If you enjoy a regular yoga practice, you will be familiar with the final resting pose, savasana. This is something that a lot of yogis look forward to at the end of their practice but this asana is often confused with the concept of yoga nidra.
Yoga nidra is a meditative practice that puts the practitioner into a yogic sleep. The key similarity is that yoga nidra is normally practiced while in a savasana pose. This is one of the main reasons that yoga nidra and savasana are often confused with each other.
In this article, we are going to be looking at the differences between corpse pose and yoga nidra.
What Are The Differences Between Yoga Nidra And Savasana?
Savasana, which is known in English as corpse pose is an integral part of the practice of yoga. At the end of a yoga class, your yoga teacher will invite you to lie on your yoga mat and close the eyes.
The idea of savasana is to let go and relax after your practice. Unfortunately, many modern yoga classes omit this important asana or only do it for a couple of minutes. In a traditional yoga session, savasana would be done for at least half an hour. The pose has many benefits but since people are so keen to get on the mat and get on with their day, they often do not put in as much effort as they should.
On the other hand, yoga nidra is not an asana but more of a meditation. There are many yoga nidra classes and yoga teacher training is now placing more of a focus on this as more and more people take an interest in meditation and its benefits.
When you attend a yoga nidra class, the teacher will typically guide you through these practices and there is a belief that you will be able to alter the brain state. This allows you to set an intention and keep this in your thoughts, any intention will work and it should be a thing that you can keep the mind on.
By going through yoga nidra instructions, you will be able to enter a state between consciousness and unconsciousness allowing you to manifest your desires.
What Happens In Yoga Nidra?
As we have learned, yoga nidra is designed to bring you into the middle space between consciousness and sleep and this is the key difference between yoga nidra guided meditation and savasana practice.
Yoga nidra takes your mind to the place and some pretty amazing things can happen.
During these practices, the guide will talk you through the practice and this is another key difference between yoga nidra and savasana which typically takes place in silence. Your guide will ask you to do certain things like place your awareness on your toe, release the toe and move your awareness to your leg or any other part of the body that they choose,and so on.
While other types of meditation can be done in a seated position, such as the lotus position, yoga nidra is always done in a reclined position. Most of the time, this is very similar to the way you would lie in savasana.
Is Yoga Nidra A Form Of Meditation?
Yoga nidra is an ancient practice that has become very popular in modern meditation thanks to its ability to promote deep relaxation. it can be used as either a meditation or a mind-body practice and there are many yoga nidra scripts online or you might attend a yoga nidra class. Some of the best relate to nature, some examples of which can be found on websites like this one where the teacher talks about how a watching a leaf blow in the autumn can help you to channel an internal wind that will blow out any tension and stress.
This is known as a visualization technique and is something hat is often used in meditation. Many people use this type of meditation including sportsmen trying to win gold medals and businesswomen looking for their next promotion; manifestation through visualization is a very real thing. So it is not hard to see how yoga nidra and meditation are very similar.
This type of meditation usually lasts for around 30-45 minutes and is a great way to power up the body.
What Are The Benefits Of Yoga Nidra?
When you first take part in yoga, you may find that you fall asleep when doing savasana but this is less likely during a yoga nidra practice because you are not left alone with your thoughts but have lots of instructions to follow and a journey to go on.
As you do the practice more and more, you will begin to notice the advantages after each session. Let’s explore some of these advantages.
- Yoga nidra is known to slow the brain waves and as a result of this, you may find that you are able to fall asleep more easily at bed time. This is because the practice stimulates the nervous system and encourages a relaxed state.
- One of the most difficult aspects of meditation is to observe the thoughts but yoga nidra is a great way to practice this. These practices will help you to recognize each of your thoughts but let them pass by without placing too much awareness onto them. You will find it much easier to quiet the mind.
- Most people that practice yoga nidra notice that they experience the advantages of their yoga nidra practice in several layers; one of these being the release of tension in the physical body. A human being will naturally store stress in their bodies and very rarely release this.
- This technique will give you the opportunity to connect with yourself on a higher level. You will develop a greater sense of self and be able to connect to your energy body allowing you to find a pathway to freedom through your yoga practices. This is where setting an intention is extremely important.
- One of the first things that you might notice is an increased level of happiness and many report that they are able to enjoy life much more after engaging in a regular yoga nidra practice.
- Staying in the present moment is challenging but yoga nidra activates your witness mentality which allows you to observe the physical body, the emotions and the thoughts and all of their intricate layers without losing focus. This internal voice might be seen as an anchor of sorts. In turn, this will likely activate your achievement mentality as you free yourself from negative emotions and live in the moment.
Why Is Savasana The Hardest Pose?
Many people consider savasana to be the most difficult yoga posture and this can be difficult to understand when you look at how the body appears relaxed and calm. Of course, this asana is designed for relaxation but there lies the problem. One must be able to let go and relax all the while keeping their attention so that they do not begin falling asleep.
A lot of people find that they will begin falling asleep in savasana and this turns it from a restful posture to something a little bit more intense. But there is no need to worry if you find yourself dozing into a deep sleep, even your teacher will have fallen victim to this and it simply means that your body needs to sleep.
However, it is important that in these practices, you attempt to train yourself not to sleep and engage in self study. Meditation experts will tell you that being awake but resting can be a great form of stress relief and will promote wellness.
If you find that you fall asleep from time to time then that is fine. However, if you fall asleep all the time, this could signal that you have sleep issues and this is a thing that you should address. You might improve these sleep issues by looking at your sleep hygiene or practicing yoga nidra before going to sleep.
One of the most common questions about savasana regards whether there is a connection between it and the practice of yoga nidra. It is important to keep in mind that while yoga nidra is often done in the same posture as savasana, the two are vastly different from each other.
Savasana is a final resting posture that is done at the end of a yoga asana session. In contrast, yoga nidra is a meditation that takes place between wakefulness and sleep and allows you to work with the mind for a range of advantages.