Yoga nidra

yoga nidra, or yoga sleep, is akin to a deep meditation or guided imagery session, at least for those of us that practice yoga recreationally. 

We did one at cancer yoga today.  After 20 minutes of healing stretches, we lay down on several layers of blankets and mats, propped our knees and wrists on blocks, and lay so still that our fingers and hands begin to tingle.  (Even those of us NOT taking taxotere chemotherapy!)  Eventually, we all relaxed into a state of calmness and drowsed in and out as our yoga teacher read a meditation.

They say that the relaxation is so complete that a half hour of yoga nidra is equivalent to three hours of sleep.  I’m not surprised.  Eight hours have passed, and I am still soooooooooooo relaxed. 

After the meditation was complete, our teacher gave a quick recap of the guided imagery that we had walked through.  First, we relaxed every part of our body, starting at the right shoulder, working our way down to the toes and back up to the left shoulder and neck.  Then we relaxed every part of our body alternating right and left sides.  Then we …

I have no idea what happened after that.  All I remember is the relaxing part, and then the yogi telling us that it was time to slowly wake ourselves up, wiggling first our little fingers and then our toes, and then stretching as we saw fit. 

Apparently, there was a whole meditation on a lotus flower growing at the base of our spine, blossoming and blooming, and so forth.  Apparently, the deep relaxation is a healing and calming relaxation.  Apparently, the subconscious is in control even if the conscious is so relaxed that we’re no longer aware of our bodies in the room.  Apparently, the benefits are so great that even if we believe that we’ve been sleeping, we’ve actually only been in deep meditation, and the benefits will last all day and perhaps beyond.

At this I gasped and said, “Really?  The last thing I remember is you telling us to relax each part of our body, and then waking up again.”

Our yogi looked up at me kindly and replied at once, “You?  You were asleep.”

Yeah, that sounds about right.  What mom of little ones wouldn’t fall asleep, given a dark room, a comfy spot, plenty of blankets, and a soothing bedtime story? 


14 Responses to Yoga nidra

  1. Stimey says:

    That’s awesome. I guess you sleep when you can. 🙂

    I’m glad you made it to yoga today!

  2. How wonderful that you have a class like this to go to, where they are teaching you to relax and let go of all the stress and anxiety!!

    Sleeping or meditating… whatever!! So long as you feel better, you reaped the benefits!!

    Keep it up, Whymommy– we are all SO proud of you.

    xo CGF

  3. LMAO. I was feeling so relaxed from your description that I am not surprised you fell asleep! i need to get me some of that yoga nidra….mmmmm

  4. canape says:

    That sounds lovely. I hope you get to do that again really soon.

  5. Chaotic Joy says:

    This is wonderful. I place for you to go, just to relax and destress…and well…sleep. 🙂 Good for you.

  6. Rani says:

    I need one of those sleep, I mean relaxation classes. Glad you got some rest.

  7. Binky says:

    That was a great story. I got a good laugh out of it. Here’s to more relaxation and rejuvenation.

  8. NoRegrets says:

    To sleep. Perchance to dream.

  9. cadiz12 says:

    i get so relaxed at the end of yoga sessions that i often drift off a little myself. but i have one question: if half an hour of yoga nidra is equal to three hours of actual sleep, did you only get half an hour of sleep because you actually fell asleep?

  10. zamejias says:

    I love doing yoga. I used to it when i was preggo and now you reminded me to get back to it…And yes, the nidra, which is done at the end, was my favorite part. 😀

  11. You needed the sleep, right? I have an iTunes yoga nidra I downloaded free. If I can find the link, I’ll send it to you. I went through a phase when I listened to it every night before sleep. Even though you’re “supposed” to try to stay awake, I found it to be a very soothing way to relax at bedtime.

  12. Okay, it’s not free, it’s 9.99, but here’s the name:
    Yoga Nidra (Yogic Sleep) 24:46 Amber Chandra Om Dhyana – Guided Meditations New Age

    Her voice is so smooth, like seedless strawberry jam.

    Once in yoga nidra I tried not to fall asleep, but then I gave up, and had an amazing dream, of a blackbird, a la Carlos Castaneda. Better than wine.

  13. […] activity.  I closed my eyes, imagined myself in a very calm healing yoga session, maybe a yoga nidra, and began to relax as the therapist drained my swollen arm, and WhyDaddy massaged my feet, just […]

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