I LOVE yoga nidra. Years ago I was first introduced to this amazing restorative practice during a local yoga nidra afternoon workshop. From that first experience, each time I practice it feels more and more as if I am coming home to myself. The gift of taking time to soften, relax and listen is deeply healing.
Yoga nidra is fabulous for teens and tweens. The practice of yogic sleeping is both meditative and therapeutic. Different from the unconscious sleep of night time, yoga nidra cultivates relaxed awareness of body, breath, and mind encouraging all to surrender, to compassionately be here now without judgement.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra
- Available to Everyone: Everyone can practice yoga nidra. No special skills, attitudes or abilities are prerequisite.
- Can’t be Done Incorrectly: Anyway you do nidra it is a success. Some people fall asleep, some are wide awake the entire time, some drift in and out of awareness. What matters is that you surrender to the practice and let it be whatever it is, trusting that it is what you need in the moment.
- Simple way to Reduce Stress: Yoga nidra requires no special equipment. It’s beauty is in its simplicity. Practice it once and you’ll notice its profoundly relaxing impact.
- Balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems: The quiet, calm produced by stillness in the body and attention to various states of awareness is deeply soothing and healing to body and mind.
- Builds patience and self control: The invitation to remain still and observe during yoga nidra fosters tolerance and equanimity.
- Connect with Yourself: Probably one of the greatest benefits is a greater understanding of yourself, your goals, your inner being. This provides important insight, sensitivity and receptiveness for teens as they navigate the often difficult years of junior and senior high school.
The 8 steps to a Complete Yoga Nidra
- Body Scan
- Breath and Pranayama Awareness
- Feelings and Sensations Perception
- Images, Visualization and Journey
- Repeat Resolve/Sankalpa
Tips for Practicing Yoga Nidra with Teens
- Keep it short: while adult practices can range from 15-60 minutes, yoga nidra for tweens and teens is best kept abbreviated. Five to 15 minute practices are perfect. The younger the participants the shorter the practice.
- Keep it simple: Keep your language approachable and simple. Use easy to understand terms. Work in broad generalities. Adult yoga nidra can sometimes become extremely detailed. The younger the participants the more general the terms. For example during the body scan focus on a general overview of the body.
- Repeat, Repeat, Repeat: We thrive on repetition. It provides routine and a touchstone in a often confusing world. Feel free to use the same script every time, repeat the same words/phrases (Deepen the breath, relax the body, calm the mind), or at least do one part of it the same way during every practice.
- Allow a variety of positions: Invite participants to find a comfortable position where they can remain still for the duration of the practice. This may be lying on their backs, sides, stomachs or seated against a wall. The goal is comfort and that may look different for different individuals.
- Use Background Music: Soothing, ambient music without words is lovely to have playing in the background. You can find lots of playlist for massage, reiki, relaxation and more on your favorite music source.
Click on the button below to download a Yoga Nidra script. Please feel free to modify to find your own words, expression, and adaptations for your students and loved ones.
Find more Yoga Nidra resources on our Yoga Nidra Pinterest Board
Some teens testimonials about their yoga nidra practice