Yoga nidra - Yogic sleep by Sara Waymont

Yoga Nidra
'Yogic Sleep'

Yoga Nidra means literally 'Yogic Sleep'.  It is a play on words, suggesting that most of us are asleep to our true natures as that Nidra is 'true' sleep, when we go to a place of heart felt peace and equanimity.

Meanings aside, Yoga Nidra can be used to tackle insomnia and anxiety, teaching bodies that are chronically stressed to turn the stress response 'off'.

When we are stressed, we release a cascade of hormones, including adrenaline and cortisol, which keep us alert and prepare us to fight or flee. The problem with chronic stress, such as many of us experience in the western world (working 9-5 in offices, too much caffeine, 
commuting, family pressures, financial difficulties, the list goes on...) is that the stress response never gets turned off.  This can lead to many issues, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep being among them.

We can tackle these challenges by turning on the 'relaxation response', which cues our bodies to relax and stop producing the stress hormones.  Yoga Nidra, through its combination of body sensing, breathing techniques, welcoming of opposites and visualisation, is one of the most effective and scientifically proven therapies known to trigger the relaxation response.

Better sleep improves our health by boosting our immune systems, mood and general sense of wellbeing. If your sleep is not what it should be, then it's worth considering whether lifestyle factors are contributing to chronic stress.  Finding a technique to initiate the relaxation response could be simple, but effective way to improve your day-to-day life."

Karen Revivo