Sunrise on the beach.

What is Yoga Nidra and Why it Should be on Your New Year’s Resolution List

In Russian culture January 14 is the “old” new year or Старый Новый год (stary novy god). The days between the “new” New Year (January 1) and the “old” New Year (January 14) are a time to celebrate the upcoming year. I like to spend the days recovering from the holidays, reflecting on the past year, and making goals for the upcoming year. As I reflected on 2019 and prepared for 2020, I made one very important resolution for myself: spend less time worrying and more time meditating. Enter: Yoga Nidra, a guided meditation for those (like me) who have trouble meditating on their own. But what is Yoga Nidra exactly?

Yoga Nidra (or yogic sleep) is sleep with a trace of awareness—conscious sleep. It invites us to come into calmness by interrupting the agitation and living in a space of stillness. Though it is simple, the mental and physical health benefits of this practice are astounding. This practice of guided meditation is a powerful relaxation technique that can help relieve stress and anxiety, serving as restorative sleep. This makes sense since this practice typically takes place lying down in savasana. Personally, my favorite thing about Yoga Nidra is that there is no way to do it wrong.

When I first started practicing Yoga Nidra three years ago, I was shocked at how great I felt after my first hour of conscious stillness. I had always had trouble being still and as a result, it was incredibly difficult for me to meditate. Since Yoga Nidra is guided and practiced lying down, I was finally able to arrive into a space for meditation.

After only a couple practices I was able to tap into areas of my subconscious and learn more about myself and what was holding me back. The experience was humbling and eye-opening. I started realizing that some people and relationships were toxic. I started making changes in my life that I had been putting off. I finally started taking care of myself and focusing on bringing more peace into the world. I obtained my certificate in Yoga Nidra nearly two years ago. Since then I have shared the gift of guided meditation in group classes, private sessions, and yoga festivals.

Now, as I reflect on my accomplishments of 2019 and my goals for 2020, I make Yoga Nidra and sharing the gift of guided meditation a priority for the new year (or old new year now). Therefore, in addition to private Skype sessions for yoga asanas, I am now opening up private Yoga Nidra sessions. If you or someone you know is interested in coming into stillness and meditation through Yoga Nidra or advancing their yoga asana practice, head to the contact us page and send me a note.

So as the sun rises on a new year, make self-care a New Year’s resolution for 2020 in whatever way works for you, because you deserve it. Namaste.

Sunrise on the beach.
Taking time to watch the sun rise.

Until next time,

Leah Pinkus

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