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Season 1 - Episode 13

Deeply Restorative Yoga Nidra

25 min - Practice


Kristin guides us in a sweet breath-focused restorative Yoga Nidra practice to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system. You will feel completely relaxed and restored.
What You'll Need: No props needed


Read Full Transcript

In this practice we'll move through some different pranayama or breathing techniques to have a profound hit of this parasympathetic response. So it's important for you to feel comfortable for the next few minutes. So you can come down onto your backs, you can place a pillow or bolster underneath your knees, maybe something flat underneath your head, and you might get cold during this practice as our body relaxes, our temperature drops slightly, so you might enjoy a blanket on top of you or some extra clothes. So take a few moments to adjust your body on the floor. Your heels will be slightly wider than your hips. You can adjust the buttock flesh so it feels supportive underneath the back of your pelvis, fairly symmetrical. The two shoulder blades snuggle just slightly underneath you so they feel like two teacup saucers resting on the floor. The arms a little bit away from the sides of the body, turning your palms to face up, but maybe make the thumbs a little bit higher than your pinky fingers so you don't have to overly rotate through your elbows or shoulders. And then you can gently move your head a little side to side or nod the chin until you find the best position for your head, a slight breeze underneath your neck. And feel as if the scalp could release some tension, as if the skull plates themselves could loosen their grip. The eyebrows smoothing towards your ears, jaw and lips soft, the tongue wide in the floor of the mouth. And take just one minute to observe where you feel the breath moving. So that might be just at the tip of the nose. You might feel it moving through the nostrils, kind of sliding above the upper palate. You might feel one part of your torso receiving and softening to the breath without yet having to adjust it or judge it. Just observe your own movement, your own natural breath. And begin to deepen the breath in and out through the nose. Without yet having to direct it, just begin to absorb these deeper, more luxurious slides of breath. Perhaps feeling the whole body open to receive the breath, very graciously receiving the breath in. The whole body softening, almost melting inwards on the exhalation. Then we're going to give the breath a little bit more direction. So as you inhale, see if you can draw the breath all the way down into the bowl of the pelvis and you feel your lower belly expand, your mid-body expand, all the way up to the collarbones, to the top peak of your lungs. And then as you exhale, feel the exhale slide from the collarbones, upper chest, middle chest, belly, pelvis.

You feel a wave of breath in as you inhale, filling pelvis, lower belly, upper belly, chest, collarbones. And then as you exhale, feel collarbones soften, ribs soften, belly softens in. Just continue this wave of breath in and out a few times on your own. It's normal as the body starts to relax, you might be tempted to fall towards sleep and that's always okay. If you wish to stay awake during the practice, one little trick is just to bend one of your elbows and take the fingertips to point up, resting your elbow on the floor. And that's usually enough to keep your mind, your body a little more present. Keep allowing each breath to cascade in from base to crown on the inhale, from crown down to base on your exhale. These deeper breaths are often enough to start triggering this relaxation response. If you find yourself grabbing the breath or straining in any way, see if you can relax a bit of your effort. Feeling the body expansive on the inhale, softening on the exhale a few more times. You might notice a part of the body that is stagnant or quiet to the breath. Just by turning your attention there, maybe it smooths out its rhythm. I'm going to work with some ratios of breath now. So the next deeper breath in, just silently count to six. So inhaling for six counts, and then exhaling for six counts. We'll do this for a few rounds. Inhaling for six, and just slowly count out six, and exhaling for six. A few more times. The next round of breath, see if you can inhale for six, and now exhale for eight counts. So the exhale a little bit longer than the inhale. We'll do this for a few rounds. Inhaling for six, exhaling for eight. Please continue. For the next round, see if you can inhale for six, exhale for eight, and then just pause for two. So just pausing with the exhale out for maybe just two beats of your heart. Let's do the best you can. Inhale for six, exhale for eight, hold, suspend for two counts at the bottom of your exhale.

For the next round you'll inhale for six, exhale for eight, and then hold for four counts. Just a gentle pause at the very bottom of the exhale for maybe four beats of your heart. A few rounds in for six, out for eight, pause for four counts. Please continue. For the last round, inhale for six, exhale for eight with no pause. Just in for six, out for eight, without the holding or retention. A few rounds. Now completely relax your breath so no longer having to shape it or stretch it or count its movements. Just return back to a natural, unfust with breath. And you might become aware of this very subtle movement of your lower belly as you breathe, barely perceptible as you relax the breath and it grows more shallow, more quiet, hardly noticeable. Move the awareness now through the body. I'm gonna name different parts of the body for you just to drop your attention into. There's no need to move those parts of the body or feel anything in particular. Just bring your awareness into your right hand. Just feel the presence in your right hand, the right thumb, second finger, third finger, fourth finger, fifth finger, palm of the hand, back of the hand, right forearm, upper arm, right shoulder, underarm, right ribs, right waist, right hip, right groin, right thigh, right knee, right shin, right ankle, top of the right foot, sole of the right foot, right big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, fifth toe, left hand, left thumb, second finger, third finger, fourth finger, fifth finger, palm of the hand, back of the hand, left forearm, upper arm, left shoulder, underarm, left ribs, left waist, left hip, left groin, left thigh, left knee, left shin, left ankle, top of the left foot, sole of the left foot, left big toe, second toe, third toe, fourth toe, fifth toe, back of the head, right shoulder blade, left shoulder blade, right buttock, left buttock, right heel, left heel, spine, pelvis, lower belly, upper belly, right chest, left chest, center of the chest, throat, the chin, bottom lip, top lip, space between the lips, tongue, the roof of the mouth, right cheek, left cheek, right ear, the left ear, tip of the nose, bridge of the nose, right eye, left eye, right eyebrow, left eyebrow, space between the eyebrows, forehead, crown of the head, feel the entire back of the body, feel the entire front of the body, feel the whole body resting here, feel the whole body resting.

Remaining still to bring your awareness back into the room. Without opening the eyes, just see or visualize your body resting here, begin to deepen the breath, and as you deepen the breath, feel the breath travel down through the arms and the legs and the breath animating the fingers and the toes, might feel nice to reach your arms overhead and give yourself a moment to stretch, like a big morning stretch. You feel ready for larger movement, you can bend one knee at a time and place your feet on the floor or bolster, then roll over to your right side and just curl up into a fetal position, giving yourself a few moments to honor your time and your practice, your own experience here, whatever it was. Keeping your eyes closed, just lazily bring yourself back into a tall seat. Make a little soft fist with your right hand and place it in your lower belly and cover it with your left hand, called yogi seal or yogi mudra, and sit up tall and just tip forward, hinging forward from your hips, just enough that you feel a little pressure in your belly, the pelvic floor has to rise up to support you, otherwise you tip over, just bringing the energy back in, regrounding, rerouting so you can take this experience with you.

Once you feel ready you can move back up to a comfortable seat, let's take one hand over the other hand, over the heart center, let's bow the head to the heart, and bring the palms together in front of the heart, namaste.


Jenny S
Wonderful respite from the holiday rush...thank you šŸ™šŸ»
Kristin Leal
I'm so happy to hear that! Thank YOU!
Glenford N
A beautiful breathing sequence. I will sleep blissfully. Thanks Kristin.
Kristin Leal
aw sleep well Glenford thanks for practicing with me!
Lorraine Marek
Iā€™m fighting a cold & this practice was just what I needed today thanks
Feel better, Lorraine
Petra L
2 people like this.
I absolutely looove this nidra practice. I use it over and over again. I really enjoyed the whole series, but this one I keep coming back to and I feel renewed. Thank you
Kristin Leal
Petra Thank you so much!! I'm really happy you love it and it's working for you!
Kate M
1 person likes this.
That was just lovely. Mmmmmm.
Kristin Leal
1 person likes this.
Kate so happy that you enjoyed it.......stay tuned for more:)
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