hard for you to wind down and detach from work when you come home? Have you ever contemplated taking a sleep aid? Well, let me tell you about something that works like magic and requires no visits to the physician. Don't forget to thank me later.
A lot of us cannot cope effectively with the stressors in our personal and professional lives. We struggle to find a work/life balance and often burn out putting a load on our adrenals resulting in fatigue, insomnia, weakened immune systems and depleted energy. When all else fails, look back at yoga for answers and you'll find the solution for restful sleep.
Yoga Nidra, simply put is called yogic sleep. Researchers have found that a consistent yoga practice with a few minutes of yoga nidra every night before bed time could yield physiological and psychological benefits. Anyone can do this and you don't have to be an experienced yogi to reap the benefits. All you really need is a comfortable, quiet place to lie down and relax with a bolster for neck and head support.There is no hard and fast rule on how yoga nidra should be practiced and as long as your body is relaxed you are doing fine. Don't punish yourself if you fall asleep the first few times you practice this in 'shavasana'- it is perfectly normal.
It is becoming more and more popular as a form of meditation and a therapeutic tool for restful sleep and progressive relaxation. Doctors and physicians worldwide regard it as a powerful tool to beat stress, relax the nerves and allow the body to learn how to deal with stressors. Here are a few benefits-
Regular yoga nidra can help regulate your sleep cycle and make sure you get 6-8 hours of rest each night.
It can be very effective at treating panic and anxiety and calming the nerves.
People who experience low blood sugar, palpitations and dizziness can also benefit greatly from a consistent practice.
It can be used to improve the conditions of the adrenals and regularise cortisol levels so that your body can cope with stress better.
How do you practice it? Well its really simpler than it sounds. All you need to do is find a quiet, comfortable space in your home or after yoga. Lie down in a position that is comfortable and feel free to use pillows, bolsters, eye masks for supports or to prop you up. Next, download or stream a guided yoga nidra meditation and stay still. Listen to the recording and while you do it, become more aware of each part of your body and your breath. I think you might fall asleep the first few times you attempt it but thats alright. Your body will thank you for the extra catnap or sleep.
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