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| By Wellvyl Media Editorial

The power of Yoga Nidra: Anyone else ever looks at Sleeping Beauty with envy?  I mean come on, you get to chill in a bed catching up on much-needed rest while waiting to be awakened by who could arguably be the love of your life? Yes, please!  

In our world, though it seems impossible to sleep the proper hours, let alone years on end. There is something to say about the power of sleep. The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults to get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night but we know that lofty number is often just a dream for most. When we get the adequate sleep we are able to be our best selves and improve our self-esteem.  Through taking our bodies to a state of relaxation and repair we hit ‘reset’ each night allowing us to show up our full selves each day.

There has been a recent “get more rest” craze called the ‘caffeine nap’. You take a shot of espresso (or your favorite caffeinated beverage) directly before you nap for 20 minutes.  Here’s the method to the madness, it takes about 20 minutes caffeine to enter your bloodstream so when you wake up the caffeine has just hit your system giving you a double-whammy of rejuvenation.

I’m not going to lie, this gets the job done (I’ve been known to down an espresso then wake up half an hour later to Adele on my alarm feeling so fresh and so clean.) As I have deepened my yoga practice I came across a better ‘cat nap’ strategy, one connected to the wisdom and philosophy its called Yoga Nidra.

Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep is a gift from the Gods (and conceptualized by Swami Shankardev Saraswati).  The common understand and the main enticement of this practice is that a 30-minute Yoga Nidra session is equivalent to several hours of sleep.  When you practice Yoga Nidra your body is taken to a deep level of relaxation very quickly. Through being guided to hone in on your senses your guide takes you from the active beta mind to a relaxed alpha mind where serotonin is released and your brain is able to enter the REM stage of sleep. The effects are deeper than having the strength to strut your stuff on the dance floor.  Yoga Nidra’s powerful effects have been reported to help with a gamut of things to include anxiety, depression, PTSD, insomnia and even menstrual cramps.

And the best things about Yoga Nidra? It’s completely accessible to everyone- if you’ve stepped on a yoga mat a million times or never at all. So set thirty minutes on your timer and get ready to meet a calmer, more aware self.  

The power of yoga nidra


The Power of Yoga Nidra


So how does it work anyway?

Prepare yourself

Yoga Nidra is far from the typical thought when someone imagines yoga (no pretzel knots here friends).  To engage in this practice all you need is a floor. To practice Yoga Nidra all you have to do is place your body in savasana or ‘corpse pose’ (Put a pillow or bolster under your knees to help your lower back release more if it’s tight) and settle your body down ie. get all the movements out and rest comfortably, then simply begin to breath- ie get your sleeping beauty on.

The Practice

Yoga Nidra is best by listening to the meditation (no worries it’s easily accessible via the interwebs- we’ve even included one in this article so you can practice today). The meditation invites a deep focus first on the self through a body scan than on the surrounding noises. This mental focus paired with body relaxation allows us to enter what yogi’s call the border between waking and sleeping and what scientist call the merging of alpha and delta brainwaves. The sweet spot of Yoga Nidra; allowing the body to ‘sleep’ while the brain remains lucid allowing you to get the same rest as you do during the REM sleeping state. Nervous about for real falling asleep in the session? No worries, sometimes that happens.  You’ll still feel rested when you wake and the more you practice the more you will be able to gain lucidness during the exercise.

The Aftermath

When this practice is done there is an automatic feeling of calmness and less tension. The immediate feeling afterward is the rejuvenation, leaving you ready to face the rest of your day (or night).  Practiced regularly Yoga Nidra also can enhance memory, awaken creativity, and train the mind.

So ready to get your ‘Nidra’ on?  Find a comfy spot on the floor, get your headphones or speakers and give yourself thirty.  You’ll emerge more rested, level-headed and ready to face the rest of your day.


What have been some of the benefits of Yoga Nidra in your everyday life?

Or, do you prefer to sneak in a quick nap during Shasvansa?

Also, read more about practicing yoga in the social media age here.

Let us know in the comments!