Did you know that approximately 25% of the global population struggles with some form of mood disorder? Or that 70% of Americans don't get enough sleep?
Reap The Yoga Nidra Benefits
These are just two of the many health problems society faces every day. But what if we were to tell you that there is a practical solution to these problems and many more?
Yoga Nidra, also known as yogic sleep, is a meditative technique that dates back to the 7th and 6th centuries, predating the common era and Buddhism. The unique meditation process is profoundly healing for the body, mind, and soul.
While falling asleep, brain waves begin moving from thoughtful beta waves, pass through the stages of alpha waves, then theta waves, and finally enter the slowest frequency of sleep - delta waves. Yoga Nidra guides practitioners into a state of relaxation between the alpha and theta state. This allows us to lye in deep relaxation between waking and sleeping.
This state calms the autonomic nervous system that regulates the body's processes that take place without a conscious effort. In addition, it puts the parasympathetic nervous system into a deeper resting state. Through calming the nervous system, guided meditation deeply benefits the brain and body.
Yoga Nidra offers extensive benefits, yet it is one of the easiest yoga practices. All you have to do is put on your most comfortable clothes, find a quiet space, lie down in corpse pose, and play your sleep meditation soundtrack.
Continue reading to learn seven amazing benefits of Yoga Nidra that may help improve your well-being.
1. Improved thought patterns and reduced stress
During Yoga Nidra, you will enter a calming state for the mind and body through guided meditation. The practice creates physical and mental activities that change brain waves to release emotional tension, slow down the nervous system, and allow muscles to relax. This triggers a relaxation response, naturally reducing stress in the body and mind. Alleviating mental and bodily stress can also relieve headaches and muscle tension.
Thought patterns are neural connections that have strengthened over time. The strength of these connections makes changing the patterns very challenging - it is comparable to retraining a muscle. Yoga Nidra trains the brain to access thinking patterns from a completely different perspective by entering an altered state of conscious awareness. Rather than being thoroughly ingrained in your thoughts, you are able to observe them from a distance. This new point of view allows you to retrain your thought patterns.
2. Enhanced cognitive performance and memory
Yoga Nidra practice improves your cognitive function by creating space in the brain. It does this by helping reduce stress. When the brain is overwhelmed with emotions, the mind has little room to perform activities of daily living well. By reducing stress, the brain has the freedom to execute duties at its full capability. Yoga Nidra can be used for stress management to help you filter out random thoughts that emerge in the conscious mind.
Those who practice Yoga Nidra on a regular basis have also found an improvement in their memory. It helps prevent cognitive decline related to aging and improves attention. You can improve your mental performance through frequent practice, allowing you to carry out everyday tasks more efficiently.
3. Improved self-esteem and confidence
Regularly practicing Yoga Nidra can thoroughly improve your self-esteem and confidence. A recent study from two universities in Turkey supports this claim. The study looked at the effects of Yoga Nidra on burn patients' self-esteem and body image and found a significant improvement in these areas of the experimental group.
An essential step in guided meditation includes setting intentions for yourself. These intentions are called sankalpa - this is your heart's desire and the goals you set for yourself. It is highly gratifying to achieve personal growth and progress when you define your intentions. Reaching your goals helps improve your self-esteem and confidence.
4. Better sleep and improved physical health
Yoga Nidra is highly effective for improving your sleep quality and schedule. It helps you obtain regular sleep patterns by allowing you to fall asleep faster at night, makes staying asleep more effortless, and enables you to achieve a whole night’s rest. In addition, it helps treat sleep disorders such as insomnia and sleep deprivation.
Through frequent practice and learning how to relax the body and mind, you can calm the brain and body to enhance your sleep cycle. Accessing a deep sleep state is crucial in improving physical health and wellbeing. Please read our articles on Yoga Nidra for Sleep to learn more.
5. Improved waking mindfulness
Mindfulness is our quality and state of being aware of each moment during our lives. It rejects past and future thinking by living fully in the present moment. Mindful thinking emphasizes acceptance of events happening at the moment rather than judging thoughts or denying what is happening around you.
During yogic sleep, your mind will quiet and enter a sleep-like state. Here, you will recognize when thoughts pop into your head and learn to let them go. The development of more profound awareness will help you integrate mindfulness into your daily life. This will allow you access to an improved waking state.
6. Diminishes symptoms of anxiety and depression
People with anxiety disorder suffer from high alertness, an overactive brain, consistent negative thoughts, and other stresses. Our mind's reaction patterns are the source of suffering and can make regular daily activities difficult. Yoga Nidra helps diminish symptoms of anxiety by teaching mental calmness and cultivating a state of deep physical and emotional relaxation.
In addition, the ancient practice releases pent-up emotions and stress to detoxify the brain. Yogic sleep effectively mitigates stress to help you access thinking patterns in a brand-new state and even alter them to become more accepting of the variabilities of everyday life. Filtering out negative thoughts that emerge in the subconscious mind reduces symptoms and risks of depression and other psychological problems.
7. Treats chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder
Richard Miller, the founder of iRest, developed several modern adaptions to Yoga Nidra practice that help quiet the parts of the brain responsible for negative thoughts and feelings. Using Yoga Nidra as a treatment for chronic pain was endorsed by U.S. Army Surgeon General as an intervention in treating chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Yogic sleep puts the practitioner into a deep relaxation state, which will leave them feeling well-rested. This calm state slows the nervous system giving the body time to heal. Here, the body can rest, recover, and restore. Additionally, Yoga Nidra reduces inflammation and improves immune system functions to treat chronic pain effectively.
Other benefits of guided Yoga Nidra include:
Lowers blood pressure.
Strengthened immune system.
Lowers cholesterol levels.
Recharges vital energy.
Balances the nervous system.
Reduces menstrual irregularities
Strengthens the endocrine system.
Reduces the need for pain medication.
For best results, practice Yoga Nidra several days a week. Even if it is only for a few minutes a day, frequent practice will help you access the important benefits of Yoga Nidra through the therapeutic healing process.
Yoga Nidra can help you feel well-rested, relaxed, and energized. It can alter your mood, feelings, and more. The guided meditation is deeply restorative when practiced with care and intention. Whether you struggle with a mood disorder, experience chronic pain, or are just looking to improve your overall health and wellbeing, Yoga Nidra can help.
When it comes to the benefits of Yoga Nidra, the sky's the limit! What are you waiting for? Begin your journey to better health today by reading our guide to Yoga Nidra for Beginners.
As with any type of exercise, yoga does not come without its own risks. Practicing yoga should be done with care and respect, reducing the risk of injury.
If you are suffering from any medical conditions or are unsure which type of yoga or exercise is best suited for you and your conditions, we advise you to consult a medical professional or your doctor.