by Pennie Ludlow
The inability to rest and sleep is a common disorder of our modern day age and many of us feel that we must be switched on and available 24/7. We spend more and more time concentrating on the many channels of digital communication on top of everyday pressures, and it can easily be the case that we find our minds just cannot quieten down when we need.
The evidence is indisputable; getting a good night’s sleep and adequate rest is the best way to refresh and regenerate the mind, body and energy, although this can feel very hard to achieve at times, especially on a regular basis.
Sleep is so powerfully able to ‘reboot’ us because the different stages of sleep guide our brains through a kind of ‘clearing’ and compartmentalising of the day gone by. This is like a computer programme designed to resolve and put everything away in its place so that there’s space and resource for optimal mental processing of the new day to come.
Yoga Nidra, or ‘yogic sleep’ is a potent meditational practices that delivers us to a brain wave state very similar to that experienced in the deepest of sleeps. We remain partially ‘awake’, however, and are able to guide the focus of our attention (and to subtly adapt this to our needs). This in turn allows for huge potential of individual processing to take place within the mind and also for the refreshing, regenerative qualities of sleep to be accessed in a very short time.
Yoga Nidra itself is a structured guided relaxation, done in a comfortable lying down position, where you listen to the spoken stages and follow along with your own focus of awareness. You may find that you drift in and out of consciousness, even nodding off into sleep. This can seem a little strange, but you will always rouse having gained just as much (maybe even more) benefit as those who hear every word. This practice is working on several layers of awareness between ‘waking’ and ‘sleeping’.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra include:
- Fast track ability to ‘switch off’
- Quick calm and relief from bodily symptoms such as aches and pains
- Upgraded sleep quality
- Can be done instead of sleep (for sufferers of prolonged or chronic insomnia) as it will have a similar resting effect on the whole system
- Deep revitalisation and balance for the mind, body and energy (personal resources are able to be individually adapted and channelled back into repair needs)
For those interested in trying Yoga Nidra at the Shala we run monthly workshops with Pennie Ludlow and a weekly Shala Sanctuary class, which incorporates elements of Yoga Nidra, along with Breathwork and Meditation.
Yoga Nidra Workshops
Shala Sanctuary Classes