Yoga Nidra, the Yoga of Sleep

by Liz Skarvelis May 29, 2018 2 min read

Yoga Nidra, the Yoga of Sleep

When I explain yoga nidra to the most people, the common response is, “Wait, so you just lie there? And that’s yoga?”

Yes, aaaaaaaand there is so much more.

Yoga nidra, or the yoga of sleep, is gaining attention and not without good reason. I consider yoga nidra to be nothing short of a requirement in today’s world. Yoga nidra is the antidote to the common western way of living: the going, achieving, grasping, getting, doing, moving, technology-filled way of living. Yoga nidra gives pause to this pace and creates space for the practitioner to drop into states of relaxation, creativity, and central nervous healing.

How does it “work?” The science behind yoga nidra is finding the grey area between consciousness and sleep. In practicing yoga nidra, the teacher (or guide) talks practitioners through total body relaxation followed by guided meditation or imagery. In this context, total body/mind/spirit relaxation and restoration can occur.

What can I expect in a yoga nidra class? Expect to find a comfortable position on the floor, one supported by blankets, bolsters, perhaps an eye pillow. Some teachers include supportive essential oils. There may or may not be music. The goal of yoga nidra is “unefforting” in both body and mind. Rather than trying to hear every word that a nidra teacher says, practitioners are encouraged to trust that they will hear what they need to hear. Allowing your physical being to totally “let go” also gives the parasympathetic nervous system the opportunity to rest and reset.


It is said that 30 minutes of yoga nidra is equivalent to 4-6 hours of restful sleep. If you have trouble finding yoga nidra classes near you, search online! Give yourself the gift of yoga nidra—the gift of rest, renewal, and restoration.

Mukha Yoga l Liz SkarvelisBy Liz Skarvelis

                       All Rights Reversed@ 2018

Liz Skarvelis
Liz Skarvelis


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