During a typical class, teachers use a variety of techniques—including guided imagery and body scanning—to aid relaxation. And unlike a quick Savasana at the end of asana practice, Yoga Nidra allows enough time for you to physiologically and psychologically sink into it—at least 20 to 45 minutes. This creates the conditions for the parasympathetic nervous system to switch on which allows the nervous system to unwind. This is essential for the body’s well-being.
The Mandukya Upanishads, an ancient yoga text, refers to four different stages of Yoga Nidra. The first stage starts by quieting the overactive conscious mind. You then move into a meditative state, gradually finding a state of “ultimate harmony,” in which the brain waves slow down and a subtle euphoria emerges. Though most people won’t slip easily into the more advanced stages, you still tend to emerge feeling rejuvenated.
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