February 4, 2013

Yoga Nidra: What It’s All About. ~ Trudy Collings

Are you feeling stressed, run down, overwhelmed and just cannot find time for a vacation?

Are you ready to experience a form of yoga that is restorative, nourishing and healing this new year?

Take a mini-vacation. Practice Yoga Nidra.

The literal definition of yoga is union or oneness. Nidra means sleep. Thus, Yoga Nidra is traditional yogic guided meditation that brings practitioners into a state of conscious deep relaxation. The body is asleep, but the mind is awake and becomes an active participant in the healing process.

Yoga Nidra dates back to 2,500 B.C.E. It was first mentioned in classical texts of India such as the Upanishads, Hatha Yoga Pradipika and the Bhagavad Gita. Paramyogeshwar Sri Devpuriji, a spiritual master in India first developed the practice in the early 20th century. Since then, different styles of Yoga Nidra have arisen.

Most recently, Richard C. Miller, clinical psychologist and founder of the Integrative Restoration Institute, (iRest) founded in 2006, has done research in VA hospitals and military bases researching the benefits of Yoga Nidra. His work explores the effects of Yoga Nidra on veterans returning home who have experienced symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It has been shown to decrease symptoms like phobias, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, depression and fatigue.

Other conditions which benefit greatly from the regular practice of Yoga Nidra are autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, cardiac diseases like hypertension and post heart attack care, and chronic diseases like Lyme disease and fibromyalgia. Yoga Nidra is also excellent for managing stress that can be accumulated from the fast pace of modern life.

Yoga Nidra brings total rest to the mind, nervous system, senses and body.

It is appropriate and beneficial for everyone: the young and the old, the weak and the strong, the physically fit and the physically challenged. It is not a physical practice like the majority of yoga practiced in the West. Instead, Yoga Nidra is performed by practitioners lying down in a comfortable position throughout the entire 45 minute to one hour session.

Yoga Nidra focuses on going inward to heal the physical and emotional body. Repressed emotions and traumas have the potential to come into awareness through this practice, and individuals have the opportunity to finally free themselves from these feelings and past experiences. In short, through the consistent practice of Yoga Nidra, individuals become more relaxed, aware and at ease with the physical body, mind and emotions.

The natural, healthy state of body and mind is restored.


Trudy Collings is a student and teacher of yoga at Grass Valley Yoga and is currently studying at the California College of Ayurveda. Trudy believes that yoga and Ayurveda is for every body and hopes to assist people in establishing harmony from the inside out. Before becoming enveloped in yoga and Ayurveda, Trudy received her Bachelor’s degrees in Anthropology and English from the University of Florida.


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Assistant Ed. Caroline Scherer
Ed: Brianna Bemel

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