Yogic sleep, or yoga nidra, is a method of advanced relaxation that can draw you into a deep, replenishing sleep, or provide a meditative midday break to restore your inner peace.
Practiced at the highest level, yoga nidra is a state of conscious deep sleep: while the body rests, the brain remains awake and aware. But in all its forms, yogic sleep promotes an incredible calmness of the body, and clarity of mind. Practice yogic sleep at least three times a week to fully experience its restorative effects.
- Lay in a prone position with your arms at your sides, palms up, and legs fully extended.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Inhale deeply for five counts. Exhale deeply for ten counts.
- Focus on relaxing your body, part by part, working from your fingertips and toes inward to the center of your body. Relax your torso, your chest, your shoulders, neck, facial muscles, temple and head.
- In relaxing each body part, you should feel an independent awareness of it until, when you reach the center, you experience full-body awareness.
- Repeat this cycle as many times as necessary to either reach a state of total body relaxation, or fall into a restorative sleep.