Yoga Nidra

A guided meditation practice that induces a state of deep relaxation while maintaining awareness.


Yoga Nidra, also known as 'yogic sleep,' is a powerful relaxation technique that guides practitioners into a state of conscious deep sleep. During the practice, individuals lie comfortably in savasana (corpse pose) while a teacher leads them through a systematic meditation that brings attention to different parts of the body, breath, and mental imagery. This process helps to release physical, mental, and emotional tensions, promoting a profound sense of peace and well-being.

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The origins of Yoga Nidra can be traced back to ancient Indian scriptures, particularly the Upanishads and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. The modern form of the practice, however, was popularized by Swami Satyananda Saraswati in the mid-20th century. Satyananda, a prominent yoga guru and founder of the Bihar School of Yoga, developed a structured Yoga Nidra protocol that combined elements of traditional yoga, tantra, and psychology. His approach aimed to make the benefits of deep relaxation and meditation accessible to a wider audience. Since then, Yoga Nidra has gained global recognition and is now practiced in yoga studios, wellness centers, and healthcare settings around the world.


  1. Deep Relaxation Yoga Nidra induces a state of complete physical, mental, and emotional relaxation, helping to reduce stress and anxiety.
  2. Improved Sleep Regular practice can enhance sleep quality, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep throughout the night.
  3. Increased Self-Awareness The guided meditation helps practitioners cultivate a deeper understanding of their thoughts, emotions, and behavioral patterns.
  4. Emotional Healing Yoga Nidra can help individuals process and release stored emotions, trauma, and negative thought patterns.
  5. Enhanced Concentration The practice trains the mind to focus and maintain awareness, leading to improved concentration and mental clarity.
  6. Boosted Immune Function Deep relaxation has been shown to strengthen the immune system, promoting overall health and well-being.

How It Works

Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep, is a guided meditation practice that induces a state of deep relaxation while maintaining awareness. During a session, you lie comfortably in savasana (corpse pose) while a trained instructor guides you through a series of visualizations and body scans. This process systematically relaxes each part of your body, allowing you to enter a state between waking and sleeping. Yoga Nidra works by calming the sympathetic nervous system, reducing stress, and promoting a sense of inner peace. The practice is said to help release deeply held tensions, emotions, and beliefs, leading to profound healing and personal transformation.


While Yoga Nidra is generally safe for most people, there are some considerations to keep in mind. Since the practice involves lying still for an extended period, those with back pain or discomfort may need to make adjustments or use props for support. It's also important to practice in a quiet, comfortable space where you won't be disturbed. Some people may experience emotional release during or after a session, which can be intense. It's crucial to be gentle with yourself and seek support if needed. Additionally, those with severe mental health conditions should consult with a healthcare professional before trying Yoga Nidra, as the deep relaxation may be challenging.

How Much It Costs

The cost of Yoga Nidra sessions can vary depending on the location, instructor, and format. Group classes at yoga studios typically range from $10 to $25 per session, while private sessions with a certified instructor can cost anywhere from $50 to $150 per hour. Some instructors offer packages or series at a discounted rate. Online classes and recordings are often more affordable, with prices ranging from free to around $20 per session. Specialized Yoga Nidra workshops or retreats can cost several hundred dollars, depending on the duration and amenities included.

Virtual & Online Options

Both virtual and in-person Yoga Nidra sessions have their advantages. Online classes offer convenience and accessibility, allowing you to practice from the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you. There are numerous pre-recorded sessions and live-streamed classes available, often at a lower cost than in-person options. However, in-person sessions provide a more immersive experience, with the instructor present to guide you and address any concerns. In-person classes also offer a sense of community and connection with fellow practitioners. Ultimately, the choice between virtual and "Yoga Nidra near me" depends on your personal preferences, schedule, and availability of local classes.


While there is no universally recognized certification for Yoga Nidra instructors, many practitioners have completed specialized training programs. The Yoga Nidra Network and the Amrit Yoga Institute offer comprehensive certification courses that cover the theory, practice, and facilitation of Yoga Nidra. Some Yoga Alliance Registered Yoga Schools (RYS) also include Yoga Nidra training as part of their 200-hour or 300-hour teacher training programs. When seeking a Yoga Nidra instructor, look for someone who has completed a reputable training program and has experience guiding others in the practice. Additionally, some mental health professionals, such as psychologists and social workers, may incorporate Yoga Nidra into their practices if they have completed relevant training.

Complementary Practices

Other practices that complement Yoga Nidra include meditation, breathwork, gentle yoga postures, and body scans. Incorporating these practices alongside Yoga Nidra can enhance the overall experience and deepen relaxation. Meditation helps calm the mind, while breathwork promotes a sense of tranquility. Gentle yoga postures release physical tension, and body scans increase awareness of sensations. Together, these practices create a holistic approach to relaxation and self-discovery.

Practitioner Types

Various professionals offer Yoga Nidra, including certified yoga instructors, meditation teachers, and wellness coaches. Some psychologists and therapists also incorporate Yoga Nidra into their treatment plans. These practitioners have completed specialized training in guiding Yoga Nidra sessions and creating a safe, supportive environment for deep relaxation. They adapt the practice to suit individual needs and preferences.

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  • Q: What are the benefits of practicing Yoga Nidra regularly?

    • A: Regular practice of Yoga Nidra offers numerous benefits for physical, mental, and emotional well-being. It reduces stress, anxiety, and depression by promoting deep relaxation and calming the nervous system. Yoga Nidra improves sleep quality, enhances self-awareness, and increases emotional regulation. It also boosts creativity, concentration, and memory. Physically, Yoga Nidra can relieve muscle tension, lower blood pressure, and strengthen the immune system.
  • Q: How often should I practice Yoga Nidra for best results?

    • A: To experience the full benefits of Yoga Nidra, it is recommended to practice regularly, ideally daily or at least a few times per week. Consistency is key to developing a habit and allowing the practice to transform your well-being. Even short sessions of 10-20 minutes can be effective. Find a time that works best for your schedule, such as before bed or upon waking. Listen to your body and adjust the frequency and duration according to your needs and preferences.
  • Q: Can anyone practice Yoga Nidra, or do I need prior yoga experience?

    • A: Yoga Nidra is accessible to everyone, regardless of age, fitness level, or prior yoga experience. It is practiced lying down in a comfortable position, usually savasana (corpse pose), with no physical movement required. The practice is guided by verbal instructions, allowing participants to focus on relaxation and inner awareness. Beginners may find it helpful to start with shorter sessions and gradually increase the duration as they become more comfortable with the technique.
  • Q: What should I wear and what props do I need for Yoga Nidra?

    • A: Comfort is key when practicing Yoga Nidra. Wear loose, breathable clothing that allows you to relax fully without any constriction. Layers can be helpful to adjust to temperature changes during the practice. Props such as a yoga mat, blanket, and pillow are recommended to create a comfortable lying position. Use a mat for cushioning, a blanket for warmth, and a pillow to support your head and neck. Eye pillows or eye masks can also enhance the experience by blocking out light and promoting inward focus.
  • Q: Can Yoga Nidra help with insomnia and sleep disorders?

    • A: Yes, Yoga Nidra can be an effective tool for managing insomnia and improving sleep quality. The deep relaxation induced by the practice helps calm the mind, release tension, and promote a sense of tranquility. Yoga Nidra works by downregulating the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response) and activating the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest response). This shift in the nervous system prepares the body and mind for restful sleep. Regular practice of Yoga Nidra can train the body to relax more easily, leading to faster sleep onset and more restorative sleep. It is a natural, drug-free approach to managing sleep disorders.


Yoga Nidra is a transformative practice that offers a pathway to deep relaxation, self-discovery, and holistic well-being. By combining complementary practices like meditation, breathwork, gentle yoga, and body scans, Yoga Nidra creates a comprehensive approach to stress reduction and personal growth. With the guidance of skilled practitioners, individuals of all backgrounds can access the benefits of this ancient technique. Regular practice of Yoga Nidra has the power to improve sleep, reduce anxiety, enhance emotional regulation, and promote overall physical and mental health. As more people discover the profound effects of Yoga Nidra, it is becoming an increasingly popular tool for navigating the challenges of modern life and cultivating inner peace. Embracing Yoga Nidra as part of a self-care routine can lead to greater resilience, clarity, and joy in all aspects of life.