By Dr. Rajeev Rajesh
Yoga is an ancient science that can be used as a restorative therapy to help the mind and body relax completely. Another unusual recuperative approach is Yoga Nidra, in which sleep is employed as a meditation procedure for healing purposes. It’s also known as Yogic Sleep, and it’s a guided technique in which professionals assist practitioners into a deep state of relaxation that’s somewhere between awake and sleeping, allowing the nervous system to quiet down.
Yoga Nidra isn’t about doing asanas; instead, it’s about unwinding, entering a meditative frame of mind, and drifting off to sleep. While one is awake in meditation, one can achieve a state of joy that is truly healing in yogic sleep; the mind and body are relaxed while the consciousness is awake.
Best practice for working professionals
Stress and worry have grown commonplace in the workplace, putting undue strain on the autonomic nervous system. Stress and anxiety influence not just basic systems like breathing, blood flow, heart rate, digestion, and so on, but they also disrupt sleep and reduce attention, creativity, clarity, and concentration. All of these issues have an impact on productivity, both directly and indirectly.
Our nervous system releases a strong antioxidant called Melatonin into the circulation during Yoga Nidra, which helps regulate blood pressure, digestion, stress levels, and immune function while also inducing peaceful sleep. Yoga Nidra helps to promote attention, clairvoyance, focus, and productivity by allowing the mind to relax.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra
While being an easy practice, Yoga Nidra offers extensive benefits. Some of them include:
- Enhances cognitive abilities: This ancient practise relaxes the mind and body while also calming the nervous system. As a result, stress is reduced, as are its physical and mental manifestations, such as muscle tension and headaches. Yoga Nidra improves one’s cognitive capacities by allowing the mind to relax and focus on clear thinking, whether for problem solving, creativity, or other purposes. The mind is free to work at its full potential when it is not overburdened by worry. As a result, yogic sleep slows cognitive ageing in the brain, resulting in better attention spans and memory, both of which are necessary for daily tasks.
- Increasing self-esteem and confidence: Regular Yoga Nidra practice has been shown to significantly boost a person’s self-esteem and confidence. Setting intentions or sankalpas for oneself, which are essentially goals that one wishes to achieve, is an important phase in guided meditation and Yoga Nidra. Achieving a goal is invigorating and boosts one’s confidence and self-esteem, which is exactly what Yoga Nidra encourages.
- Increases attention and clarity of mind, as well as Mindfulness: When one is not worried, it is easier to have a clear mind and focus on important issues, as well as to be Mindful. Mindfulness is a trait that arises from accepting and fully experiencing the present moment without judgement or concern. Another beneficial outcome of Yogic Nidra practice is this attribute. By incorporating mindfulness into daily living, one can live with a clear, calm purpose that promotes a high quality of life.
- Improves sleep quality and overall health: Yogic sleep is extremely successful at enhancing sleep quality and pattern consistency. Because one is less worried, making a sankalpa to sleep becomes easier, faster, and more consistent. A good night’s sleep indicates the absence of sleep disturbances, which can be the cause or symptom of a variety of illnesses. Yoga Nidra improves one’s sleep cycles and, by extension, one’s health, as blood pressure and cholesterol levels are reduced, immune and neurological system function is improved, and there is plenty of energy available.
- Reduces the symptoms of stress, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): All psychological problems are caused by an uneasy mind and heightened negative emotions. Yoga Nidra, an ancient practice that relaxes the mind and releases pent-up emotions, reduces stress and allows people to think more clearly and function more effectively. As a result, Yoga Nidra is used to treat anxiety, sadness, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) all over the world.
All of the illnesses benefit from the teacher’s ability to guide practitioners into a profound state of relaxation, which allows the mind and body to rest, recoup, and regenerate. Most aches and pains are efficiently treated as well, because Yoga Nidra also decreases inflammation by strengthening immunological functioning.
The practice of this traditional therapy has long seemed to promote mental wellness. In a study examining the effects of Yoga Nidra on college professors’ mental health, the intervention group outperformed the control group, which had no exposure to Yogic sleep. According to several studies, this method is a simple and efficient treatment for insomnia and sleep disturbances.
How to Practice Yoga Nidra?
Wear comfortable workout clothes and lie down on a yoga mat in the Savasana stance with your eyes closed to begin practising Yoga Nidra. To achieve the desired state of mind, find a dark, quiet location with no interruptions.
Relax as you gradually deepen your breaths. Your left foot should be the focus of your attention.
Relax your foot and gradually shift your attention upward to your left knee, thigh, waist, and so on.
Repeat the process with your right foot, closing your eyes the entire time.
Concentrate steadily on the rest of your body, including your stomach, naval region, chest, hands, shoulders, neck, face, forehead, and crown of your head.
While continuing to breathe deeply, feel the presence of your full body and any bodily sensations in any of the areas. Keep going for 10-15 minutes while remaining relaxed.
Gradually open your eyes and sit up when you’re ready. You’ll undoubtedly feel energised afterward.
Many people believe it increases the quality of their sleep if they do it shortly before going to bed. With frequent practise, Yoga Nidra can totally transform one’s life. If you want to live a stress-free, peaceful existence, consider incorporating this technique into your daily routine. It could be the key to your career success and balance.
(The author is Chief Yoga Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)