If there is one part of yoga that everyone loves it is always shavasana. I have come across many people who just can’t get on with yoga, they struggle all the way through a class and tense up rather than stretch muscles, but they all categorically agree that ‘the bit at the end is amazing’. The wonderful thing about yoga nidra is that you have all the benefits of a shavasana but for a longer period accompanied by a beautiful guided mediation. The last time I had a nidra session in India I managed to stay awake for the entire duration. It was one of the most surreal and trippy experiences of my life thanks to a mispronunciation of a key word. We were instructed to imaged that we were ‘A baby LYING in a lotus flower’ instead we all heard ‘A baby LION in a lotus flower’. So we all wrongly pictured ourselves as lion cubs, which only further added to the power of our imaginations.
One hour of nidra can give you the sensation of having had 3 hours sleep so when you come out of the meditation you feel so refreshed and energised. I took part in a wonderful workshop at the Sanapurna studio here in Zurich and didn’t manage to stay above the cusp of sleep. I was gone within minutes and awoke feeling like I had missed out on the entire session. This is not the first time either, I immediately fell asleep during a nidra session in Rishikesh too. The trick is to constantly gently remind yourself to stay focused. Its not the easiest thing to do because you’re also focusing on relaxing. but as soon as you feel yourself nodding off you have to bring yourself back from the edge whilst keeping your eyes closed.
If you have difficulties sleeping there are many suggested tips out there to get you to sleep. Nidra has all the associated benefits of a proper nights rest so I would suggest looking up a workshop or a regular class and treat yourself, the sensation is amazing. If you’ve felt tired or had a lack of energy for a while you’ll float out of that studio like a rested baby lion!