Yoga Nidra: A starting point

Airplane Mountain Tops - small

Yoga Nidra: Learn the first step to a meditation practice known for its sleep-promoting and anti-anxiety benefits

Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep as it’s commonly known, is my favorite meditation practice. I first practiced it in Maui a few years ago when I took a class at the venue where I was hosting a retreat.  The class was taught by a senior Yoga Nidra teacher who, I’ve now come to realize, knew her stuff.  It was a marathon session of 90 minutes but the time flew.  I still remember some of the mental breakthroughs, observations, and trippy experiences from that class even 4 years later.  I saw colours.  I went in and out of consciousness.  I forgot where I was (and if you’re in Maui, you don’t want to forget where you are).

I’ve since taken Nidra classes from several other teachers and have been left feeling anxious and ready to start a fight with someone (that last comment isn’t far from the truth).  This is ironic seeing as this type of mediation is known for helping to relieve anxiety.  My point is Yoga Nidra is an advanced practice that, when taught in its entirety, should be guided by an experienced, well-trained teacher.  Having said that, this doesn’t mean the meditation newbie can’t start to easily practice it at home.  If you suffer from insomnia and/or anxiety, I recommend you look into the practice for yourself  The key is to take a piece of the larger mediation sequence and start there.  Enter mindful breath awareness.

How to:

Find a quiet spot.  Set a timer for however long you have to mediate.  If you’re using Yoga Nidra to fall asleep, forget about the timer.  Lay down.  Get comfortable.  Use whatever yoga props* you need to make this happen.  Close your eyes.  Count down from 33 as you breathe normally.

33 in, 33 out…
32 in, 32 out…
31 in, 31 out…
30 in, 30 out…
4 in, 4 out…
3 in, 3 out…
2 in, 2 out…
2 in, 1 out.

You may or may not reach the end of the timer before you reach the end of the counting or vice versa. Go with it.  If you get distracted, start back counting at 33.  The point is to count, focus on your breathing, refocus, and start counting again.

Goodnight, world.

x KM


*If you’d like to invest in meditation cushions for your home practice, visit Halfmoon Yoga.  They’re a Canadian company that hand-makes their cushion covers right in their Vancouver-based design studio. Use promo code Kim2018 to receive 20% off your order at checkout.  Offer good until December 31st, 2018.  

Join my mailing list

Get weekly tips for a happier & safer practice