What is Yoga Nidra and How to Practice It

Yoga Nidra
Photo by Jared Rice on Unsplash

Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep, is an ancient practice that originated in India. Its objective is to help you relax while still maintaining a level of consciousness. It’s different than other meditation practices in that Yoga Nidra is performed in a fully reclined position. A guided body scan is then offered by a meditation or yoga teacher. It’s a perfect method for anyone who struggles with mediation to start cultivating a practice. Try not to fall asleep, but if you do, that’s okay, because it just means your body needs to rest. It’s important to grant yourself this so that you can maintain optimal health. Yoga Nidra makes for a great mid-day nap alternative, but can also be used to wind down at night.

How to Practice

Find a comfortable, quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. It can be helpful to dim the lights, though candles aren’t recommended as you’ll have your eyes closed. The goal of Yoga Nidra is to turn the senses inward, so it’s best to avoid using essential oils or anything that will draw your attention to your surroundings. We also suggest wearing loose, comfortable clothing. This is one of our favorite guided Yoga Nidra videos to help you in your practice—press play when you’re ready, lie down on your bed or mat, and just listen.