This post explains what yoga nidra is, why it is used in the Survival Fitness Plan, how to do yoga nidra and also provides some yoga nidra resources.
Yoga Nidra is a form of guided meditation which has many health benefits. You can guide yourself through yoga nidra but the easiest way to do it is to listen to a yoga nidra practice and do what the instructor says.
In the Survival Fitness Plan it is recommended to do AT LEAST ten minutes of yoga nidra immediately following the yoga cool-down and stretch routine.
Yoga Nidra is used in the Survival Fitness Plan because it is guided meditation, which makes it relatively easy to do, especially for beginners to meditation. For those of you that use other forms of mediation that you enjoy then feel free to stick to them. The main thing is the meditation.
The information in this post has been taken from the book Curing Yoga by Aventuras De Viaje.
How to do Yoga Nidra
For best results find a place where your body can be comfortable and you can practice undisturbed. Not too hot or cold. Put on some soothing background music if you want.
It is best not to do yoga nidra in bed because you will be more likely to fall asleep. A yoga mat on the floor is ideal.
Yoga nidra is a conscious practice.
Lie in Corpse Pose
Corpse pose, a.k.a. shavasana, is a yoga pose used at the end of almost every yoga practice. Going straight from your yoga practice to yoga nidra is ideal and is (in my opinion) most likely the intention of the ones who created it.
Yoga nidra can also be done from a seated position if lying down is inappropriate.
Close your eyes.
Notice your Breath
Notice your breathing. Feel your lungs filling with air, your stomach expanding, and then deflating.
Imagine a light around your body expanding and contracting as you breathe in and out.
Feel the energy coursing through your body.
Use Your Senses
Notice each of your senses individually.
What sounds do you hear? Near, far, inside, outside.
What smells can you smell? Take small sniffs, like a dog does.
Taste the air.
Feel your body supported on the floor. Which parts of your body are touching?
What can you see with your eyes closed? Does the light make shapes in your eyelids?
Repeat Your Mantra
Your mantra is a short sentence stating your intentions. It’s kind of like an affirmation. It may be an overall statement of health, relaxation, etc., or may be a visualization of something you want to achieve.
Whatever it is, repeat it mentally three times. Try to feel how it feels as if the visualization was realized.
One I use often is “My entire being is completely relaxed and at one with the universe.”
Scan Your Body
This is where you consciously relax each part of your body.
Mentally go through your body. Bring your attention to and relax each part. You can be very detailed about this or just do large areas. It depends on how long you want to spend.
I start from the top of my head and work my way down. Sometimes I even do internal organs.
After you have relaxed smaller body parts relax them as a whole, e.g., shoulder, upper arm, bicep, elbow, forearm, hand, fingers, relax the whole arm.
At the end relax the whole body as one.
Awaken the Body
The last step is to slowly deepen your breath and start to move your fingers and toes, then your hands and feet.
In your own time stretch your body out however feels right. Open your eyes when you are ready.
When you are done stretching gently hug your knees (wind relieving pose). Fall to your right side and then gently sit up.
Take a moment to reflect on the practice and then go about your day.
Yoga Nidra Playlist
Here’s a playlist of the three ten minute videos which I use to do my daily yoga nidra.
Note: Ten minutes is very short for Yoga Nidra. None of these ten minute yoga nidra practices go through all of the steps above. If you can spare the extra time you can download some really good yoga nidra practices for free at YogaNidraNetwork.org/downloads. There are also some shorter ones which I use in the mornings instead of just repeating the same three from the videos below.
LEARN MORE about yoga in the book Curing Yoga by Aventuras De Viaje.
Do you have anything to add about how to do yoga nidra? Or perhaps you use other forms of meditation. Share your questions/thoughts in the comments :D.