If you have difficulty falling asleep, or awaken too often, or for too long a stretch during the night you might benefit from yoga nidra.
Yoga nidra is a a guided meditation where you systematically relax all parts of your body one body part at a time. Books about yoga nidra teach how to record your own yoga nidra guided meditation, but it’s unnecessary. You can buy an excellent yoga nidra recording on Amazon for a dollar.
The actual practice of yoga nidra involves nothing more than reclining and listening to simple instructions. It’s very pleasant, and easy as pie.
There are many yoga nidra recordings available. Some are a lot better than others. Frankly, some are terrible! We prefer authenticity, and also like to know that guided meditations are ones which have been used for centuries rather than thrown together for a New Age market.
This yoga nidra collection comes from a highly regarded Indian institute, the Bihar School of Yoga, and is excellent.
The yoga teacher has a very relaxing voice. As she guides you through the practice of yoga nidra you may find yourself emptying your mind and becoming more free of the obsessive thoughts which may be keeping you from sleeping.
Each of these four tracks is relatively short, about 15 minutes. That’s long enough to help you relax, and maybe get to the point of sleep, but not so long that you drop off before the end of the track and thus have your iPhone on all night.
You’ll see you can purchase on Amazon one track or all four. If you use Spotify, you can find a Yoga Nidra playlist which contains all four tracks.
Insomnia has many causes. It may respond to yoga nidra.
Neuroscientists have discovered that the practice of yoga dramatically increases the brain chemical, GABA, which may explain why yoga nidra is so effective. We suspect, too, that yoga increases BDNF. Thus yoga nidra may have both a short term and a long term beneficial effect on the brain.