Yoga Nidra Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 3

Yoga Nidra Tutorial

10 min - Tutorial
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Kristin, with the help of Alana, shows us some options on how best to prepare ourselves for the Yoga Nidra process so that we can receive its benefits.
What You'll Need: No props needed

About This Video

Nov 30, 2019
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Welcome. We are extremely lucky to have Alana with us today to help show us some options of how best to prepare ourselves for the yoga nidra practice. And while it may seem a little bit like a princess in the pee situation, a little fussy at times, it really is worth giving ourselves lots of options and different ways to set up and different considerations before we begin. So we really make sure that we are in the best place to receive the deeper aspects of this yoga nidra work. So first thing that we'd like to consider is when to practice.

And the short answer is any time, any time is a good time for yoga nidra, but ideally you would have enough time and space to fully dedicate to the practice, which means a little time to prepare, a little time to maybe journal or have a re-entry back into your day. It's best if you're not too sleepy or too hungry, because that also can be distracting. Now chances are all of us live in a little bit of a sleep debt kind of condition. So it is very likely that you might fall asleep during some of these practices. And I have some tricks that might help us stay awake because yoga nidra can go way beyond a deep relaxation.

It really can allow you to move back and meet yourself this kind of silent, spacious nature of your true self beyond the mind, beyond the body, beyond the breath. And we don't want to sleep through that. So it's worth kind of our time to look at some troubleshooting of that. It's nice to create a space, almost a ritual. So a space that you can carve out that's your own, that's comfortable, that's as quiet as you can manage.

If you have kids or a pet or a partner, might try your best to maybe make this your time, a separate room or close the door and let them know that you'll be needing a little quiet space for about 15, 20, 30 minutes. Now if you could turn off your phone, that would be awesome because that, as we all know, can be uber distracting. And you want to make sure that you have maybe a journal nearby that you can take some notes because often this happens to be really my most creative time after a yoga nidra practice where thoughts or ideas come to me. So it's nice to capture those if you can. Now what do we do with our bodies?

There's many different options. So I'm going to have Alana help show us some of these options to make sure that you can be comfortable. It's not ideal to do this in bed because bed, you know, you have a very heavy, some scar, a very pattern of you get into bed, you pull on the covers, you get all cozy and you immediately fall asleep and it's a very strong pattern to break. So I prefer, if possible, to do it on a yoga mat, maybe place one or two blankets or doesn't have to be a yoga blanket, whatever you have around to make it slightly cushy. And for the longer ones, especially to have something flat, like another folded blanket or towel underneath your head, just because the head, even though it only weighs about 10 pounds, that starts to feel really heavy after 30 minutes or so.

So that might be kind of one way to set up and I'm going to have Alana come onto her back if she would. Now for a lot of us, being on our back is not totally comfortable for our lower back. So one idea is to place a bolster, a pillow, some bed pillows or couch cushions underneath the knees or thighs. This way, her lower back has this nice natural arch to it, her legs just kind of cascade over the edges of the bolster or pillow and she looks pretty cozy to start. So this might be one.

Now her heels are a little elevated because this pillow is pretty meaty. So maybe some blocks underneath her heels so her heels feel like they're grounded. And if you have a little shorter pillow or a little bit longer legs, if your heels are on the floor, that might be fine. Now as you relax, your body tends to cool down. So I would really suggest draping something like another favorite nice blanket on top of you.

If you tend to run a little warm or you live in a warmer climate, you might enjoy something like a scarf on top of you. Just so that you don't, after 15 minutes, get a little cool and that becomes distracting for you. You can also use a scarf or an extra piece of clothing on top of the eyes as a little eye covering to block out some of the ambient light. Now she looks very comfortable to me. So this might be one place that we stay for our practice.

But some people don't like to be completely on their back. So if you're pregnant or if you get kind of acid reflux or you just simply don't, this isn't a comfortable position for you, we can show you another way that might be more comfortable and will sit you on a little bit of an angle. So for this one, I'm going to pull this blanket out from under you. For this one, taking a couple of blocks, we don't have blocks, some big encyclopedia type books and big, big steady books might be a comfortable option for you. And we'll put this pillow at a bit of an incline.

And then you want to get your tush kind of close into the pillow. It doesn't have to be touching, but maybe close enough. And then you're going to ease your way down. This way you don't have to be completely flat. And then I think it's more comfortable to slide something also underneath your knees so that you can be very comfortable.

So these are some options, if you know of another way, yoga nidra can also be done seated. I even read somewhere that it can be done standing, I don't know how comfortable that would be, but I even did it on the plane on the way here. So however you can be comfortable, a yoga nidra will meet you there. Now distractions are going to happen, whether it's a sound from outside or inside your own head or body. So before you begin, it's nice to have some kind of strategy of how you're going to deal with those distractions.

So whether it's simply just labeling them as sound or thought and just saying, I will thank you very much. I will deal with you later. Just some kind of strategy because there's never going to be a completely silent, perfect room. There's always going to be something that bubbles up and starts to call for your attention. It's also possible that some anxieties might start to bubble to the surface or some kind of mental chatter that really pulls you away from the practice.

I've purposely chosen practices that are not too provoking, but it's really possible that something might come up. So you're always welcome to stop the practice at any time. You're welcome to always open the eyes if you're feeling like you need a little bit of grounding or to feel a little bit more safe. And then also there's a mudra that might be helpful and it's called Ishvara Mudra. So you're just going to take your hands together and interlace all of your fingers and then extend your index finger and your pinky finger out and then rest your thumbs on top.

So this is Ishvara Mudra, heels of the hands in your belly button and the elbows out to the sides. It can be a way if you're feeling a strong emotion, something coming up, a memory from the past or just you're getting too uncomfortable that this might be a way to help soothe the mind or any anxiety that starts to surface. Also you're welcome to roll to one side or anything that you need to feel safe and supported in these practices. I'm excited to share them with you and I look forward to hearing how they're working with you.


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