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Yoga Nidra Helps People Relax

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Apr 29, 2008

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Yoga nidra, the ancient yogic practice of deep relaxation, is growing in popularity as people look for more tools to cope with chronic stress. Yoga nidra may be translated as “yogic sleep” or “sleep of the yogis.” The practitioner of yoga nidra reaches a level of relaxation akin to deep sleep, achieving a consciousness in which there is access to the dream state. In general, a trained teacher facilitates this awareness through guided visualizations.

Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland, is offering a yoga program that includes yoga nidra to help people manage chronic pain and improve their overall quality of life. Classes range in size from six to 20 participants and are offered in 6-week sessions. The practice helps students release negative emotions, particularly those associated with chronic conditions such as arthritis, asthma, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Leading yoga nidra educator Richard C. Miller, PhD, author of Yoga Nidra—The Meditative Heart of Yoga, offers training in this method. Dubbed “Integrative Restoration” or “iRest,” his protocol has been used at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to help active-duty soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia and anxiety.

For more information, see

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© 2008 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at