Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep is a state of consciousness between waking and sleeping, like the “going-to-sleep” stage, typically induced by a guided meditation.

There is evidence that Yoga Nidra helps relieve stress.

Described as “dynamic sleep,” the Yoga Nidra practice allows the body to deeply relax while the mind stays inwardly alert. Yoga Nidra guides practitioners into the “hypnagogic state”—the threshold between alpha and theta waves—the knife’s edge where the body “sleeps” while the mind is lucid.

What is the difference between yoga nidra and meditation?

Yoga Nidra is for systematically relaxing the body and mind while maintaining awareness. It’s done on the floor on your back for the best effects. Meditation is for training the mind using a particular point. It is done sitting up, spine tall to facilitate movement of prana.

“Yoga Nidra is not a technique. It is a state of consciousness that provides us with the access to master creation. It is distinct from meditation, which is a practice that is designed for the transcendence of creation.” – Dr. Marc Halpern

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Yoga Nidra – Private Session
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The western pioneer of yoga as therapy, Richard Miller, has developed the use of Yoga nidra for rehabilitating soldiers in pain, using the Integrative Restoration (iRest) methodology. Miller worked with Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the United States Department of Defense studying the efficacy of the approach. According to Yoga Journal, “Miller is responsible for bringing the practice to a remarkable variety of nontraditional settings” which includes “military bases and in veterans’ clinics, homeless shelters, Montessori schools, Head Start programs, hospitals, hospices, chemical dependency centers, and jails.” The iRest protocol was used with soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Based on this work, the Surgeon General of the United States Army endorsed Yoga Nidra as a complementary alternative medicine (CAM) for chronic pain in 2010.