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What is Yoga Nidra and why is it good for you?


Yoga means: unity/togetherness/connection

Nidra means: sleap

Where does Yoga Nidra come from?

Yoga Nidra is founded by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. He stumbled on this accidentaly when he guared a school at night time. At 3:00 o'clock he fell into a deep sleap until 6:00 o'clock in the morning. The boys in this school sang Veda's (hymnes) from 4:00 o'clock. A while later the school held an event. During this event the boys sang these Veda's. Swami Satyananda Saraswati had the feeling that he had heard them before. However he had never read or heard the physicaly. After the event he asked one of the boys, how it was possible that he had that feeling. One of them told him that his subconscious mind picked this up when he was sleaping as they where singing. He was triggered by this and started to learn Tantra as a part of Nyasa. At Nyasa they sing mantra's with awareness and feel different bodyparts. In Yoga Nidra we systematically rotate the different bodyparts. What does this mean? We bring our attention to the different bodyparts and try to feel them.

The art of relaxation

Do you know the answer to this question? Take a moment to think about this. you might think that you are relaxing when you are sitting in a chair with a cup of thee or coffee, watching a movie or reading the paper,... This is not relaxation but a sensory (feeling, tasting, smelling, hearing) distraction of percetion . True relaxation happens when you are fully aware.

3 Types of relaxation

Tension is created whether you think to little or to mutch, follow a certain diet, sleap to much or to little,... Tension is present in the different layers of our personality. This can cause for unhappiness , chaos, depression,...

Different types of tension that can in our live can be:

  • Muscular tension: tension that is stored in the muscles.

  • Emotional tension: usually we don't express our emotion or we refuse to see them. So they get stuck into our body. For example: Love, hate, sadness,...

  • Mental tension: every experience is stored in our minds, just like a hard drive of your computer. Whether you are going to a store, going to work, talking to yourself, make assumption about someone or something, sensory perceptions.

These are the Samskara’s. During the Yoga Nidra we remove these tensions. You are going to work on the deeper (subconscious) layers of your mind. By the clarity during the Yoga Nidra practice you can create your ideal spiritual life. It is just like cleaning our house, we also need to clean our mind.

What does Yoga Nidra do?

Yoga Nidra provides complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. It looks like we are sleaping but actually we are fully aware but we are working on the deeper layers of our mind. We are in the state of sleaping and being awake. Because of this state, we can contact our subconscious mind.

Did you know that 1 hour of Yoga Nidra is equal to 4 hours of sleap? Who doesn't want extra energy to do full stuff?

Why this is good for you?

There are different reasons why this is good for you. I have picked out 5 for you.

We can change our habbits

I think that i can say that the most of us have 1 bad habbit that they would like to change or maybe about ourselves. For example more confidense, more peace, healthier eating habits, finding yourself beautifull the way that you are,... During the Yoga Nidra, we are relaxed and receptive. We plant the sead in our subconsciousness. this sead we call the "Sankalpa". Here are some examples. :

  • I am calm

  • I am relaxed

  • I have energy

  • I am strong

  • ….

The sead that we plant in our subconsciousness will come true after a wile. Which seeds do you want to plant in your subconscious mind?

Reduction of stress

I will quickly tell you what stress does to our body. When your body comes into a stressfull situation, we can experience anxiety, depression, anger,... Or when there is a threath, our body answers with the flight or fight system. When this happens our Hypothalamus and our Endocrine system over activates.

The hypothalamus is located in our brains and takes care of our:

  • bloodpressure

  • heart beat

  • signals like hunger and thirst

  • body temperature

The endocrine system are glands that take care of the hormonal household in our body. The system contains a lot of different parts among the hypothalamus.

When it over activates for example you can notice that your body reactes in a certain way: compulsive sweating, diarrhea, headache, high heart beat, high blood pressure, muscle pains,...

Other symptoms of stress can cause insomnia, fear, anxiety, irritability,..

When we relax our parasympathetic nervous system activates. This system makes sure that our body is calm and recovers. De respons of relaxation is slower than the stress on our body. When we do Yoga Nidra, we relax and the overactivity of the hypothalamus and the endocrine system drops. We train our system to react to stressfull situations and to make our relaxation respons quickly.

1 hour of Yoga Nidra = 4 hours of sleep

Who doesn't want to rest quickly? I also want to make sure that you know that Yoga Nidra cannot replace sleep but it can be a helpfull tool when you are feeling tired and to rest a little more.

When we sleep, there are 3 different stages:

A wake:

  1. Our conscious mind is active with our external environmental factors like sensory experiences (feeling, smelling,...)

  2. These are the quick bèta waves.


  1. Our subconscious mind becomes active.

  2. Our suppressed longings, fears, inhibitions and deep-rooted impressions (samskaras) are expressed.

  3. These are theta waves.

Deep state of sleep:

  1. The subconscious mind becomes active.

  2. It is the source of instincts, deeper burried experiences.

  3. In this stade the samskaras are inactivated because of the mind and the body are paralysed.

  4. These are the delta waves.

During the Yoga Nidra we are between a statee of being awake an dreaming. The duration of this state between 3-5 minutes and is characterized by alfa waves. These alfa waves provedes deep relaxation and letting go of the tension of the muscles. Whe cannot experience alfa waves when we sleep, so therefore we can wake up tired.

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