Yoga nidra is a meditation practice meant to de-clutter your subconscious and ease you into deep relaxation. It's a perfect addition to your going-to-bed routine, or anytime you want to relieve stress and relax into being.
In a yoga nidra practice, little to no movement is required. Instead, the focus is on thoughts and breath. The end result – with practice – is a clear mind and a sense of connected consciousness.
Would you like to try yoga nidra for yourself? Put on some cozy clothes, get into a comfortable space, and join Program Director Amber Shadwick for this 22-minute yoga nidra practice.
For more on the application and philosophy of yoga nidra, check out Amber's excellent essay: Relieve Stress, Increase Relaxation: The Sleep Nidra.
Beyond Yoga Nidra: More Sound Sleep Meditations
Many kinds of meditation can calm your mind and help you fall asleep. If yoga nidra doesn't resonate with you, experiment with other approaches and find what works. Below, we've put together a collection of some free and low-cost recordings recommended by Kate Hannon, our Director of Integrated Wellbeing.
To avoid the temptations of having your cell phone by your bed, we recommend listening to these meditations on an iPod or speaker if possible. This helps you disconnect from everyday distractions and encourages your body to prepare for sleep.
Deep Calm features psychoacoustically rearranged relaxing classical melodies from composers including Schubert, Chopin, and Beethoven, selected by holistic health expert Dr. Andrew Weil and sound researcher Joshua Leeds. Available starting at $7.99 (price may vary) on Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes.
Delta Sleep System
In two tranquil 30-minute tracks, acoustics expert and composer Dr. Jeffrey Thompson layers sounds of wind, flowing water and chimes on top of tones designed to increase delta brainwave activity. Available starting at $7.99 on Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes. Also streaming on Spotify.
“Dying Each Day” Meditation
Invoking the biblical idea that we are born and die each day, spiritual teacher John-Roger’s meditation guides you in finding stillness by letting go of your attachments. As you surrender your challenges and worries, you’ll experience an expanded sense of peace and love – and deeper sleep. Download here.
“Body Balance” Meditation
This second selection from John-Roger guides you to release any tensions, pain or stuck energy from the day through a progressive relaxation exercise. Once your body is relaxed, you’ll imagine yourself being transformed by a healing white light, which will help you drift to sleep. Available here.
The Zen Effect
This series of four 10-minute meditative tracks by artist Aeoliah is intended to lull you into a deep sleep with tranquil synthesizer music and choral voices. Available starting at $3.97 on Amazon, Google Play, and iTunes.
Skyterra Webisode: The Importance of Sleep. Director of Integrated Wellbeing explores this fundamental human need. Explore some possible habits that are getting in the way of your sleep and ways you can practice good sleep hygiene.