This article was kindly shared with us by Nikki Belcher. She is the retreat director at El Coco Loco Resort in Nicaragua and is the resident yoga teacher for Surf with Amigas (Women’s Surf and Yoga Retreats). As an experienced and devoted yoga teacher, she talks about the benefits of Yoga Nidra.
As i dive deeper into my restorative practice, i am falling in love with yoga nidra. Known as ‘yogi sleep’, yoga nidra is similar to lucid dreaming where one is fully conscious and drifts into a place of deep relaxation.
Practiced lying down, yoga nidra is best achieved through guided introspection.
Often moving through each body part from toes to head, you are invited to surrender and soften into a place that feels as though you are melting into the floor beneath you. Once the mind and body are relaxed, it is helpful to set an intention or sankalpa – a vow or resolution for your journey. Visualization techniques and personal mantra repetition may also be used to keep you anchored in the calm, restfulness. While in this state of relaxation, we are able to tap into our inner potential and intuition. Near the end of your session, you will be encouraged to become aware of external sounds and objects before inviting small movements back into the physical body. As you awake from this deep meditation you may feel alert, deeply rested and refreshed. If you have time, it is nice to take a few moments to meditate and reflect upon what came up during your yoga nidra.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra:
Balances and enhances the prana/chi/life force energy throughout your body
Enter the realm of the subconscious and the causal body – healing karmic patterns and emotions
Brings calmness, quietness and clarity to the mind
Strengthens memory and learning capacity
Live your practice, surf, and dream away!