Yoga nidra doesn't mean tying yourself up in knots. Generally, it refers to the bit at the end of yoga class where you get under a blanket and relax.
I haven't done yoga for years. I've never been flexible, and got fed up being the only man in the class. It's the same with pilates and all these trendy classes with trademarked names like Bodyflop, Bodypunish and Bodyruin. The rule is one man per class. Well, it ain't me. Not any more. I suppose real men are doing Thai Headkicking or Zen Violence. Nearest I get to that is Tongue Fu, the art of talking my way out of tricky situations.
In the first yoga classes I attended, we did something approaching nidra. The lights were dimmed, a candle was lit and we all got under blankets (individually, alas) and went through this relaxation thing. It was brief but pleasant.
However, it wasn't until another class years later that I experienced the wonderful feeling of being half-way between sleep and wakefulness, as nidra is meant to be. It's so relaxing and lovely.
There isn't much to it, but it's best if someone (even on a tape or an app) talks you through it. You lie down, get comfy, take some long, slow, deep breaths, focus on your tummy for a bit, then just let it all go. Next, you relax all your body parts individually, first down one half of the body then, if you have one, the other half.
Then some more deep breathing and, before you know it, you're away, suspended somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness. Sometimes you doze off, but no worries. Even that's deep, brief and pleasant.
These days, I use a mobile phone app just for nidra without the yoga. It's a couple of quid for a little bit of bliss.
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