With World Sleep Day on March 18th 2016, it is only natural that we address some of the issues that cause some of us to suffer with insomnia… Nirlipta Tuli has been addressing his insomnia for years, and has developed a course to help others: Sleep Well with Total Yoga Nidra.
So how is yoga nidra helpful in getting people to sleep well? Well it can be helpful simply as something that people do as they go to sleep and when they wake up in the night, in order to place the mind and body in a state where sleep happens more easily. But it is also something which, if those habits are modified effectively, can be used to help get the best out of sleep and even to enjoy periods of wakefulness in the night which would otherwise cause anxiety and restlessness.
Yoga nidra is a meditative, hypnotic, guided relaxation practice that promotes feelings of restfulness and wellbeing. As the practitioner becomes still and listens to the practice being delivered she is led through states of consciousness usually encountered during sleep, but with one key difference: she retains awareness. It is an inherently paradoxical practice, and this is alluded to in its sanskrit name – whereas ‘nidra’ literally means sleep, ‘yoga’ is a path to awakening.
The combination of profound relaxation, the restful-yet-alert state of meditation, and the suggestive state of hypnosis means that the practitioner is placed in a uniquely powerful position in which to accept new ideas and let go of old ones, and is brought to a place where deep rest and healing can occur. So it’s not surprising that yoga nidra has numerous applications: as a meditation practice; as a spiritual devotional practice; as a tool to gain insight; as an aid to creativity; as well as a wide range of therapeutic applications – to manage pain, to treat anxiety, to relieve insomnia – many of which are just beginning to be explored.
To introduce this invaluable practice to those suffering from insomnia, we have created a short, online course, Sleep Well with Total Yoga Nidra. It provides an understanding of how sleep works and of how to sleep well, as well as the basics one needs to apply the practice of yoga nidra therapeutically to their condition. It is open to anyone and it assumes no prior knowledge of yoga or experience in yoga nidra practice.