Updated: Oct 17, 2021
Known as the yogic sleep, the practice is deeply healing as we produce the alpha waves, in the borderline state between awaken and asleep.
Yoga Nidra is known as the yogic sleep because it’s practiced lying down, in stillness, and because it induces a very deep state physical, mental and emotional relaxation. Nidra in sanskrit means sleep, as the practice induces the borderline state between awake and asleep.
This borderline mental state is known as Alpha, a restorative brainwave mode. In Alpha, our brain balances and produces serotonin (a mood regulator).
Nidra may be considered a self hypnosis technique, as it helps the practitioner reinforce any behaviour through mentally stating a resolve of their own choice.
In Yoga Nidra, we rotate the awareness around different body point and inner sensations, which activates different brain nerve centres. Yoga Nidra is not a substitute for sleep, however its is widely said that 30 minutes of Nidra may feel like 3 hrs of actual sleep.
Yoga Nidra was developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the Institute “Bihar School of Yoga”. Yoga Nidra is rooted in the ancient tantric practice of Nyasa (to hold the mind in one point), which involved rotating the mind around different parts of the body (holding the mind in different points).