This is something that I learnt when I went to IC Hack 18 - Imperial College London's Annual Hackathon 2018 on 27th - 28th January 2018. The folks from NextJump were telling the goodness about Yoga Nidra. The moment I heard about some examples of the outcome of an IT employee's physiological wear and tear on the body:

  • Increased inflammation
  • Hardening of the arteries
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood glucose
  • Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones)
  • Loss of brain cells (particularly the parts of the brain responsible for the executive functioning)
  • Growth of the amygdala (fear and stress centre of the brain)

I was terrified. And came to know that this Nidra Yoga helps a lot in overcoming this. Yoga nidra session can be anything from 15 minutes to an hour or even longer if you’re an adept practitioner. A typical beginner’s yoga nidra session lasts about 20 minutes and involves the following steps:

  1. Settling down
  2. Breath awareness
  3. Sankalpa (personal resolution)
  4. Rotation of awareness
  5. Breath awareness
  6. Pairs of opposites
  7. Visualisation
  8. Sankalpa
  9. Externalising

To sum up the practise of Yoga Nidra as a Mindfulness technique brings about the following benefits to an aspiring practitioner:

  • Helps to cope with the anxiety, panic disorder, stress; prevention of depression relapse and emotional regulation and sleep
  • Structural and functional changes in the brain, generation of new brain cells (neurogenesis) predominantly in the memory and executive functioning centres, reduced activity in the amygdala
  • Pain management, symptom control, reduced allostatic load and metabolic benefits, hormonal changes, improved genetic function and repair and possibly slower ageing
  • Improved performance (e.g. sport, academic, leadership)

I have taken a copy of YOGA NIDRA: as a Mindfulness Practise for Stress Reduction, Wellbeing and Peak Performance by one of the teachers of Yoga Nidra who runs sessions at NextJump.