Relaxation Through Yoga Nidra!

Often, at the conclusion of a yoga class, students are instructed to lie on their backs in Corpse Pose. Extending the arms and legs straight down, as if in a sleeping position, students will feel a release of relaxation from the tops of their heads to the tips of their toes. The pose typically lasts only for a few moments before an instructor ends the class, but what if you entered a deeper state of relaxation brought on by spending more time in the pose? What kind of benefits would you see from a prolonged state of relaxation?

This is the intention of yoga nidra, or “yogic sleep.” In a yoga nidra class, an instructor will guide students using techniques such as imagery or sensory observation to reach a desired state of complete relaxation. Students may release tension in areas they didn’t realize they were tense in. 

Props are also frequently used in yoga nidra classes. Often, a bolster is used for the knees and blankets may be used for lying on, as a cover and to prop the head. For anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes, practitioners are guided into a deep relaxation – however, contrary to yoga nidra being a “yogic sleep,” practitioners are not only snoozing.

According to YogaJournal.com, there are four stages of yoga nidra, as defined by ancient text the Mandukya Upanishads. “The practitioner begins by quieting the overactive conscious mind, then moves into a meditative state, gradually finding a state of ‘ultimate harmony,’ in which the brain waves slow down and a subtle euphoria emerges. Though most practitioners don’t slip easily into the more advanced stages, they still tend to emerge feeling rejuvenated.”

Although many may not enter more advanced stages of yoga nidra, it’s important to stress that there really is no wrong way of doing yoga nidra. It’s an excellent source of stress relief and will help you become more in tune/physically aware of your body.  

On June 22, from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., Pearl Yoga & Fitness is hosting an "Intro to Yoga Nidra" class! We hope to see you there and look forward to this immensely relaxing experience!

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