You often hear that Yoga has a positive effect on sleep. Not so crazy when we think that movement and relaxation are two important factors for a good and healthy sleep. I have gained my first experience with (power) yoga, and I found it very fun and interesting to find out more about Yoga (and the effect on sleep). Thus I first encountered Yoga Nidraon the website of Happy with Yoga. This form of Yoga is very closely related to sleeping, so I wanted to hear more about that. And to whom can I better answer my questions than to Rolf and Melanie from the Happy with Yoga platform! In this short interview with Rolf van Baalen he answers my questions about Yoga Nidra and explains the relationship with a healthy night’s rest! Let’s start with a brief introduction …
Who are Happy with Yoga?
We are Rolf and Melanie and we have put together the online Yoga platform Happy with Yoga. On our website happywithyoga.com we want to inform and inspire people about everything about Yoga, Mindfulness, Meditation and everything about it. We do this through blogs, videos, photos and online courses. In addition, we regularly provide workshops at various locations in the Netherlands and Belgium and we organize Yoga weekends and vacations.
What does Yoga Nidra mean?
Yoga Nidra consists of two words. Yoga means bringing together or connecting. And Nidra means sleep. Yoga Nidra is also called Yogi’s sleep.
Where does it come from?
Yoga Nidra is a deep relaxation technique developed by Swami Satyananda in India. Swami Satyananda has more or less discovered this when he regularly fell asleep as a student while singing to a group of people (mantras) that he had never heard. Although he was in deep sleep during this song, he still knew the verses when he heard them again while he was awake. A Yogi explained to him that his deeper consciousness had heard the mantras. This provoked his interest and eventually he developed this into Yoga Nidra.
What is the effect of Yoga Nidra on sleep?
Yoga Nidra is known to have a very beneficial effect on the night’s rest. The body is capable of deep relaxation by the Nidra techniques. If you do this before bedtime, you often notice that you sleep better, deeper and quieter and wake up better and equipped.
Personally, I have not known people who have not normally slept by burnout complaints, stress and tension. After doing a Yoga Nidra session just before sleep, this person had the best night’s sleep since months. And that without sleeping pills , drugs or strange devices.
What are the other benefits?
Other benefits of Yoga Nidra include that it helps to affect the autonomic nervous system. People who experience a lot of stress are often in the fight or flight section of their nervous system. This is the stress system. As a result, they can not relax well and sleep well too often. This also makes your body more susceptible to all kinds of other complaints, illnesses and diseases. So important is to calm your nervous system again. This can be done with Yoga Nidra.
How does Yoga Nidra work?
The beauty of Yoga Nidra is that you do not have to do anything at all. At Yoga, you often think of strange attitudes. But at Yoga Nidra you only have to lay on your back with your eyes closed. You can even just go to bed. Then you listen to a Nidra session that probably takes anywhere between 10 and 30 minutes. During the session, you are systematically recreated. So you experience deep relaxation on the physical, mental, emotional and energetic level.
I like to do it 2 or 3 times a week just before I go to sleep. I notice that so much my system can come to rest and that I sleep well.
How can I start with Yoga Nidra?
The easiest way to start with Yoga Nidra is simply doing it right at home. So you do not have to go to a Yogales if you do not want it. In addition, not all Yoga studios offer long-term Nidra sessions.
On our own website we have made a complete Yoga Nidra program . The program consists of 7 Yoga Nidra sessions and an Ebook with background information.