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How Yoga Nidra can help you have a more Relaxed Pregnancy.
Your baby is swimming happily in the safe cocoon of a fluid-filled amniotic sac inside of you. Safe and warm, without a care in the world. You’re juggling appointments, work responsibilities, other children, relationships, fears and anxieties, and so much more. You only wish you could swim in a nice, warm cocoon too. You can’t even dream about it though.
You may feel uncomfortable and restless at night. Your mind might be racing through all that you must plan for your little human to join your life. It may be difficult to fall asleep, let alone dream of anything. If only one could lay down somewhere comfortable, with the sound of ocean waves lulling the mind into sweet bliss.
There is a tool that we can use to help ourselves to relax in this way. Our mind can receive total rest. We can experience the bliss of deep restorative sleep, and we can be more peaceful in our waking life. We can even enjoy the sensations in an ever-changing body more than the discomfort of the pregnancy. How can we achieve this? With the restorative practice of “I AM Yoga Nidra.”
So, what is I AM Yoga Nidra? Yoga Nidra is an ancient meditative practice made easy. We are aware of the many benefits of meditation for restoring the mind and bringing a sense of calm. Yet, for many pregnant women, seated meditation can be difficult. Yoga Nidra is based on something our bodies naturally know how to do—fall asleep. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep and staying there while your baby is growing, Yoga Nidra will help restore this for you.
Just before we fall asleep at night, we reach a biological state where our mind disengages from our thoughts. It is in this space that we are able to fall into sleep. In Yoga Nidra, we rest in this natural state between us and our thoughts. This allows our mind to reset and restore. In fact, 45 minutes of a Yoga Nidra session is equivalent to three hours of sleep. When one is restless, tired, and exhausted from the demands of pregnancy, this is a welcome relief.
How does Yoga Nidra work?
I AM Yoga Nidra works by literally stilling the “waves” of our mind. The more we can rest and be still in this state, the more we notice we are much more than our thoughts. This is the true purpose of yoga—to become deeply aware of our own true nature. To experience I AM Yoga Nidra, laying down on a flat surface for 30-40 minutes is all that is needed. If you can lie down and not fall asleep, you can do Yoga Nidra! During a Yoga Nidra session, our mind descends through the brain waves of sleep. We will start at Beta, Gamma, Alpha, Theta, and go all the way down to the Delta brain waves, where our mind will be in its deepest, most restorative state. Allowing our mind to completely rest in this place will help us experience a calmer mind during the waking state.
Scientific research has verified the effects and benefits of the ancient practice of Yoga Nidra. It profoundly releases excess tension and stress in the body. It can help prevent our bodies from accumulating more stress. When stressful thoughts are bombarding you with worries about your baby and the whole birthing process, using this tool for relieving anxiety can be a boon when one is pregnant.
Yoga Nidra increases GABA, or gamma-Aminobutyric acid—your body’s natural medicine for relaxation. It boosts melatonin so you may sleep more restfully. Yoga Nidra increases serotonin to help improve your memory and mood. It floods your body with more oxytocin, the love hormone!. You will have an increase in endorphins, a natural pain killer, and dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter. It also increases the DHEA (an endogenous steroid hormone precursor) in your body to help increase memory and alleviate depression.
Would you like to feel more relaxed during your pregnancy? Do you want more restful sleep as your baby is growing? Would you like to feel happier during your daily life and more bonded and connected to your baby? Yoga Nidra can help with all of these areas and more.
It combines the full benefits of meditation, relaxation, and intention. By resting your mind at the deepest level, you will find peace. By setting an intention in this peaceful state, you will relieve pain. You will meet stressful situations with calm. You will change your relationship to unwelcome habits in order to have a more peaceful pregnancy and birth.
Yoga Nidra also helps decrease the amount of cortisol, a stress hormone, in your mind and body so as to help prevent further stress from accumulating. This will enhance your ability to deal with everyday external stresses which may continue to come your way.
In the words of Yogi Amrit Desai, “Ordinary sleep is a static condition; Yoga Nidra is a dynamic state where you enter Samadhi (state of oneness), but you also are alert and conscious. There, the individual is no longer a separate entity. The wave is no longer a wave—it has merged into the ocean. Then you are simply and completely ‘I am that I am.’ You are no longer bound by your assumed identity. You rest as the Self that you are.”
As you rest in this Self that you are, oxytocin will increase, the hormone of love. Surrendering into this relaxed bliss will further help you bond and connect with your baby. It will allow you access to the state of peace and tranquility you long for during one of the most transformational times of your life.