If you're new to yoga nidra, or would like to refresh your knowledge, read on. This piece of writing offers some of what I consider to be the basic elements and the most amazing effects of yoga nidra, rotation of consciousness, nature connection, nature visualization and nature sounds. It also gives a brief overview of what you can expect when you decide to try yoga nidra or EcoNIDRA.
What is yoga nidra?
Yoga nidra, also known as "yogic sleep," is a form of meditation and pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses) that allows to experience complete physical, mental, and emotional relaxation. The practice involves lying down in a comfortable position and being guided through various visualizations and body scans, and ultimately reaching a state of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep.
One of the key elements of yoga nidra is the use of a heartfelt wish, intention or sankalpa during the practice. This can help to reprogram the subconscious mind and create lasting change in the individual's thoughts, beliefs, and actions.
It is typically taught in a group setting, led by a trained teacher. However, it can also be practiced independently by following a recorded guide.
To practice Yoga Nidra, one should find a quiet and comfortable place where they will not be disturbed. It is recommended to practice Yoga Nidra on an empty stomach and to lie down in savasana position.
Yoga Nidra is a powerful tool for relaxation, self-awareness and personal development. It can help with a variety of physical and mental health issues, and it can be a valuable addition to any self-care routine.
What are the benefits of yoga nidra?
Research has shown that yoga nidra can have a number of benefits, including reducing stress and anxiety, improving sleep, and reducing symptoms of depression and PTSD. It can also help to improve focus and concentration, as well as physical pain and inflammation.
Some of the benefits of Yoga Nidra and EcoNIDRA include:
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Improving sleep quality
- Increasing feelings of calm and relaxation
- Enhancing focus and concentration
- Lowering blood pressure and heart rate
- Improving overall well-being and quality of life
- Helping with chronic pain management
- Supporting recovery from addiction and traumatic events
What are the benefits of rotation of consciousness, nature visualizations and nature soundscapes used in EcoNIDRA?
Rotation of Consciousness is a technique used in Yoga Nidra. It involves guiding the awareness through different parts of the body, systematically relaxing each part and helping to release tension and stress. In EcoNIDRA™, a royal portion of the session are pure (real or recorded) nature soundscapes such as the sound of birds singing, water flowing, or wind blowing through the trees, and nature visualizations supporting the sense of connectedness with the planet and other species.
Some of the benefits of all of the above mentioned techniques include:
Reducing stress and anxiety
Improving sleep quality
Enhancing focus and concentration
Lowering blood pressure and heart rate
Improving overall well-being and quality of life
Helping with chronic pain management
Boosting the immune system
- Improving cognitive function
What to expect from a yoga nidra class? And EcoNIDRA?
In general, a yoga nidra class involves lying down in a comfortable position, usually on a mat or blanket, with the eyes closed. The teacher will guide you through a series of relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing and body scanning, to help you achieve a state of deep relaxation and stillness.
The class will begin with a brief introduction, explaining what yoga nidra is and the benefits it can provide. The teacher will then guide you through the practice, which typically lasts between 30 and 60 minutes. The teacher will use a calming voice to guide you through the different stages of relaxation, helping to release tension and stress in the body and mind.
During the class, you will be encouraged to naturally focus on your breath and the sensations in your body. You may be guided through visualizations.
The class might end with a brief period of silence, followed by a period of gentle movement to help you reorient yourself before you leave. Yoga Nidra classes can be a very restorative and rejuvenating experience, leaving you feeling calm, centered, and refreshed.EcoNIDRA™ is a blend of Yoga Nidra and Forest Therapy. Certified EcoNIDRA™ teachers are trained to use specific language that is somatic, simple, invitational, open and culturally and spiritually neutral so that they help you step out and stay out of your thinking mind and what we can call your 'life situation' for a large part of the session.
The class begins with partnering with a nature being or element that will be your witness for the practice. You will be guided through a Sense journey bringing your awareness from your thinking mind to your senses and body. You will then be guided to transition to the inner body with the Pilgrimage through the body to slowly withdraw from the senses (pratyahara) and connect with your inner nature while slowing down your brain waves in very deep relaxation. What follows is the Earth journey with live or skillfully and professionally recorded nature soundscapes that invite your subconscious mind for an imaginal journey.
There are two moments during an EcoNIDRA™ session when the teacher invites you to imagine being in a situation that you would like to see happening, and to feel any emotion that comes with that. By doing so, you are planting a seed into the potent ground of your subconscious mind which operates on images and feelings, beyond words. The teacher then skillfully helps you to make the transition back and as a last invitation, encourages you to journal about what comes up for you and/or share the gentleness that you just cultivated by doing an act of kindness for someone else, another being, or for the planet.
Both yoga nidra and EcoNIDRA™ have a powerful potential to bring more presence into our daily life. The practices can change lives by helping us to tap into the vital energy that is otherwise not accessible to us, as it is typically consumed by constant doing and thinking without real deep rest, reflection, stillness and reconnection. They reconnect us with our inner nature, our nearby nature and the planet.
Kat Novotna is the founder of EcoNIDRA, Forest Therapy Guide and Teacher of Presence.