Yoga Nidra is meditative practice of self-inquiry derived from ancient yoga teachings meaning yogic sleep. Despite the name, the practitioner maintains full consciousness while sinking into a deep state of relaxation to a near sleep-like state. As the practitioner rests in a comfortable position, they are guided on a journey through their body & mind by bringing awareness to each part of the body while exploring the physical sensations and emotions.
Components of Yoga Nidra
- breath awareness
- guided imagery
- self inquiry
What are the benefits of Yoga Nidra?
reduced symptoms of:
- emotional reactivity
- negative emotions: anger, fear, rage, worry
- tension (muscular, emotional & mental)
- ability to manage personal & interpersonal relationships
- general well being
- emotional self-regulation
- acceptance of life’s changes & challenges
- alpha & theta waves
- feelings of relaxation & peace
How can I practice Yoga Nidra?
While the body of scientific evidence evolves, the best way to understand Yoga Nidra is to practice and experience the benefits for yourself.
- Find a class near you such as a Chillasana yoga class or workshop. Check out our events page!
- Chillasana’s Yoga Nidra practice is based on the LifeForce Yoga & iRest protocols which have been studied in the clinical setting:
- CD: Lifeforce Yoga Nidra To Manage Your Mood (Mankar 2012)
- CD: iRest Meditation: Restorative Practices for Health, Resiliency, and Well-Being (Miller 2007)
- CHILLASANA VIDEO LINK: Stay tuned..coming soon to YouTube. Subscribe to our newsletter to get updates.
Proceed with caution:
Individuals with unstable conditions: bipolar disorders, personality disorders, dissociative disorders and somatization disorders should avoid this practice. Individuals with severe anxiety &/or panic attacks should practice with caution under medical supervision
- Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart of Yoga ~Richard Miller PhD
- The Principles and Practice of Yoga and Healthcare ~ Sat Bir Singh Khalsa
- Yoga for Depression ~Amy Weintraub
- Yoga as Medicine ~Timothy McCall MD
- Yoga Skills for Therapists ~Amy Weintraub
While there is growing body of research studying the clinical benefits of Yoga Nidra, research is limited. Most studies involve a small number of participants, lack a control arm, are un-blinded, etc.
- Eastman-Mueller H et al. iRest Yoga-Nidra on the College Campus: Changes in Stress, Depression, Worry, and Mindfulness. 2013. Intl J Yoga Therapy: 2013, 23(2) 15-24
- Kinser 2014. Potential long-term effects of a mind-body intervention for women with major depressive disorder: Sustained mental health improvements with a pilot yoga intervention. Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. 28(6):377-83
- Kumar K et al. Study on the effect of pranakarshan pranayama & yoga nidra on alpha EEG & GSR. Indian J of Traditional Knowledge. 2009 8(3) 453-4
- Mankar S et al. Effects of Utilizing Yoga Nidra on Reducing Symptoms of Depression and Anxiety in a Psychiatric Population. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 2012;112(8):543
- Miller R et al. Walter Reed Feasibility Study & the COTS-IONS-CTB study. Active duty soldiers suffering from PTSD. 2007. iRest.us
- Parker S et al. Defining Yoga-Nidra: Traditional Accounts, Physiological Research, and Future Directions. Intl J Yoga Therapy. 2013, 23(1) 11-16
- Rani K et al. Yoga Nidra as a complementary treatment of anxiety & depressive symptoms in patients with menstrual disorder. Intl J of Yoga. 2012. 5(1):52-6.
- Stankovic et al. Transforming Trauma: a qualitative feasibility study integrative restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra on Combat-related PTSD. Intl J of Yoga Therapy. 2011