Yoga Nidra, also known as ‘yogic sleep’, is an ancient Indian practice intended to induce total physical, mental and emotional relaxation. It is a guided relaxation practice which draws the attention inwards away from the outside world, to reach a place that is somewhere between sleep and wakefulness.
Unlike other types of meditation, it is practised lying down and is conducted in a series of guided steps that aims to bring attention and relaxation to each area of the body in turn.
Yoga Nidra has been practised for thousands of years and was first mentioned in ancient Indian texts, such as the Mahabharata, written more than 3,000 years BC. This restorative yoga practice is not as well known as other types of meditation and relaxation. However, more recent studies have provided evidence that Yoga Nidra can alleviate stress, anxiety and depression and sleep disorders in health care workers. It has also been used extensively in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder in American military personnel.
The above recording takes you through a restorative Yoga Nidra practise, which I hope you will find beneficial. My cat certainly does!
You can also explore more in these videos.
Yoga Nidra relaxation
Yoga Bhramari breathing
Yoga Square breathing - part 1
Yoga Square breathing - part 2