Introduction to yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra offers numerous benefits for both the mind and body, improving overall wellbeing. Regular practice can improve neuroplasticity, heart rate variability, cognitive performance, self-esteem, and confidence. It can also lead to better sleep and physical health, increased mindfulness upon waking, lower blood pressure, and balanced nervous system function. The practice involves a guided meditation that induces a state of deep relaxation, allowing the mind to move into a more receptive state. This state of relaxation can help to reduce stress and anxiety, promote emotional healing, and even aid in the management of chronic pain 

Brain waves frequency chart

Brain waves

Brain waves are electrical signals that occur in the brain and can be measured using an electroencephalogram (EEG). Brain waves are classified into five different types based on their frequency and amplitude: delta, theta, alpha, beta, and gamma waves.

Delta waves (0.5 to 4 Hz) are the slowest and are associated with deep sleep, deep meditation, and healing.

Theta waves (4 to 8 Hz) are associated with a state of deep relaxation, meditation, imagination, and creativity.

Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz) are associated with a state of mental relaxation, calmness, and relaxation.

Beta waves (12 to 30 Hz) are associated with a state of concentration, alertness, and mental activity.

Gamma waves (30 to 100 Hz) are the fastest and are associated with a state of higher consciousness, intense concentration, and creativity.

The different types of brain waves are associated with different states of consciousness and can be modified by various practices such as meditation, yoga, conscious breathing, and physical exercise.

What is yoga Nidra

History of Nidra 

The history of yoga nidra dates back to the Upanishads, ancient Sanskrit texts from the 7th and 6th centuries BCE, which were the first to mention this practice. Yoga nidra was mentioned in these texts as a state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep, where the mind is both relaxed and alert.

In the mid-20th century, Satyananda Saraswati popularized yoga nidra by creating a methodology based on tantric scriptures. He described yoga nidra as a system for exploring the deep layers of the mind and suggested a link with the ancient tantric practice of Nyasa. Satyananda Saraswati's yoga nidra became popular worldwide and is now taught in many yoga centers.

What is Yoga nigra

Yoga Nidra is a practice that can help modify brain waves and bring them into a state of deep relaxation, which can have many benefits for both physical and mental health.

During a Yoga Nidra session, the practitioner enters a state of conscious deep sleep, where the body is completely relaxed but the mind is still aware. This can trigger the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to reduce stress and promote relaxation.

As the practitioner moves deeper into the practice, their brain waves slow down, first to alpha and theta waves, and then eventually to delta waves. These slower brain waves are associated with deeper states of relaxation, healing, and restorative sleep.

Regular practice of Yoga Nidra can also help improve the quality of sleep and reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. It has been shown to increase the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that can improve mood and reduce stress, and dopamine, which is associated with feelings of pleasure and reward.

Overall, Yoga Nidra can help to balance and modify brain waves in a way that can have many benefits for physical and mental health.

how to start with Yoga Nidra,

  1. Find a comfortable space: Choose a quiet, comfortable space where you can lie down and relax without being disturbed. A yoga mat or cushion can provide extra support and comfort. 

  2. Choose a recording: You can listen to a guided Yoga Nidra recording from a teacher or create your own. The recording should have a soft, soothing feel and provide clear instructions. 

  3. Get in position: Lie down on your back in Savasana, with legs extended and arms by your sides, palms facing up. You may want to place a pillow under your head or knees for added comfort. 

  4. Follow the instructions: The Yoga Nidra recording will guide you through a series of instructions, focusing on your breath, body awareness, and visualization. The process typically lasts for 30-45 minutes.

  5. Focus on relaxation: Allow yourself to fully relax and let go of any tension or stress. The practice is intended to induce a state of deep relaxation that is distinct from normal sleep and wakefulness. 

Remember that Yoga Nidra is a practice and may require some time and consistency to fully benefit from it. With regular practice, Yoga Nidra can help improve sleep, reduce stress, and enhance overall well-being.

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