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  • Reduce stress with Yoga Nidra, this is how you do it

    Rolf van Baalen - 12 / Dec / 2023

    Reduce stress with Yoga Nidra, this is how you do it

    Can't sleep or want to quickly reduce stress? Try some Yoga Nidra. This is the way to relax in no time. Although you don't necessarily want to fall asleep, it can happen. Let's see how it works? Read on quick.

    Reduce stress with Yoga Nidra, this is how you do it

    Can't sleep or want to reduce stress? Try some Yoga Nidra. This is the way to relax in no time. Although you don't necessarily want to fall asleep, it can happen. Let's see how it works? Read on quick.

    What is Yoga Nidra?

    Yoga Nidra is a form of yoga. Although 'nidra' literally means 'sleep', the idea is actually to remain conscious. You float, as it were, between a waking state and a sleeping state, your consciousness and your subconscious, at a level of pure, deep relaxation.

    This form of relaxation is so powerful that they say that one hour of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to four hours of normal sleep. Whether this is really the case has yet to be scientifically confirmed, but according to experts, there is certainly something to it: after just 20 minutes of Yoga Nidra they feel as if they were reborn.

    How does Yoga Nidra work to reduce stress?

    How does that work? How can Yoga Nidra make us feel fresh, fruity and completely relaxed in 20 minutes? Well, first of all, Yoga Nidra is like a deep meditation. It is. Just like meditation, it has these effects, among others:

    • Yoga Nidra reduces stress by slowing brain waves to a state similar to deep sleep. They call this the Theta brain waves. Theta brain waves are associated with deep relaxation and creativity. In this state, stress hormones such as cortisol decrease.
    • Even though you are not physically active, Yoga Nidra helps to optimize the energy flow through your body. You focus on consciously relaxing your muscles and other parts of your body. This promotes the free flow of energy.
    • Yoga Nidra activates your parasympathetic nervous system, your 'rest-and-digest' mode. This is the part of your autonomic nervous system that is crucial for good digestion, good sleep, muscle recovery, a nice heart rate, healthy blood pressure, a cheerful mood, etc.

    5 Benefits of Yoga Nidra

    • Reducing stress. If you experience any problems with sleeping, tense muscles or headaches, increased heart rate, nerves, panic, depression or anxiety, Yoga Nidra may be able to help you. The above complaints are often related to increased stress levels. By reducing stress, you can alleviate these complaints.
    • Increasing self-love. A state of deep relaxation helps cultivate compassion. Also self-compassion. It helps you to accept all sides of yourself, even the 'bad' ones or the ones you are least happy with. It helps you to become aware of emotions or thoughts and to let go of judgments about them.
    • Better sleep quality. Because you learn to relax deeply, both physically and mentally, you can sleep better. There is a good chance that you will not only sleep better, but also sleep deeper and experience fewer nightmares.
    • Mindful living. Yoga Nidra, like meditation, teaches you to live more in the present moment. This helps to release thoughts about the past or worries about the future, automatically reducing stress. This also increases your concentration and presence in daily life.
    • Increasing creativity. One of the killers of creativity is (chronic) stress. High stress is often accompanied by negative thoughts, which is not beneficial for expressing creativity. When your mind is relaxed, limiting thoughts diminish and free association (the spontaneous expression of thoughts, feelings or emotions) becomes easier.

    The best way to start with Yoga Nidra

    The best way to start with Yoga Nidra is always with a teacher or supervisor. In this four-part Yoga Nidra Masterclass (now for only €17) I will teach you the most important techniques. I will guide you through a deep Yoga Nidra session, in which you can experience all the fantastic benefits for yourself. You will also learn to make Yoga Nidra a habit, so that you can live life as healthily and relaxed as possible, and enjoy it again!

    Rolf van Baalen is a yoga teacher and founder of the Happy With Yoga platform.

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