Part of a happy and healthy 2013 has to include a proper night’s sleep, but with so many of us struggling, it is perhaps no surprise that Yoga Nidra – the yoga of sleep – is set to be one of our favourite pastimes this year, as we found out at Longevity Wellness Resort!
It’s a form of meditation where clients lie on the floor with their eyes closed and focus on different parts of the body – limbs, organs, breath – releasing tension that is held in different areas and sliding into a conscious slumber.
It was developed by Swami Satyananda Saraswati in the 20th century. He was a yoga guru in India and then later in the West, and taught eight stages in his practice, including internalisation, Sankalpa, rotation of consciousness, breath awareness, manifestation of opposites, creative visualisation, Sankalpa and externalisation.
It is essentially a way of achieving total relaxation, but has also been found to reduce tension and anxiety and as providing a way of countering insomnia and other sleep problems. As a bi-product of reducing tension it has also been found to reduce chronic pain.
Make sure you are comfortable and warm enough before you start. In classes you may want to take a cushion to place under your knees or your head, a mat to lie on, and a blanket to stop you from getting cold.
Make sure you are comfortable before you start practice, and afterwards don’t rush into doing lots of exercise or stressful situations afterwards. This is a way of winding down, so it’s very good at the end of the day.
Everybody can benefit from relaxing a bit more and getting a better quality of sleep, but it is especially good for anyone with sleep problems and suffering from stress.
No, the beauty of this is that it really is for everyone!
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