“You are the presence that exists in your own heart.” Rod Stryker

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The Yoga Sutras speak of multiple states of mind, one of which is Nidra, the quality of active dreaming. It means "the yoga of sleep," but don't let the name fool you. In truth, this ancient practice is more about learning to wake up. Nidra refers to that daydream state between wakefulness and sleep. Think of the paradox of sleeping wakefulness as a bridge between otherwise disparate elements, such as consciousness and unconsciousness, spirit and form, the ego-self and the True Self. Yoga Nidra is a practice of guided meditation that creates profound physical relaxation, assists in the releasing of deep-seated habits, and can expand existing spiritual awareness. It's wonderfully supportive for those seeking to develop a meditation practice or are looking for healing of physical and emotional injuries.

Yoga Nidra is an opportunity to be guided systematically into a focused but neutral observation of the five koshas (or sheaths, which you can think of layers over your True Self). These are objects of the ego as well as physical sensations, thoughts, and emotions. The practice helps us learn to stop identifying with the ego-self by peeling back the koshas like the layers of skin off an onion and instead identifying with the core of our True Nature, which is pure Awareness. 

Yoga Nidra follows 10-steps to deepen Awareness through increasingly subtle layers: Intention, Entering a Safe Haven, Scanning the Body, Following the Breath, Turning Toward Emotion, Witnessing Thoughts, Tapping into Joy, Observing the Self, Visualization, and Integrating the Practice. While not everyone emerges in a state of enlightenment, returning practitioners happily share that this has gifted them with a wide array of benefits, including lowered stress, being less reactive, increased feelings of happiness, improved sleep, lowered blood pressure, diminished anxiety, relief from depression, increased energy and creativity, better digestion, greater optimism, spiritual insight, confidence, and a grounding sense of purpose and clarity. 

So how can a practice of simply lying down and being guided through something like a body scan or an examination of your thoughts provoke such remarkable benefits? The idea is that when we are aligned with our True Self through and as deep Awareness, we experience the part of ourselves that is always perfect. More simply, we experience ourselves as Awareness. The practice does not give us anything we don't already have. Rather, it helps us remove the layers that conceal our fundamental wholeness, a wholeness that has always been and will always be.


We begin lying down, establishing a gentle posture of deep support and ease. You may desire a blanket under your head, one to keep you warm, perhaps an eye pillow, and a bolster under your knees for support. The goal is to make yourself as comfortable as possible because you’ll be in this position for about 60-minutes. First, you will set your Sankalpa or deepest intention for the practice. Then you will be asked to scan your body and notice sensations. You’ll become aware of your breath and the meditation will provide guided instruction as to how to breathe in order to drop deeper into your resting state. You’ll also embark upon guided visualizations of light. 


Sounds and vibrations from varying sacred instruments will be woven into the meditation and once the guided portion is complete, deeper relaxation is facilitated through a short soundscape journey. At the end of the practice, the room will rest in silence for a moment before you will be invited to bring energy back to your body. We finish in a seated position to honor the space we've created and end our time together in gratitude. 

Yoga Nidra + Sound Therapy is a systematic method of complete relaxation, holistically addressing our physiological, neurological, and subconscious needs. Accessible to everyone, this combined practice gently guides the body, mind, and breath into a restorative state of inner peace and tranquility. Gentle Earth currently facilitates Yoga Nidra + Sound Therapy at Peoples Yoga in Lansing. Check the schedule for more information.

Yoga Nidra + Sound Therapy can be facilitated at corporate events, private family events, yoga collaborations, wellness studios, and retreats.  If you would like information about scheduling a group or private session, please contact us. Namasté.