What is Yoga Nidra?: The Benefits of Becoming a Yoga Nidra Practitioner

Posted by Mel Rhoden on 2/18/21 4:00 PM


How do you meditate when you have a busy mind? The average person has 60,000-80,000 thoughts per day; that’s 2.500-3.300 thoughts per hour. That’s a lot of thoughts to try to bring into stillness.

This was my challenge. I’d always wanted to meditate, but trying to stop my brain thoughts while on the mat were near impossible. That is, until I found Yoga Nidra. I’ll never forget my first time receiving a Yoga Nidra session, day one of Yoga Nidra level one training. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed up for this course.

Yoga was always something that included movement, the asana, and the part where you lie down on your mat always happened at the end of class, after you’ve exhausted yourself. However, this was an entire session lying on your mat. I looked around at the people around me that had obviously done this before and felt like a newbie. They were grabbing blankets, bolsters, eye pillows—there were so many props!

After all the excitement of getting our spaces ready, and lying down comfortably on the mat, Yoga Nidra began. A beautifully guided meditation that transported me into another dimension. And when I awoke from the session, I felt rested, and clear minded. It was like nothing I’d ever experienced. I knew I’d fallen asleep, yet how was that possible? I was able to wake up right away afterwards. After that first day, I had no doubt that the Universe has guided me to just the right place.

Fast forward, to the end of my advanced Yoga Nidra training, and now that I have led several sessions for others, in groups and individually, I can honestly say Yoga Nidra has changed my life and the lives of my clients.

Yoga Nidra is not just a meditation to help you sleep. This type of meditation is transformational for your mind and body. Personally, the biggest shift has been in my relationships. Through the practice of Yoga Nidra, I have been able to give more grace to people that I would normally be curt with. I have been able to remove myself from emotional conversations and conflicts in order to tap into Source, and then share the next verbally eloquent word without launching words for war.


For my clients, I have seen a spiritual, mental and physical shifts in their lives. I’ve watched my clients go from confused about their life and purpose, to being open, and receiving answers to life’s most sought after questions. I’ve watched them carefully and easefully maneuver some of the most challenging situations. Ones that would have normally immobilized them at one point in their lives.

Yoga Nidra is a sleep based meditation technique and a practice of awareness at the deepest level of relaxation.

It brings you to a state of “Zero Stress Zone”. It changes your reaction patterns and helps you to pause, breath, feel, reflect and ‘let go’.

It utilizes ancient meditation techniques and it unlocks your self-destructive habits and behavior patterns such as:

  • Stress
  • Hurts, habits and addictions
  • Trauma/PTSD
  • Depression and anxiety

It is a profound state of mindfulness: combining breath, body and awareness techniques to take you into deeper brainwave states than traditional mindfulness meditation. Yoga Nidra is a therapeutic yoga technique that initiates shifts in consciousness sleep states where change happens outside of our doing.

This type of meditation has the power to take you to the innermost, deepest levels of relaxation where your whole body and being is restored to its natural state of health, vitality and peace. It will help you restore your health, release the effects of chronic excess tension, and regain restorative sleep, taking a break from the demands of life that have kept you running, without time to rest and rejuvenate.

Excess stress in our lives leads to lack of sleep. And when you can’t sleep, it’s hard to handle all of the darts of destruction we often have to dodge in our daily lives. Yoga Nidra takes the practitioner through the different brain waves to relax the mind, and gets you to that deep sleep that restores you. It helps to reset the hormones that you need to be peaceful, calm and happy.


A 20-45 minutes session is like taking a 3-4 hour nap. And practicing Yoga Nidra 3-4 times per week can bring you back to balance of mind and body. We already know how impactful the physical practice of yoga is, now imagine being able to feel as if you’ve gotten a good workout and feel as though you’ve received deep rest.

Last year, I led a small group for women of color that wanted help learning how to meditate. And one of the tools I learned in training was how to facilitate a Yoga Nidra workshop. Every week, for 4 weeks I met with these women via Zoom. We spent the first 30 minutes talking about stress, and what that looks like in eachof our lives. I shared some of the statistics about stress and how it affects the mind and body, and then I ended each workshop with a 20 minutes Yoga Nidra. The women were always amazed at the things that came up for them during the session. And how much better they felt, how much clarity they’d gained. Sometimes, it was even a spiritual experience and/or physically healing.

Of all the modalities that I have studied, this has been one of my favorite and most requested. I have been blessed and honored to see firsthand the positive effect it has on
my clients. The benefits and tools I’ve gained from the Yoga Nidra training will be used for years to come, and have a ripple effect that shapes and shifts the lives of everyone, from facilitator to practitioner.

Topics: spirituality, yoga, Meditation, yoga nidra, Healing Modalities

About the Author Mel Rhoden

Coach Mel serves Black, Indigenous and Women of Color, providing the support, resources and tools needed to connect with Soul's purpose. Now a certified Intuitive Guide, Reiki Master, Yoga Nidra Facilitator, Yoga Teacher, Life Purpose Coach, and Happiness Coach, she’s traded in her corporate badge for yoga pants and Oracle cards. You can follow her on Instagram at @yougotcoachmel

Mel Rhoden

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