Yoga Nidra to Alleviate Stress
Everyone deals with different amounts of stress every day, whether it’s from worrying about your job or keeping up with the needs of your family. However it happens, the fact of the matter is that living with too much stress can result in some serious health concerns.
Many people turn to yoga and meditation to fight stress, and they both can help to promote a better state of mind that makes it easier to relax and cope with the various factors of your life. One type of lesser known yoga, but which is incredibly effective is Yoga Nidra.
Read on to learn more about Yoga Nidra and how it can help you fight stress and bring more calmness and relaxation to your life.
What is Yoga Nidra?
For most people, the word “yoga” brings to mind exercising and stretching, but there are actually many different forms that also incorporate the concept of meditation.
Yoga Nidra is actually much more of a form of mediation than yoga as it incorporates less of the physical aspect of yoga and more of the mental process of unifying your body and your mind.
In particular, Yoga Nidra involves entering into a state of deep relaxation by listing to a set of audio commands, such as from a recording or from an instructor.
While listening to these commands, you allow all of your other senses to turn inwards and let go of the outward consciousness, just as you would when you are about to go to sleep.
By recreating the process of entering sleep, without actually falling asleep, you can achieve a state of lucid dreaming that enables you to reach the greatest level of relaxation possible while still awake.
Slowing the body to reduce stress
Yoga Nidra actually includes several different states of awareness, though they all generally fall into the realm of lucid dreaming, also known as Samadhi in the yogic tradition.
The goal is to allow yourself to let go of the conscious thoughts that ae causing you stress while simultaneously bring yourself into a state of incredible relaxation. Being in this state can lower your heart rate, which can immediately begin to undo many of the physical side effects of stress.
When the brain shifts out of its active state of worrying, it also stops producing stress hormones such as cortisol. Excessive production of cortisol can lead to a weakening of the immune system, higher blood pressure, and cause complications with your metabolism that can lead to fluctuations in weight.
Encouraging a calm state of mind
The other major benefit of Yoga Nidra is the mental clarity that comes to existing in the lucid dreaming state. In order to enter this near-dreaming frame of mind, you must disconnect your senses from your active consciousness and the thoughts that are causing the stress.
While in the state, you can experience a sense of calmness that halts feelings of anxiety, as well as physical side effects such as chest pains, headaches and stomach aches. It also helps you unleash your subconscious by allowing you to think as if you were in a dream while still retaining a degree of mental awareness and control of your actions.
This process gives you the ability to think through your problems and issues uninhibitedly, working through your issues and looking at the circumstances of your life with a new perspective.
In terms of physical benefits, Yoga Nidra can help you regulate your stress hormones, which can stop aches and pains as well as lower your blood pressure. It can also help you achieve a greater level of balance within your body, as it promotes a slower and more natural heartrate and blood flow throughout your body.
The mental long-term benefits of this calmness include the ability to better handle stressful occurrences in your life, as well as gaining better control of your mental reaction to the stress.