Healing practices like yoga nidra can help alleviate stress, depression, and anxiety by repairing and restoring the body on the deepest, cellular level. Yoga nidra activates the parasympathetic nervous system (the part of your nervous system that controls rest and digestion), allowing the practitioner to enter a state of ultimate relaxation. Yoga nidra, also known as “yogic sleep” is also a wonderful alternative to sleeping pills to anyone suffering from stress-induced insomnia.
Here, Elena Brower offers a yoga nidra practice for relief from stress and anxiety; it is a practice that also promote a good night’s rest. She offers a visualization technique of focusing attention on various ‘points of light’ throughout the body in order to cultivate effortless awareness and total relaxation.
“Sometimes a small window of time for restfulness is all we need to soften into ourselves again,” says Brower. “Whether you're feeling sad, anxious, overwhelmed or conflicted, this simple, easeful practice is an efficient journey back to effortless awareness. I’ve witnessed the shift that occurs through this simple practice in myself and in hundreds of other students. It is a wonder why we don't emphasize this more in our classes and workshops.”
Brower adds: “Each time I experience yoga nidra, I return to my essential nature, and sense a profound shift in the flow of consciousness. It's as though a door opens and stagnant energy has a way out—to allow for a fresh understanding of the inherent order of things to emerge. Colors seem brighter, difficulty seems to exist in a larger context, and contentedness feels much more available after just 10 or 20 minutes. Yoga nidra grants an awareness of the harmony in all that is, and generates a sensation of pure acceptance.”
Find a comfortable resting position, where you feel safe and free from distraction. Then close your eyes and tune into this 10-minute yoga nidra practice: