Introducing Yoga Nidra

As we move towards the end of the year, it always feels like time speeds up. We pack more into our schedules and overfill our plates. Time feels in short supply, energy wanes, and overwhelm presses its way in, crushing any sense of spaciousness. We start to get run-down and exhausted, so we reach for things that temporarily boost our energy (think: coffee, sugar, and my personal fav, chocolate!)… which just leave us feeling wired.

But ultimately, underneath that cheap hit of energy, we’re still tired. When we’re wired, we then reach for things to help us wind down (think: an extra glass of wine or a sleeping pill). Which then disrupts our sleep cycle and leaves us feeling less than rested come morning.

Sound familiar? Here’s the antidote to that cycle of being tired and wired. 

Pump The Brakes

I believe that when life starts to feel speedy and rushed and overly full, it’s a great time to pump the breaks, slow down, and find ways to restore our energy and recover a sense of spaciousness. There are practices we can use that nourish us and revive our energy levels, rather than just providing a cheap hit of short-term energy. We already have some awesome guided meditations in the app that support this (Mind Mender and Golden Glow are two that I recommend!), but meditation isn’t the only tool we have to restore our energy.

Introducing Cosmic Rest

This month, I’m so thrilled to introduce a brand new Vibe category into the Heavily Meditated App. It’s called Cosmic Rest. In this category, you’ll find Yoga Nidra practices.

What is Yoga Nidra?

As you may know, the word yoga comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj” which means union or to connect or join. In Sanskrit, the word Nidra means “sleep” or “to draw forth the void.” Thus, Yoga Nidra has become known as the yoga of sleep. It has also been described as conscious sleep or enlightened sleep. Yoga Nidra originates from India and is both an ancient technique and a state of consciousness.

The practice of Yoga Nidra is composed of a series of body, breath, and awareness techniques practiced in a supine position (YES! You get to lay down!). The techniques are designed to support you in surrendering into a deep, conscious state of being by shifting your awareness from the physical body to the more subtle body and ultimately into a sense of spaciousness. Similar to a guided meditation, you can relax and be guided through the practice by listening to an audio recording.

What does it do?

Yoga Nidra offers deep rest for the physical body, nervous system, and mind. Yoga Nidra is also associated with improved cognition and memory, healing, restoration, and improved wellbeing. Some approaches offer the opportunity to clear deeply ingrained patterns and to powerfully seed intentions for the future.

In a nutshell, you really want to get some Yoga Nidra in your life, my friend! It truly is a profound practice that offers a rich array of benefits. It has changed my life and I bet it will do the same for you. 

Is it the same as meditation?

In a word, no. There are some very important distinctions between meditation and Yoga Nidra. While the intention of meditation is concentration and focus, the intention of Yoga Nidra is surrender – a departure from the waking and even dreaming states. Another fundamental difference is that meditation is traditionally practiced in a seated position, whereas Yoga Nidra is practiced in savasana, laying down on your back.

Although Yoga Nidra and meditation are not the same thing, they complement each other brilliantly! Yoga Nidra makes a perfect companion to your meditation practice, one that is deeply restful and restorative.

How often should I do it? 

This powerful ancient technique offers instant relief for fatigue and exhaustion, replenishes the nervous system, and restores the mind. Use it anytime you need to mend your mind and soothe your senses. I like to do Yoga Nidra at least 3 times a week. If you are feeling deeply depleted, try doing it daily for 21 days (and prepare to feel like a brand new human). Pssst… New mamas and papas, Yoga Nidra has the goods for supporting you when you a Good Night’s Sleep is a distant memory! In fact, it’s often said that 2-30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is as restorative as 3 hours of sleep. Boom!

Hot tips

Listen to the ‘Intro To Yoga Nidra’ audio in the app for some tips on how to set up for your practice!

So without further adieu, I invite you to download the Heavily Meditated App and start your 7-Day Free Trial.
Press play on our first Cosmic Rest Yoga Nidra practice (it’s called Made of Stars), and… lay the f*ck down. Trust me, you’ll thank yourself!

I hope this practice supports you well through the silly season and beyond!

Big love,

About the author
Caitlin Cady sitting on the beach at dusk and smiling softly at the camera

Caitlin Cady is an author, meditation teacher, and mama of three, on a mission to help you tune into your highest self and live to your full potential.

With certifications in Yoga, Pranayama, Meditation, and Somatic Stress Release, Caitlin’s work has been featured in Women’s Health, Vogue, Marie Claire, and Real Living and her positive perspectives and relatable, playful approach have inspired people across the globe to start living to their full potential.

Signed, Caitlin
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A visual display of the contents of the Morning Ritual bundle: The Morning Ritual Guidebook, the High-Vibe Day Planner, and a morning meditation

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guided meditations & 7-day planner.