It is difficult to perform a proper Yoga Nidra session by yourself unless you are an advanced practitioner. However, we have a simplified version of Yoga Nidra that you can perform at home. Follow the steps outlined here to practice Yoga Nidra.
Step 1: Start the Recording, Lie Down in Shavasana, and Take Deep Breaths
Keep the recording ready with you. Play it, set an optimum volume, neither too loud nor too low, and keep your phone on the side, away from your body.
Lie down in Shavasana, your limbs stretched out, and your head placed in a comfortable position. While lying in Shavasana, you should not feel any tension on your body part.
Use a prop if you want, such as pillow, blocks, or anything else. Cover yourself with a blanket. It’s completely optional, though.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath, hold it inside, and exhale slowly. For example, use the 5–5–5 breathing technique. Inhale for five seconds, hold the breath for five seconds, and exhale slowly for five seconds. Repeat the process 3–5 times until you enter a relaxed state.
Step 2: Set an Intention & Become Aware of It
It’s time to set an intention, also known as Sankalp, that you want to achieve or experience. For example, you would like to experience complete well-being and happy life. Or you may want to achieve a career goal in the future. The intention showcases your willingness to accomplish some short or long term goal.
Once you have set an intention, stick to it till the time it becomes a reality. And not just set an intention but visualize it as well. Affirm this intention multiple times so that your mind and body becomes aware of it.
Step 3: Scan your Body
Now you have to feel the existence & become aware of every body part of your body. You will start the process by taking your attention to a particular body part.
Let’s say you begin with the toe of the right leg. Feel the toe, ankle, shin, knee, thighs, and the hip. In the same sequence, feel the parts in the left leg.
Now begin with the upper body portion. Start with the sacrum, pelvis, and the torso.
Shift your attention to your arms now. Start with the right arm. Feel the fingers, palm, wrist, forearm, elbow, upper arm, and the shoulder. Repeat the process for the left leg.
Bring your focus to your scalp, forehead, eyebrows, eyes, ears, nose, cheeks, lips, jaw, and the neck.
Gradually shift your attention to the back portion of your head.
Finally, scan your complete body and become aware of it as a whole. You will experience the oneness within you. You will feel as if you are floating in the air, and the body becomes non-existent.
Step 4: Watch your Breath
Once you become completely aware of your body, you shift your focus to your breath. Breathing is the Prana (life force) that connects your mind and body, keeps you alive and aware of the surroundings.
Begin by watching your breath. You don’t need to focus on and tame your breathing pattern. No. Simply analyze the breathing pattern. You inhale from the nose, the air moves through nostrils, windpipe, and lungs. Similarly, watch the exhalation process.
Notice the movements of your body parts. For example, the abdomen rising up when you inhale and moving down when you exhale.
Watch your breath until it becomes calm and effortless. Feel the serenity it brings within you. This is the moment when you become conscious of infinite energy flowing within you, silent yet powerful. We proceed to the next step.
Step 5: Watch your Thoughts, Feelings
You will deal with your thoughts and feelings in the same way you will deal with your breath. The thoughts will come to you. But it’s up to you, whether you will hold on to them or will let them pass. Just don’t engage with the thoughts. Let them appear and disappear, but don’t attach yourself with the thoughts.
Similarly, you can imagine different types of feelings or emotions within you. For example, feel the sensation of coldness and hotness, tense and ease, fear and confidence, and so on.
The activity aids in developing the controlling power within you. It strengthens your will power so that you can easily control your emotions and remain calm in stressful situations.
Step 6: Experience Infiniteness within You
After passing through various stages, you will attain a level wherein your consciousness will unite with the infinite consciousness of the universe. You will witness an overflow of positive energy within you. The sensations of happiness, well-being, and calmness will flow throughout your heart, body, and soul.
This is the moment when you enter the Yoga Nidra state of super-consciousness. You are neither awake nor slept. Your consciousness state is the one found between sleep and wakefulness.
This is the time when you feel aware of the potential within you, realizing you are the part of the universe, capable of achieving anything you desire. And this is the point where you proceed to the next step.
Step 7: Repeat your Intention
Its time recall the intention or Sankalpa you made in the second step. When you repeat the Sankalpa at this moment, you train the subconscious mind to work for the fulfillment of the goal/intention/desire.
You can also visualize the hypothetical scenario wherein you have achieved your goal/intention. This will further assist your subconscious mind to work in a better way to fulfill your Sankalpa.
Step 8: Wake up from Yoga Nidra
As the session comes to an end, you reflect back on the journey, right from the beginning. You discover the consciousness within you, you become aware of your presence, you disengage with your thoughts, you immerse self in joy, and you get ready to fulfill your vision/goal.
Gradually, you shift your focus back to your breath. Slowly and steadily, you regain consciousness and become aware of your physical presence and external surroundings. You breathe slowly and deeply for some time. Now open your eyes slowly. Pause for a moment or two, and finally enter the world of wakefulness.