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yoga nidra for improved sleep



yoga nidra for improved sleep


I’ve always been a bad sleeper. Even as a child I would spent entire nights tossing and turning and would end up being exhausted for school the next day. As I got older I tried various approaches to combat my insomnia, and they all worked to some extent, but none as well as yoga Nidra. Not only did my sleep improve but I felt much calmer and more relaxed during the day.


Yoga Nidra is the practice of entering the conscious state of mind that falls somewhere between sleeping and being awake. You are awake during the entire time you practice, but you’re not exactly alert. The goal is to enter a conscious sleep state and totally relax your brain, thus releasing any unwanted tension in your body.


how to do yoga nidra



Choose a comfortable place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Don’t do yoga nidra in your bed because you will likely fall asleep midway through the exercise.


Set aside about 10 to 30 minutes. 


Make sure you are comfortable by wearing comfortable clothes and by adding extras like pillows or blankets to support your body. If the room is cool cover yourself with a blanket.


Lie down on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides, palms facing up. If you are not comfortable on your back then any other position is fine: you can lie on your side, sit in a chair, or even stand. Don’t tell anyone this but I sometimes do yoga nidra while taking a bath. It’s one of those tiny Japanese baths that are just big enough to sit in.


There are two ways you can do this exercise: you can either do a body scan or a guided meditation.


Body scan 

Close your eyes and take a few slow and relaxed breaths. Focus your attention to your right foot. Keep your attention there for a few seconds, while relaxing your foot. Then move your attention up to your right knee, right thigh and hip. Become aware of your whole right leg. Repeat with your left leg. Then, move your attention to the genital area, stomach, navel region, and chest. Next, focus your attention on your right shoulder and right arm, palms and fingers. Repeat with the left shoulder and arm. Now pay attention to you throat, face and finally the top of your head.


Guided meditation 

Before beginning the exercise search YouTube for a guided yoga nidra meditation. Most of them are 10 or 20 minutes long. Select one you like and then play it.



Take a deep breath in, and relax in this still state for a few minutes. When you are ready slowly open your eyes and gradually become aware of your surroundings.

yoga nidra sounds true practices

yoga nidra: the art of relaxation 

Richard Miller, PhD


In this guided exploration, Richard Miller takes you step-by-step thorugh the tradtional techniques of yoga nidra to help move you toward "unqualified presence". Suitable for both beginners and advanced practioners.

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