Are you struggling with anxiety? Try yoga nidra

The coronavirus pandemic has brought along a host of other health problems. There have been reports of increasing cases of anxiety, depression and suicidal thoughts among young adults from around the world amid the pandemic. A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found a threefold increase in the percentage of Americans reporting symptoms of anxiety disorder and fourfold increase in the symptoms of depressive disorder in 2020 compared to the previous year. The findings were published on August 13 in the journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. Also Read – Ayahuasca: Know the benefits and side effects of this trending psychoactive brew

Are you struggling with anxiety? Try yoga nidra. Don’t worry! This style of yoga does not require you to hold poses in a heated room. You just have to relax on a mat and chill out. A 45-minute yoga nidra session can give you the benefit of a peaceful three-hour nap. Also Read – Yoga asanas to strengthen your chest muscles for better posture

Meditation and yoga nidra often lumped together, but they are actually two different practices. Research has suggested that yoga nidra is more effective in reducing anxiety than meditation.  Yoga nidra helps in reducing both cognitive and physiological symptoms of anxiety. Also Read – 5 yoga asanas to get clean and clear skin

How yoga nidra is different from meditation

Yoga nidra involves lying down and move into a deep state of conscious awareness sleep. Meditation, on the other hand, requires you to sit and stay in a waking state of consciousness while focusing the mind and allowing thoughts to come and go.

This style of yoga works with the autonomic nervous system that regulates heartbeat, breathing, digestion and blood flow. Meditation mainly calms the sympathetic or fight-or-flight response. The yoga nidra activates the pineal gland and promotes release of the hormone melatonin – a powerful antioxidant that can help manage immune function, blood pressure, cortisol levels and induce restful sleep.

10 stages of yoga nidra

The best part about yoga nidra is that you don’t need fancy equipment and it can be done at home with the help of YouTube or a meditation app.

Lie flat on your back on a yoga mat or a blanket with a bolster supporting you from the low back to the head. You can also practice yoga nidra in a recliner or even in bed. Do it for 15 or 20 minutes in the beginning and work your way up. Practice yoga nidra at nighttime so that you can sleep tight. Now follow the following stages of yoga nidra to beat anxiety.

  1. Connect to Your Heart’s Deepest Desire: Think about you’re lifelong goal Visualize reaching the goal and feel the joy.
  2. Set an Intention: Why you’re practicing yoga nidra? Whatever your intention may be, welcome and affirm it with your entire body and mind.
  3. Find Your Inner Resource: Bring attention to a safe place within your body where you experience feelings of security, well-being, and calm.
  4. Scan your body: Sense your entire body by gradually moving your awareness from one part to another. This will help reduce tension and relax.
  5. Become Aware of Your Breath: Pat attention to how air is flowing in the nostrils, throat, and rib cage and how your abdomen rises and falls with each breath. This can help you slow down and breathe evenly.
  6. Welcome Your Feelings: Recognize the sensations and emotions that are present in your body and mind. Also, think about the opposite sensations and emotions to balance things out.
  7. Witness Your Thoughts. Welcome the thoughts at the moment without judging or trying to block them out. When negative thoughts surface, think about the positive side of things to ease tension.
  8. Experience Joy: If you start to feel blissed out, embrace it, and let it spread throughout your body and into the space around you.
  9. Observe Your Self: Be aware of your sense of “I-ness,” or personality. Then, experience yourself as an observing witness. You will wake up more aware and in tune with your feelings.
  10. Reflect on Your Practice: As you complete your practice, think about the journey you’ve just taken – how you feel and what you were able to achieve during your session. Try to integrate that feeling into your everyday life, in both pleasant and difficult moments.

Slowly transition back to your waking life and pause for a moment to feel grateful for taking this time for yourself.

Published : September 15, 2020 3:24 pm | Updated:September 16, 2020 9:41 am

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