Low on energy but don’t love the idea of a nap because you know you will never get back up? Then it might be time to get acquainted with the ancient Indian art that is yoga nidra. Before you think all chaturangas and vigorous vinyasas, rest easy, with yoga nidra no movement is required at all, in fact you can lay back in horizontal just as you would in savasana but the only difference is, is that you don’t doze, but still enter a deep restful state, sans the sleep.
Sounds too good to be true right? Well while it might seem innocuous, it’s proven by science to be deeply effective, nourishing and energising. In a study by neuroscientists at The Kennedy Institute in Denmark, researchers used an EEG to scan the brains of those during a yoga nidra session and were able to determine that subjects achieved a deeply relaxed state, similar to that of sleep while staying completely conscious during the whole yoga nidra. So how does it work? Caley Alyssa, yoga teacher who has a new Yoga Nidra: Reset video series with Alo Yoga explains… “Yoga Nidra is a deep healing and restorative relaxation technique that walks you through the different koshas (layers of being), working from the outside in,” says Alyssa.
“It works to puts your body in a deep and relaxed state that allows your brain to fall asleep and your subconscious to still take everything in.” Sounds dreamy but still worried it’s a little too chilled out to be as effective as a caffeine hit or vinyasa? According to Alissa, it’ll definitely leave you feeling the opposite of drowsy. “The soul purpose is to put you into a deep relaxed state so if you are sleep deprived, you may accidentally fall asleep but eventually with practise, you will not only stay awake and reset your mind and energy but leave the practise feeling completely awake and alert.” Energy boost aside, yoga nidra is proven to have a myriad of health benefits, both physically and mentally says Alyssa. “It has been found to be incredibly helpful for vets with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) or anyone facing trauma as it works as a natural de-stressor, helping them work through the triggers without the harmful impact usually associated with revisiting past memories.”
For Alissa personally, yoga nidra has allowed her to break through the traditional mental barriers and reach a heightened state of awareness, as a person and yoga teacher. “Through my experience with nidra I have been able to open the portal into ego disillusionment. Whatever comes up in the nidra, whether visuals or projected ideas, it allows a resolution to occur and gives me a profound sense of ease.” Outside of waking up, healing trauma and tapping into enlightenment, what else could this chilled AF yoga practise possibly bring? Well how do good vibes sound? Science has found yoga nidra naturally releases dopamine into the body, also known as the ‘feel good hormone,’ rewarding the mind and body with all of the ‘happy vibes’ while also interestingly slowing down the need to ‘act’ or ‘rush’ into things, meaning you can slow down and ride out the high! Ready to get your nidra on? Bring your blanket and unfurl on your mat with Caley Alyssa’s special Yoga Nidra: Reset series with Alo Yoga that will guide you through a beautiful 25-minute sequence that’ll leave you blissed out and bouncing back from horizontal, ready to seize the day!