All The Benefits of Yoga Without Moving a Muscle
The practice of Yoga Nidra, also known as yogic sleep, creates a prolonged relaxing mental and physical state, similar to that moment just before we fall asleep at night. It is a fast track to a deep meditative state which can be hard to achieve in normal circumstances.
We live our lives at an increasingly fast pace and stress has unfortunately become an accepted part of our every-day lives. Our environment has changed hugely but our bodies coping mechanisms have not changed at the same rate. Have you ever felt the ‘fight or flight’ rush of adrenaline when there was a deadline looming? Or you had big presentation to deliver? Maybe when you were already late and got stuck in a traffic jam? Your heart started to beat really fast, you felt your face flush and you started to breathe funny?
This feeling is caused by the brain releasing a hormone called cortisol into the body. Which is an evolutionary tactic designed to prepare us to deal with threatening situations. But the unfortunate reality is that or bodies were not designed to cope with the levels of cortisol that modern life can create.
Many studies have shown that our cortisol levels affect our memory, our blood pressure, and it can also bolster our susceptibility to disease, weight gain and depression.
We’re designed to handle injections of cortisol a handful of times per year. Now we can experience them a handful of times per day. This causes cortisol to build up in our bodies and as it does so it wreaks all kinds of havoc.
So - what was once a fantastic coping mechanism to keep us safe, has now become the one thing that is slowly killing us.
The perception of stress and the release of cortisol is enabled by the sympathetic nervous system. The value of practicing Yoga Nidra is that it activates the parasympathetic nervous system which counteracts the effects of cortisol on our bodies and minds.
Yoga Nidra also helps you to release stagnant emotion or stagnant energy in the body. It has been shown to reduce stress, tension and anxiety by calming the nervous system, stimulating the metabolism and boosting the immune system. It has also been linked to improvements in anxiety attacks, PTSD and depression.
So - what should you expect from a yoga nidra class? Basically you get yourself nice and comfy on the ground while the teacher takes care of everything else! The teacher will guide you in a visualisation, helping you relax into a deep meditative state. It is not uncommon for people to fall asleep during the class. But don’t worry - asleep or awake – your body and mind will still soak in the benefits of this powerful practice.
One of the best qualities of a Yoga Nidra class is that it is suitable for absolutely everybody. It only requires you to lie on the ground. Even a beginner can enter profoundly deep states of consciousness similar to a person who has practised meditation for years. It is a highly effective and easy way to reduce stress levels quickly. You will leave the class with a deep sense of relaxation and peace.
Yoga Nidra takes us through the beautiful process of releasing and relaxing the physical body, quieting the mind and releasing stored emotions.
Try it out and sleep like a baby!
Ahimsa Wellness often offers Yoga Nidra classes. Keep updated by following us on facebook and instagram.