Yoga Nidra is an effective technique to reset the body, mind and improving your cognitive skills. The benefits are numerous as it promotes healing, efficacy, and improves creativity. Yoga Nidra is also one of the techniques taught under the concept of NSDR or non-sleep deep rest. NSDR techniques help with neuroplasticity, which means they can literally help us change, adapt and reorganise our brain.
This makes NSDR and, therefore, Yoga Nidra, ideal for the workplace. Because you don’t need equipment or any special skills or a lot of space. At best you may need a set of headphones if you prefer a guided practice and a space to lie down. Though if there’s not enough space, you can also practice guided relaxing meditation with your head resting on the table on folded arms. Most people get an instant boost of energy, and clarity immediately after the practice.
Yoga Nidra is not the only NSDR technique, there are many other methods of guided meditation and visualisation that can be practised while sitting upright. While we are on the subject of non-postural
yoga techniques, let’s not forget pranayama techniques. These are especially important for high pressure and high-stress times when Yoga Nidra or meditation may become inaccessible.
Many people may struggle to relax and calm down enough to have a productive NSDR experience. One cannot expect a highly anxious person to be able to sit down and concentrate, it would be very unfair. This could happen before important presentations, or a board review, or a personal event. At these times pranayama or breathing exercises are powerful tools to help calm down the mind and the nervous system.
Our breath is tangible, we can feel it, experience it, and do different things with it. Which makes pranayama easier than meditation or NSDR. Moreover, just a few deep breaths can help us alter our state of mind.
Different types of breathing exercises give different results, and the type of pranayama one should do can be customised for their unique needs and personality types. This would give employees even greater control over their practice.
Practising Yoga Nidra
Set an intention or sankalpa for the practice.
Become aware of the breath and allow the breath to flow naturally, deeply and spontaneously.
Start rotation of consciousness in which you move your awareness from one body part to another. Simply repeat the name of the body part and become aware of it.
Once done bring your awareness to the space occupied by the body.
Paying attention to the meeting points with the floor.
Concentrate on the area between the eyebrows and become aware of any phenomenon that goes on here.
Continue to be aware of this space without getting involved. Maintain a detached awareness.
Repeat your intention or sankalpa three times.
Slowly open your eyes to end the practice.
(The writer is a Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Specialist, and Founder of Yoganama)