Find Your Path to Bliss Through Yoga Nidra
It’s no secret that I’m head over heels with Yoga Nidra. But it wasn’t until I was in adrenal meltdown that the practice found me. I was exhausted and my soul needed a nap.
Since an hour of Yoga Nidra is the equivalent of 4 hours’ sleep, I swapped my usual 60 minute sweat session (which fired up my nervous system - and made me feel worse), for Savasana and a daily Yoga Nidra ritual.
I learned to ride those slower brain waves into an altered state of awareness and peace. After 4 months, I’d healed over 10 years of stress and a sudden onset of anxiety. I found my way back home to bliss.
That’s why I created my digital relaxation kit, to help you do the same.
WHAT IS YOGA NIDRA?
Yoga Nidra is the practice of Yogic Sleep. It’s like meditation (but not really), where you’re lying down in Savasana and guided into a very subtle state between sleep and dreaming. As you lie in stillness, your body parts fall asleep and this is where the sacred practice really begins. You become truly receptive to your intentions when your body relaxes completely, but your mind stays fully conscious and aware.
THE BLISSFUL BENEFITS OF YOGA NIDRA
Life is busy and stress can cause chaos in your mind, body and heart. That’s why this practice is so powerful because the benefits of Yoga Nidra can be felt immediately, calming your whole self. Yoga Nidra has an instant soothing effect as it activates your relaxation response - resetting your nervous system to a state of calm and ease.
But if you devote yourself to practising daily, you can reprogramme your neural pathways to create life-affirming change that permeates into everyday living. Yoga Nidra can heal anxiety and depression, reduce pain, nurture self-awareness and inspire wholeness in a way that will positively impact your life forever.
While we might never be able to eliminate stress completely, Yoga Nidra empowers you with tools to navigate stressful situations, so you can respond, instead of react to them and prevent stress from taking over.
Often a symptom of stress, Yoga Nidra can cure insomnia and improve sleep - a spiritual practice on its own! If you’re tired, the practice can also energise you. Way better than an afternoon power nap that leaves you feeling groggy! Your soul will feel awake.
But, one of my favourite things about the practice of yoga nidra is that it brings the teachings of the ancient yogis to life as we find our way back home to our true selves (Atma) - our natural state of inner peace and bliss.
I’ve always been insatiably curious about the potential we have as humans and our purpose on the planet. Yoga nidra draws us out of the Beta brain wave state - where we dwell during times of stress and most of everyday life - and into Alpha and Theta brain wave states, the frequencies of intuition, creativity and healing.
When we tune into those states, we’re clearer and more focused, so we can show up fully and share our unique gifts with the world. Beyond its healing potential, this is the real reason I’ve fallen in love with Yoga Nidra.
MANIFEST MAGIC WITH YOUR SANKALPA
With each practice, you’ll set a Sankalpa, similar to an intention which is a positive statement, framed in the present moment - to remember and uncover who you really are. I recommend working with the same one over time, until it becomes your reality.
This practice isn’t about making shift happen, it’s about allowing it to happen as you align your energy with your intention.
Your Sankalpa could be something like “I am loveable”, “I honour my uniqueness” or “I enjoy bliss and abundance in every area of my life”.
If you’re struggling with limiting thoughts, you can shift them to more liberating ones by focusing on the exact opposite. For example, if you’re struck with self-doubt, your Sankalpa could be “I am enough”, or if you’re feeling blocked, it could be “I flow through life with grace and ease”.
Whatever your Sankalpa is, it’s personal, it’s yours and it’s an answer to a deep, inner longing or desire. Once you have it, you’ll repeat it gently and silently, three times to yourself, from the heart. Each time, with more conviction than before, until you believe it to be true. This is your truth. Feel it.
As you plant those seeds in your subconscious, the practice of Yoga Nidra will help you make space for your intention to take root, grow and blossom into your reality.
THE PROCESS OF YOGA NIDRA: PEEL BACK THE LAYERS OF WHO YOU REALLY ARE
Do you ever wonder why it’s so easy to feel stressed but so difficult to connect with your inner source of peace, bliss and wisdom?
The ancient yogis taught us that we’re multidimensional beings, made up of five different layers (koshas). Sometimes they’re called the five “bodies” or “sheaths”. Our true selves (Atma) are covered by the koshas and all of our complex needs as humans.
We experience stress holistically, so the koshas act as obstacles on the journey home to ourselves - like many layers of armour that are meant to protect, but instead prevent us from allowing our true selves to be seen.
That’s why we often find it hard to relax. There’s a lot to mine through to find those golden nuggets of bliss and peace - so we need a practice that digs deep.
Yoga Nidra is the process of remembering and uncovering our true selves as we’re guided on a journey through the koshas.
Anna Maya Kosha
The first layer is made up of the physical body - all of our parts that can be seen, touched and felt. We transition beyond this layer by progressively relaxing every muscle and letting all of our parts become heavy as our bones drop into the floor. This is where the practice of Yoga Nidra begins.
Prana Maya Kosha
As the physically body relaxes, we then sink into our energetic body. Our life force energy (Prana), or in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chi resides here and provides us vital energy that fuels our subtle body, made up of our chakras (energy centres) and nadis (channels of energy).
Through meditation, intention and the breath, we release blockages so Prana can flow freely which brings our energy system back into balance.
The breath is the boss here as Prana is cultivated and directed by the breath. Simply changing your breath can counter your response to stress - just extend the length of your exhalations for instant stress-relief.
You’ll find that Yoga Nidra cultivates inner stillness and in that space, your breath naturally deepens and slows down.
Mano Maya Kosha
This layer is composed of our thoughts, beliefs, emotions and feelings. Our mindset can either nourish our wellbeing or trigger stress. Sometimes, when we notice a feeling that’s uncomfy, we numb.
We avoid dealing with it but that feeling persists and eventually will manifest outwards as stress or even physical sickness.
During this stage of relaxation, mental and emotional stress is lifted through visualisation techniques. We notice the resistance, say hi and welcome it, witness the sensations in a sweet, safe space of observation and allow those feelings to pass, creating buoyancy and lightness.
Through this process, we become more mindful and we can take this off the mat and into our lives to help us through times of discomfort..
Vijnana Maya Kosha
When I show up for my work, this is the part of myself I’m often trying to tap into. This is the home of our inner wisdom and intuition.
Peeling back this layer frees us from limiting beliefs, reveals clarity, inspires intuition and makes room for creativity. It also encourages self-awareness and as we practice more, this starts to infuse our lives. In the quiet and stillness of Yoga Nidra, when your thinking mind rests, you can hear the voice of your inner guide.
In this state of mental and emotional relaxation, we feel limitless and foster freedom.
Ananda Maya Kosha
The bliss body is our most subtle layer and consists of our inborn qualities such as peace, joy, love and wholeness. In this final state of relaxation, we experience all of those things - we are spacious and this is where we connect to our true selves.
With a consistent practice, these things start to appear in our lives as we become truly receptive to our Sankalpa - our deepest inner longing. We become a magnet for miracles because they reflect our natural state.
IT TAKES PRACTICE
Yoga Nidra is the path to bliss and who you really are. It’s a valuable tool for your stress-relief toolkit. With this deep state of inner knowing, you can be confident in your ability to handle stress when it hits, recognising that it’s temporary. This kind of awareness cannot be seen, it can only be felt.
When you meet yourself here, you’re connected to all the parts of yourself that you’ve been longing to know. You know what feels like home and what’s important so you can navigate your life with grace, ease and authenticity. And this is where you truly belong.
But the work only goes as deeply as you do. Shift happens when you foster daily rituals. When you show up with meaning and purpose (dharma) in the pursuit of self-realisation (atma-jnana), you’ll find your unique bliss (ananda).
For guided audios, tools and support that make it easy for you to practise every day, click here to download my digital relaxation kit, the release party.
On those days that you can’t make it to the yoga studio, or want to practise on your own schedule, I’ll show you how to meditate, set up your own sacred practice space and create a relaxation ritual that feels like coming home.
Invest in yourself and take the time to rest and replenish your energy. You’ll have so much more to give - to yourself, those you love and your dreams.
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Set restful intentions and relax deeply with this guided meditation for stress and anxiety.