How to Prepare for Your at Home Yoga Nidra Practice
Yoga Nidra is a guided journey in savasana to transcend your conscious, thinking mind and gain access to your subconscious mind. This deeply relaxing practice guides you into alpha-theta consciousness; here your creativity and intuition are amplified. Yoga Nidra reduces stress and is extremely healing. This is a sacred practice and it is beneficial to create a sacred space in which you can practice undisturbed so that you may receive all of the benefits from your experience.
This article guides you through setting up your space, preparing for the practice and includes suggested props and a video guide with tips on how to get set up for ultimate relaxation.
Create an Altar
An altar is a place where you arrange beautiful objects like stones, candles, flowers, statues or images that bring you joy. On my alter I have an image of Lakshmi to bring in beauty and abundance. A statue of Ganesh as supporter of wisdom and remover of obstacles. An image of Amma the hugging saint as a reminder of unconditional love and joy. I also have stones, a candle, incense, an air plant, seashells and sea glass.
This is your sacred alter, allow it to invoke beauty and joy for you.
Create a Sacred Space to Practice
Set up an area where you can enjoy your practice of Yoga Nidra. De-clutter and organize this space so that it feels calming and relaxing to you. Remove old unused things as they create an energetic stagnation. Letting go of the old helps to clear our energy leaving us and our environment feeling lighter and brighter. You may like to burn sage or palo santo in this space prior to your practice to help clear the energy.
Preparing for Your Practice
The following are suggestions that you might like to try, but are not necessary for the practice.
Have a mini cacao ceremony. Drinking a little bit of cacao before practicing Yoga Nidra can help to open up your heart chakra and prepare you to receive the blessings from the practice. It is a stimulant so be mindful not to drink too much. I like to consume an hour before practicing.
Move the body. Go for a walk, stretch, move through a few sun salutations or dance to your favorite song. This helps to release any energy and prepare the body for deep relaxation.
You may like to anoint yourself with your favorite essential oil or use a diffuser in your sacred space. Some of my personal favorites for meditation are vetiver, sandlewood, lavender, Idaho Blue Spruce and ylang ylang.
Sacred stones. I have stones all over my home and sometimes one or two will call out to me to be a part of my practice. I might sit them next to me or rest them on my body.
Listen to what calls to you.
Props for Yoga Nidra
Since you are practicing at home you may like to use your bed as your resting place or perhaps the couch. You can also lie on the floor, using a yoga mat, just like you would in a yoga studio. Support under the knees is helpful, this helps to keep the spine in neutral alignment while resting on your back; use a pillow or bolster. If you have lower back problems you may like to place a folded blanket underneath your low back for added support. Since you're at home grab your favorite pillow to rest your head on and a cozy blanket to cover yourself. A sleep mask is also nice to have during the practice as this helps to close off this main sensory input. Wear loose-fitting and comfy clothing. The nice thing about practicing at home is that you can even wear your jammies.
Watch this video for recommendations on how to setup for your Yoga Nidra practice.
Remember that the most important thing when practicing Yoga Nidra is that you are comfortable. Take your time to find your optimal set-up for comfort and relaxation.
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