How to guide a Yoga Nidra Practice

Announcing a new ACMM Course Elective! Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice used for relaxation and healing that has powerful health benefits on many levels. At ACMM we are proud to announce that we have now added an elective subject on how to guide Yoga Nidra to our Meditation Teacher Training programs.  Read on to learn more.

Yoga Nidra would have to be in my top 3 self care practices.  Many days I use it twice a day to say fresh minded, for self care, and to recharge my energy. I am so grateful to Susan McPhie, Yoga Teacher and Senior ACMM mentor, for lovingly bringing together this wonderful course elective “Yoga Nidra” to support Meditation Teachers in learning how to guide a professional Yoga Nidra Practice.  The great news is that you don’t need to be a Yoga Teacher to guide this practice. Meditation Teachers who have been properly trained can also offer this deeply healing practice within their meditation offerings in both long and short form.

What is Yoga Nidra?

The term Yoga Nidra derives from two Sanskrit words, yoga which means union, and nidra which means sleep.

It is a guided awareness and relaxation practice in one, using a combination of guided mental imagery and is usually practiced laying down in corpse or Savasana pose.

Although Yoga Nidra practice is a great sleep aid, the goal of the practice is to stay awake.  We are encouraged to maintain awareness of our environment and experience, in order to reap the full benefits. The state of relaxed awareness experienced in Yoga Nidra, is commonly referred to as Yogic Sleep; a state of inner awareness that is healing, refreshing and purifying.

In Yoga Nidra, we move into a state where we are not fully awake nor asleep. It’s called a hypnogogic state. So Yoga Nidra is more of a meditation than a relaxation technique. Relaxation is a wonderful bonus from practising Yoga Nidra.


Where does Yoga Nidra come from?

Yoga Nidra dates back to 250 BCE, being referred to in the Markandeya Purana – one of the earliest known Hindu texts.

The practice was passed down orally from teachers to students within various traditions for centuries.  This practice was used to build self knowledge, transcend the physical world and become more connected with the spiritual realms.

The Upanishads (the philosophical and religious texts of Hinduism) refer to Yoga Nidra as the state that occurs when the Hindu god Vishnu sleeps at the time when creation is destroyed.

Swami Satyananda Saraswati (yoga teacher and guru in India and the West) developed the practice for modern times under the guidance of Tantric scriptures. He was responsible for introducing the practice more widely in the 1960’s.


Why practice Yoga Nidra?

As a long time practitioner, I have a personal appreciation for the nourishment, restoration and balance that this practice brings.

There is now an emerging field of research showing promising indications that Yoga Nidra may be effective in supporting people with:

  • Relaxation
  • Stress reliefHow to guide a yoga Nidra practice
  • Improving sleep
  • Insight and wellbeing
  • Memory and learning
  • Self esteem
  • Creativity
  • PTSD and trauma
  • Anxiety, depression, fear, anger, depression and other medical conditions

In the Yoga Nidra course elective on how to guide a Yoga Nidra practice, you will learn more about specific scientific studies, effect on brain waves, the vagus nerve, and learn more about leaders in the field of Yoga Nidra practice, as well as a detailed account of its history.

The elective also covers the aspects of Ayurvedic Science relevant to Yoga Nidra Practice.


When to practice Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra can be practiced any time of the day or night when you have a quiet, safe and private space where you won’t be disturbed.

We chose the eve of International Yoga Day and the Winter Solstice to launch this new course fo obvious reasons.

Winter Solstice is the official start of winter. It’s also a reminder that nature takes this time to withdraw, hibernate, regenerate and shed the old energies to make way for the new.

From the outside, winter can seem like a dead time, but internally much activity is taking place. Inner work: nurturing and preparing for action, as well as healing our deepest places.

Winter is an especially potent time to engage more fully in the practice of Yoga Nidra, to restore our energy and health, and gain deep insight and awareness.


What is covered in this elective course unit?

In this ACMM Meditation Teacher Training Course Elective, you will learn how to guide a Yoga Nidra Practice by understanding the stages of the practice, as well as having a holistic understanding of Yoga Nidra.

The elective contains immersion opportunities, so that you can practice Yoga Nidra more intensively with long and short audio recordings.

As well as this the elective covers:

  • What Yoga Nidra is and where it comes from
  • How and when to practise
  • What modern approaches look like
  • The science behind Yoga Nidra so far
  • Ayurvedic Science
  • The structure of a Yoga Nidra practice
  • Yogic theory and philosophy behind the practice
  • How to guide this practice for yourself and others
  • How your guidance can grow and change


A Free Guided Yoga Nidra Practice

I wonder if after reading all of this information, you might like to give Yoga Nidra a try?

Here’s a practice that runs for just under 30 minutes. It was recorded at the launch of our new course elective – How to guide a Yoga Nidra Practice.

Please make sure that you are in a quiet, safe and private place to listen to this audio. Lying down in savasana position is recommended if this is comfortable for you, otherwise please just get comfortable in a way that works for you. Please do not listen whilst operating machinery or driving a car. If you feel any adverse effects from the practice, stop and resettle yourself. Get some fresh air. Have a walk around and get grounded.

This practice is an abbreviated guided Yoga Nidra Practice.  Audio recordings of the full practice  are available in our Meditation Library and in the Course Elective itself.

How to learn to guide a Yoga Nidra practice and learn to become a Meditation Teacher

If you would like to learn to guide a Yoga Nidra practice, and become a meditation teacher, ACMM offers professionally accredited vocational courses. The Advanced Certificate in Guiding and Teaching Meditation, includes 3 or 6 elective subjects. You can choose from a range of 14 subjects; Yoga Nidra being one of them.

To learn more about these courses click here.

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons