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Yog Nidra – The SUPER NAP You Need by Arya Patil, Trained Yoga Instructor & Practitione

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Are you a new parent pulling an all-nighter just like the university days, resulting in stress buildup and physical fatigue? You are not alone.   About 68% of people surveyed by sleepjunkie.com were getting 7+ hours of sleep before becoming parents, but after the arrival of their newborn, only a handful ~ 10% of them are hitting the goal. Lack of sleep leads to stress, physical fatigue, and anxiety and can even worsen postpartum depression.   Now the super nap that is discussed further will surely help with relaxing your mind as well as your body and can give you relief from stress.   Yog Nidra as the name suggests is a Yogic Sleep (Nidra = Sleep). It is a technique of conscious relaxation. It provides deep restoration to the body and mind, conserving the energy levels and relaxing the entire system. Simply put, in yog nidra, we take our attention to different parts of our body and consciously relax them.   How to get into Yog Nidra?
  • Lie down on the yoga mat/bed in corpse pose (Shavasana), with legs gently spread, hands placed on the floor near thighs with palms facing the sky. Let the palms be open gently.
  Tip - Check if you are comfortable before going further as even a small discomfort can hamper your experience. You don’t want even your SUPER Nap to be a distracted one, do you?  
  • As you get comfortable physically, start taking a few deep breaths in and out. Remember the breaths should be deep (abdominal breaths work best). Let your consciousness/focus be on your breath.
 
  • Now, gently shift your attention to your right foot. Keep your attention here for a few seconds and relax your right foot. Now slowly shift your attention to your right knee gently relaxing the knee, right thigh, and hip. Beware of your entire right leg.
 
  • Now repeat the above thing with your left leg, gently relaxing the entire left leg.
 
  • Consciously shift your attention to your genitals, lower abdomen, stomach, and navel. Release all the muscle tension relaxing the body.
 
  • Slowly shift your attention to your chest and neck, consciously relaxing them.
 
  • Now, move the attention to your right shoulder, relaxing it. Move your attention through the entire right hand till the fingertips consciously relax it.
 
  • Repeat the same process for the left hand gently relaxing it.
 
  • Bring your attention to the face, relaxing all the facial muscles around the mouth, cheeks, nose, eyes, and forehead. Relaxing the facial muscles here is important for complete relaxation.
 
  • Now as your entire body is relaxed, stay in this state for a few seconds to restore the energy.
  To get out of Yog Nidra:
  • To get out of yog nidra gently start moving your fingers and toes.
  • You may slowly sit up and open your eyes when comfortable.
  Things to note : Yog Nidra is not about ‘conscious effort’ rather it is ‘conscious Relaxation’. When it is said to focus on the leg, it doesn’t mean to move the leg or touch or concentrate on the leg. Yog Nidra is about gently taking attention to the body part and consciously relaxing it.   Reap the Yog Nidra Benefits:
  • Improved thought patterns and reduced stress levels. – Yog Nidra slows down the nervous system thus releasing muscle tension, and reducing stress in the body and mind.
  • Better Sleep and Improved physical health
  • Mindfulness in daily activities
  • Enhances creativity
  • Balances nervous system
  • Recharge vital energy
  • It can also alter the mood
  • Lower blood pressure
To get the best results, it is necessary to practice yog nidra at least a few days a week. So, what are you waiting for, practice yog nidra and enjoy the fun times with your newborn with boosted energy levels and a calm mind.
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