There is another yoga practice that I find very helpful in maintaining good health and getting rid of depression. This is Yog Nidra. Nidra means sleep. This is a guided meditation that engenders a deep feeling of relaxation. You lie in Shavasana and although you are tempted to fall asleep you’re discouraged from doing so. At first you may find that you did nod off but as you practise it more often you’ll master the art of staying awake, listening to the voice of the instructor.
Vinitha Nishit, a DSN Course participant, echoes my thoughts when she shares, “On days I feel low and my mind is clouded with unnecessary negative thoughts, I lie down for a short yoga nidra and the change is very evident. I feel a lot lighter; my cluttered mind clears up. I think positively and the energy to work is tremendous.”
What are the benefits of Yoga nidra?
1. Yoga nidra counteracts stress and prescribed by GPs in many countries
2. Provides effective relief for depression and long standing anxiety.
3. It is an efficient way to obtain sleep.
4. Clears the mind for learning and absorbing new material
5. Releases tension for body and mind
6. Relaxes the mind
7. Helps with creativity
Research shows that Yog Nidra can help with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The Integrative Restoration (iREST) program was created by Dr. Richard Miller, a clinical psychologist, co-founder of the International Association of Yoga Therapists and past president of the Institute for Spirituality and Psychology.
The researchers found that PTSD symptoms — including anxiety — decreased and feelings of being in control increased among the participants, all of whom attended yoga nidra classes in addition to receiving their usual treatment for PTSD for the duration of the study. There was no control group.
The theory behind Yog Nidra
The theory behind yoga nidra is that it works on something called our body of energy or life force. In India this energy is known as prana, and in China it is called chi.
Nearly all spiritual traditions acknowledge the existence of a body of energy that permeates the physical body and is responsible for our health and well-being. The aim of acupuncture and all martial arts, for example, is to balance and enhance the flow of life force in your body.
Yoga nidra also aims to enhance and balance this energy. Moreover, it does so in an enjoyable and effortless way that involves no costly equipment or training. Some practitioners describe yoga nidra as a form of self-administered acupuncture.
How do I go about it? you may well be asking. I have made a recording for your benefit. Turn off the phone. Lie down on your yoga mat on the floor. Start the recording. Enjoy.