By: Amy DiLillo
The past year has certainly ruffled more than our collective lives and minds. It has changed our entire lives, culture, habits and health practices. How about your sleep habits? We have all read the health benefits of good sleep hygiene: improved memory, lifespan, creativity and lower stress, inflammation, anxiety etc. etc. We are trying to exercise in nature and on the mat, meditate and still…some nights sleep is elusive. Our modern tech filled life does not necessarily allow for true relaxation and we may find ourselves delving into “revenge bedtime procrastination”. Yep, that is a thing! I urge you to instead try the ancient healing practice of Yoga Nidra (aka Sleep of the Yogi’s or Conscious Sleep). Yoga Nidra is a form of mindfulness, a guided meditation practice that systematically takes us on a journey through our Kosha’s or sheaths. These are part of our subtle energy body or our yogic layers of being (physical, energetic, mental/emotional, intuitive, bliss). The practice of Yoga Nidra allows us to “peel” these layers by going inward, allowing us to experience our true self, our true nature. Research shows that our brain waves can shift from Beta (alert) to Alpha (relaxation, creativity) to Theta (meditation, intuition) during this practice, allowing our nervous system to also shift from sympathetic (active) to parasympathetic (rest and digest). The benefits are many, including increased dopamine release, lower anxiety, stress and pain perception and more. A consistent practice of Yoga Nidra is like training our mind and body to remember what relaxation feels like, preparing us for the big event when we rest our weary heads. And all we need to do to enjoy this practice is sit or recline and listen!
Curious? Join Amy Thursday evenings March 11, 18, 25, 7-8:15 PM for Yin and Yoga Nidra | The Sleep Series