Relaxation Takes Practice Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Yoga Nidra

25 min - Practice


Julia, with the help of Jody, shares a Yoga Nidra practice designed to promote conscious relaxation. This full-body guided meditation invites us to release deeper layers of tension, resulting in a calm and spacious mind.
What You'll Need: Square Bolster, Blanket

About This Video


Read Full Transcript

(waves splashing) Namaste dear yogi friends. Namsaste Jodie, thank you for being with us here today. You're welcome. I'm going to share one of my favorite practices with you today, it's the practice of Yoga Nidra. Yoga Nidra means yogic sleep, it's a practice of conscious rest that enables us to rest at very, very deep levels, often deeper than when we're actually asleep, inviting us and helping us to release layers of stress and tension in the psyche that are very deeply embedded.

So I love this practice when I wake up in the middle of the night, my mind is racing and then I just use this to help me go back to sleep. Or if I'm having a long day and I just have a short amount of time and my energy is low and I need to pick it back up again, this is a beautiful way to just really re-energize and calm the whole nervous system. So I invite you to find a place where you're not going to be disturbed, somewhere comfortable where you can lie down. And you can either just lie down on the floor or on your bed, wherever you like without any props. I'm gonna set Jodie up right now in a supported shavasana, which is extra comfortable.

Just helping you to kind of really relax a little bit more. So what that will involve is a bolster under the knees. You can use... a home version of a bolster might be a pillow case filled with a couple of thick towels or a blanket or something like that just to support the knees. And then I'm going to roll a blanket to support her neck.

And again, for this you can find a thin blanket or maybe a towel. Something that you have at home that will do the trick and if you have a yoga blanket, even better. Just set it up like this with the tassels away from you and begin to roll the neck roll very tightly so that it's a firm support. And we probably only want to roll it about halfway or three quarters of the way up so that it's not too big. Ideally, the head is going to be resting on the upper part part of the blanket.

So I'm gonna roll this top part of the blanket towards the neck roll so that the head will be slightly lifted, the back of the skull will be slightly lifted and then the neck will be supported. I'm gonna just place this about where I imagine Jodie's neck might be when she lies down. And then I'm just gonna invite you to lie down and place your neck on this roll. Okay, so I'll just move it up so that you. So let me move this up so you can just scooch slightly further up the mat.

Beautiful. And so lift your head slightly. What I'm interested in is supporting Jodie's lower part of the neck, so the C7, just above that knobbly part at the top of the spine, the base of the neck. So that there's just a feeling of support but the head is resting back down on the blanket or the earth if that's what you have underneath your head. So the head is fully resting down and the neck just feels lightly supported.

And then I'm going to put a bolster under her knee so if you just bend your knees. And then scooch that forward. And then allow your legs just to rest down. And then just take time to adjust so it feels right. I'm thinking that maybe I'll bring the bolster a little lower, would that be right, Jodie?

Or was it better before? I think it was better before. Okay. Try that. How's that feel?

So, always just taking time to really get comfortable so that your body can let go and deeply rest. Allow the arms to come outside away from the body and the palms face up so that you get a nice opening here in the upper chest area. Take a deep inhale. And exhale out through the mouth. (exhales) One more time, breathing down into the belly.

Exhale out through the mouth. (exhales) Just allowing everything to settle down into the surface below you. This is a beautiful thing to do if you're feeling scattered, confused, if your mind is up in the clouds, lying on the earth and grounding really helps just to bring everything back into balance. As you exhale, feeling yourself softening down into the earth. Just allow the soles of the feet to relax.

Allow the legs to soften and relax. Hips relax. And feel the torso relax. Shoulders soften. Allowing the arms to feel heavy on the earth.

Centers of the palms of the hands relax. Feel the neck relax. The head relax. And the face relax. Eyes soften.

And just gently swallowing, allowing the lower jaw to soften and relax. Lips gently part. And soften. So the practice of yoga nidra, the invitation, the intention, is actually to stay conscious. I'm going to guide you through the body naming one body part at a time and as I do so I invite you to bring your awareness to that place in the body and just relax that area.

So by staying present, staying conscious, we actually allow for a deeper rest to happen than if we space out or drift off. But if you do, if you do end up going to sleep, that's totally fine, just allowing your body to do whatever it needs. But just as we begin setting the intention to stay present. As we enter into these deeper subconscious realms, we're going to set an intention for ourselves for our life, aligning the subconscious with our deep desires. So just allow yourself to connect with your deepest longing.

Your heart's longing. Whatever it is that you're calling for at this time, whether that be peace, health, love, well-being. Just finding whatever it is that you're calling in and create a very simple affirmation, a very simple sentence that contains this intention. It might be something like I affirm peace and well-being in my body, mind and heart. Just taking a moment to set your intention for yourself.

And then as I say the body parts, just moving your awareness from one place to the next, just relaxing each place. Center of the forehead. Base of the throat. Right shoulder. Center of the right upper arm.

Right elbow. Center of the right forearm. Right wrist. Center of the right palm. Tip of the right thumb.

Tip of the right index finger. Tip of the right middle finger. Tip of the right ring finger. Tip of the right little finger. Center of the right palm.

Right wrist. Center of the right forearm. Right elbow. Center of the right upper arm. Right shoulder.

Base of the throat. Center of the left shoulder. Center of the left upper arm. Left elbow. Middle of the left forearm.

Left wist. Center of the left palm of the hand. Tip of the left thumb. Tip of the left index finger. Left middle finger.

Left ring finger. Left little finger. Middle of the left palm. Left wrist. Middle of the left forearm.

Left elbow. Middle of left upper arm. Left shoulder. Base of the throat. Center of the chest.

Navel center. Center of the pubic bone. Right hip. Center of the right thigh. Right knee.

Center of the right shin calf. Right ankle. Center of the right sole of the foot. Right big toe. Second toe.

Third toe. Fourth toe. Little toe. Center of the sole of the right foot. Right ankle.

Center of the right calf. Right knee. Center of the right thigh. Right hip. Center of the pubic bone.

Left hip. Center of the left thigh. Left knee. Center of the left calf. Left ankle.

Center of the left sole of the foot. Left big toe. Second toe. Third toe. Fourth toe.

Little toe. Center of the left sole of the foot. Left ankle. Center of the left calf. Left knee.

Center of the left thigh. Left hip. Center of the pubis. Navel center. Center of the chest.

Base of the throat. Center of the forehead. Allowing yourself to rest here. If the mind wanders, resting your awareness on the breath. Feeling your bones be heavy, sinking down into the earth.

Feeling your muscles start to soften around the bones, melting. Feeling your skin relax. Feeling all worries, all stress, all that is not serving you, softening down into the earth, the surface below you. Dissolving. Feeling yourself being filled with a healing light.

Re-balancing and nourishing you on all levels. Just allowing yourself to rest in this light. (singing bowl vibrates) Begin to bring your awareness back onto your breath. Breathe down all the way into your fingers and your toes. Taking a deep breath that fills the whole body.

Softening on the exhale. As you return, start remembering your affirmation. Repeating that simple statement. Whatever it was, perhaps affirming peace and well-being in the body, the mind and the heart. And then feeling a sense of gratitude, giving thanks that this has already been taken care of.

Breathing that gratitude into the heart center. And out from the heart center. One more deep inhale. Exhale everything. (exhales) And then just start to wiggle your fingers, wiggle your toes.

Maybe make some gentle circles with the wrists and the ankles. And you may want to open the body as you inhale, just reaching the arms overhead. Or just naturally just turning over onto one side, just removing any bolster or neck roll so that you can rest on your side. Drawing the knees in towards you. Feeling the breath effortlessly flowing in and out.

As it feels right to you, gently allowing the eyes to flutter open. Taking your time and your pace coming up. When you feel ready, just using that top hand to bring you up to sitting and just finding you a comfortable seated position. Resting the backs of the hands on the thighs, maybe lightly touching the thumb and the index finger. Closing the eyes, take a deep inhale.

And exhale out though the mouth. (exhales) Let the belly relax. Allow the crown of the head to reach up so the spine straightens and the heart opens. One more breath in. And exhale.

Just feeling that sense of inner rest. Bringing the palms together. And then very gently just allowing the eyes to open. Namaste. Thank you, Jodie.

Namaste. (chuckles)


Katherine E
1 person likes this.
Hey Julia, So loving and relaxing.
My body felt like it was being taken care of and I could feel energy move. Like a shift. Thank you...

Alice B
1 person likes this.
Thanks Jubes for a lovely relaxation this morning
. Ma
Diane C
1 person likes this.
Thank you Julia for guiding me into relaxation and releasing the tension from the day. Namaste.
Julia Berkeley
So happy Diane to be able to support your relaxation! Thank you for being willing. namaste.
Vicky M
1 person likes this.
Thank you so much! Felt my energy and perspective opening after a difficult few weeks including the loss of my grandma.
Kira Sloane
1 person likes this.
Dearest Vicky, so sorry about your loss. Glad you are here. Kira
Chris C
1 person likes this.
Thank you, Julia for creating this. I just found it today when I most needed it. It will become part of my 'new' routine! I have always been intrigued by Yoga Nidra - I don't know much about it, so thank you. I will continue to explore... :)
Julia Berkeley
oh good Chris so happy you found it!
Helene S
1 person likes this.
Thanks so much! I really needed this after my day.
Julia Berkeley
Thanks for tuning in Helene!
1-10 of 13

You need to be a subscriber to post a comment.

Please Log In or Create an Account to start your free trial.

Footer Yoga Anytime Logo

Just Show Up

Over 2,900 yoga and meditation practices to bring you Home.

15-Day Free Trial