By Dr. Rajeev Rajesh
Yoga is an ancient science that can be used as restorative therapy to help the mind and body relax completely. Another unusual recovery approach is Yoga Nidra, in which sleep is used as a meditation procedure for healing purposes. It’s also known as yogic sleep, and it’s a guided technique in which professionals help practitioners enter a state of deep relaxation that lies somewhere between wakefulness and sleep, allowing the system nervous to calm down.
Yoga Nidra is not about doing asanas; it’s more about relaxing, getting into a meditative state of mind, and falling asleep. While one is awake in meditation, one can reach a truly healing state of joy in yogic sleep; mind and body are relaxed while consciousness is awake.
Best Practices for Working Professionals
Stress and worry have become commonplace in the workplace, putting undue strain on the autonomic nervous system. Stress and anxiety not only influence basic systems like breathing, blood circulation, heart rate, digestion, etc., but they also disrupt sleep and reduce attention, creativity, clarity and concentration. All of these issues have a direct and indirect impact on productivity.
Our nervous system releases a powerful antioxidant called Melatonin into circulation during Yoga Nidra, which helps regulate blood pressure, digestion, stress levels, and immune function while inducing peaceful sleep. Yoga Nidra helps promote mindfulness, insight, concentration and productivity by allowing the mind to relax.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra
While being an easy practice, Yoga Nidra offers many benefits. Some of them include:
- Improves cognitive abilities: This ancient practice relaxes the mind and body while calming the nervous system. As a result, stress is reduced, as well as its physical and mental manifestations, such as muscle tension and headaches. Yoga Nidra improves one’s cognitive abilities by allowing the mind to relax and focus on clear thinking, whether for problem solving, creativity, or other purposes. The mind is free to work to its full potential when it is not overwhelmed by worry. As a result, yogic sleep slows cognitive aging in the brain, which improves attention span and memory, both necessary for everyday tasks.
- Increase Self-Esteem and Confidence: Regular practice of Yoga Nidra has been shown to significantly improve a person’s self-esteem and confidence. Setting intentions or sankalpas, which are essentially goals one wishes to achieve, is an important phase of guided meditation and Yoga Nidra. Reaching a goal is invigorating and builds confidence and self-esteem, which is exactly what Yoga Nidra encourages.
- Increases attention and clarity of mind, as well as mindfulness: When one is not worried, it is easier to have a clear mind and to focus on important matters, as well as to ‘to be aware. Mindfulness is a trait that stems from accepting and fully experiencing the present moment without judgment or worry. Another beneficial result of the practice of Yogic Nidra is this attribute. By integrating mindfulness into daily life, one can live with a clear and calm purpose that promotes a high quality of life.
- Improves sleep quality and overall health: Yogic sleep is extremely effective in improving sleep quality and pattern consistency. Because one is less worried, getting a sankalpa to sleep becomes easier, faster, and more consistent. A good night’s sleep indicates the absence of sleep disturbances, which can be the cause or symptom of various diseases. Yoga Nidra improves sleep cycles and, by extension, health, as blood pressure and cholesterol levels are reduced, immune and neurological system function is improved, and there is plenty of energy available.
- Reduces Symptoms of Stress, Anxiety, Depression, Chronic Pain and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): All psychological issues are caused by an uneasy mind and heightened negative emotions. Yoga Nidra, an ancient practice that relaxes the mind and releases pent up emotions, reduces stress, and enables people to think more clearly and function more efficiently. As a result, Yoga Nidra is used to treat anxiety, sadness, chronic pain, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) all over the world.
All illnesses benefit from the teacher’s ability to guide practitioners into a state of deep relaxation, which allows the mind and body to rest, recover and rejuvenate. Most aches and pains are also treated effectively, as Yoga Nidra also decreases inflammation by boosting immune functioning.
The practice of this traditional therapy has long been believed to promote mental well-being. In a study examining the effects of Yoga Nidra on the mental health of college professors, the intervention group outperformed the control group, which had no exposure to yogic sleep. According to several studies, this method is a simple and effective treatment for insomnia and sleep disorders.
How to practice Yoga Nidra?
Wear comfortable workout clothes and lie on a yoga mat in the Savasana position with your eyes closed to start practicing Yoga Nidra. To achieve the desired state of mind, find a dark, quiet place with no interruptions.
Relax by gradually deepening your breaths. Your left foot should be the center of your attention.
Relax your foot and gradually shift your attention to your left knee, thigh, waist, etc.
Repeat the process with your right foot, closing your eyes the entire time.
Regularly focus on the rest of your body, including your stomach, naval area, chest, hands, shoulders, neck, face, forehead, and top of your head.
As you continue to breathe deeply, feel the presence of your whole body and all bodily sensations in one of the zones. Continue for 10 to 15 minutes while remaining relaxed.
Gradually open your eyes and sit down when you are ready. You will undoubtedly feel energized afterwards.
Many people think it improves the quality of their sleep if they do it shortly before going to bed. With frequent practice, Yoga Nidra can totally transform your life. If you want to live a peaceful, stress-free existence, consider incorporating this technique into your daily routine. This could be the key to success and balance in your career.
(The author is Chief Yoga Officer, Jindal Naturecure Institute. The opinions expressed are personal and do not reflect the position or official policy of FinancialExpress.com.)