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3 Reasons We Need Yoga Nidra Now More Than Ever

For starters, it can offer the benefits of an extra four (yep, four!) hours of sleep. Here, Dharma Mittra shares why this is the practice for modern times.

Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.

Seeking more energy, focus, and creativity? Charge up with a form of guided relaxation called yoga nidra. In YJ’s new online Master Class program, you’ll access workshops led by nine master teachers over the next year. First up: Break down key concepts of yogic sleep with legendary teacher Sri Dharma Mittra. Sign up today! 

Being an adult is pretty easy: You just feel tired all the time, and tell people about how tired you are, and they tell you how tired they are. —The Internet

Like many memes shared on the Instagram circuit, there’s some truth to this one. So what’s the cause of this rampant exhaustion? Well, maybe the memes have something to do with it… “There are too many distractions and ways to satiate your senses through technology. It’s like a drug: People are getting attached to it, and then they can’t sleep well, can’t reset, and in many cases can’t eat well. We desperately need yoga nidra to help us feel fully refreshed,” says Dharma Mittra, who teaches a course on yogic sleep in YJ’s Master Class program. Here, three ways yogic sleep solves modern challenges.

1. It helps makes up for the sleep cycle you’re probably missing.
“These days very few people experience deep sleep without dreams, but yoga nidra is a blessing because it will restore energy and fully charge the body,” says Mittra. Can this yoga practice actually compensate for the healing, slow-wave slumber that releases cell- and tissue-repairing hormones? Mittra says that just 20 minutes of yogic sleep give you the boost of one to two extra hours of sleep; practice for 60 to 90 minutes to feel like you’ve slept an extra four hours.

2. Screen time stands between you and universal flow, but yoga nidra will clear out the fog. 
You are not your body, social media presence, professional accomplishments, or reactions to the news of the day. “When you experience lack of mind and body activity, you realize you are the eternal witness—consciousness itself. Spiritually, it means you find out who you really are. To believe isn’t enough, you have to experience it through yoga nidra,” Mittra says.

See also Dharma Mittra’s Sequence to Prepare for Yoga Nidra

3. It grounds you to make healthy choices, even during hectic times.  
Ever notice that on the busiest days, nutrition lands on the bottom of your task list? “Though it’s hard to overcome, gradually with constant practice, your cravings can lessen,” Mittra says, who admits that even he works on his sweet tooth, which favors pineapple, oranges, and other natural juices. “But you have to practice. Without practice and a will to master it, there is no way.” 

Want to learn how to practice and teach yoga nidra? Join Dharma Mittra and eight additional master teachers in Master Class. 

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