A body-mind relaxation and meditation technique derived from archaic tantric philosophies, Yoga Nidra is a practice developed largely by Swami Satyananda of the Bihar School of Yoga in the 1970s.
In this article, we want to share with you the best YouTube Yoga Nidra videos so that you can reap the benefits of this stress-relieving technique from wherever you may be, and at your own convenience.
We highly recommend attending an in-person Yoga Nidra if you ever get the chance – it is an incredible experience worth having at least once in your life! Although, we also recognize that going to an in-person event is not accessible or comfortable for everyone.
Learning Yoga Nidra can be beneficial for anyone. Here, we won’t only share some of the best YouTube Yoga Nidra videos that you can access for free, but we will also explore the:
- Origins of Yoga Nidra
- Benefits of Yoga Nidra
- Structure of Yoga Nidra
- Best Yoga Nidra Youtube Videos Under 30 minutes
- Best Yoga Nidra Youtube Videos Over 30 minutes
Origins of Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra is the modern style of yoga that is used nowadays in most studios and spaces across the world. It was founded by Swami Satyananda Saraswati in the 1970s under the umbrella of his yoga school, named Bihar School of Yoga.
Satyananda’s intention in creating this system was to make an ancient series of techniques and practices, described as early as the 3rd century BCE, accessible and applicable to modern life.
In Sanskrit, Yoganidrā is composed of two words, “yoga” and “nidrā ”, meaning yoga (unity) and sleep, so the way in which yoga nidra is often translated in the west is as “yogic sleep” or “the sleep of yoga”.
The first text to mention this word is the Mahābhārata and later on in the Puranas, yet here Yoganidrā is not referenced as a technique but as the God’s and Goddesses’ transcendental sleep.
Benefits of Yoga Nidra
Yoga Nidra is a very deep yet accessible experience for many, and here we will share some of many of the benefits that a regular Yoga Nidra practice can have for your body as well as your mind.
Yoga Nidra, unlike regular sleep, is meant to keep you in a conscious state where you are alert, yet your body and mind are fully relaxed – right in between being asleep and awake.
There are many benefits to the practice of yoga nidra, and here are a few:1. Can help regulate and calm the nervous system
2. Helps balance unconscious body processes
3. Puts the parasympathetic nervous system into a deeper resting state
4. Supports Better Sleep and Sleep Cycles
Structure of Yoga Nidra
Before we share the best Yoga Nidra YouTube videos with you, it is important to learn a bit more about the structure of this practice.
Yoga Nidra is divided in 8 stages, each of them designed to take you deeper into the layers of existence, the Koshas:
1. Settling in
Or also known as the internalization stage, which consists of an initial relaxation to bring you to the present moment.
2. Intention setting stage
The setting of your Sankalpa. Setting an intention gives your practice a sense of direction and purpose, and it can be as vague or as specific as you want at any given time. You’ll be invited to state your Sankalpa three times.
In the upcoming sections of this article, we will share with you a variety of Yoga Nidra YouTube videos with different intentions that will invoke a completely different experience for the participant.
3. Rotation of consciousness
Where you’ll be invited to bring your awareness into each part of your physical body in a specific, successive manner in order to help you relax and remain present.
4. Breath and energetic awareness
Diving a bit deeper into the experience of the subtle body.
5. Experience of opposites
Like bodily sensations; cold and hot, pleasant versus painful, etc. This stage of Yoga Nidra invites you to do this without judgement, simply as an exercise in presence and awareness.
Where the guide will invite you to tap into your imagination and explore different aspects of being through curated imagery and storytelling.
7. Awareness of your Sankalpa
Your intention. Allowing this seed to be planted deep into your subconscious mind, and evolve from there.
Where you’ll be invited to slowly emerge from your Yoga Nidra experience, and back into the tangible world. This process is done slowly, in order to allow space for integration.
Best Yoga Nidra YouTube Videos Under 30 minutes
If you have a little less time available and you’d like to get a Yoga Nidra in, these are the best classes on youtube for under 30 minutes:
1. 10 Minute Yoga Nidra | Full Nervous System Massage with Ally Boothroyd
Ally Boothroyd has an incredible channel filled with excellent Yoga Nidra classes to fit your needs.
It is short and concise and it can help you reset and regulate your nervous system after a stressful day in just a few minutes.
2. 20 minute Relaxing Yoga Nidra with James Reeves
This 20-minute session will invite you to relax and let go.
3. 24-minute Yoga Nidra Guided Meditation with Tibetan Singing Bowls with Anuppanthi
Anuppanthi’s steady guiding voice and sound bowls will accompany you in this sensory experience that will take under 30 minutes.
4. 25-minute Yoga Nidra Sleep Meditation for Nervous System with Biola
Make yourself comfortable and cosy for this short Yoga Nidra practice.
With clear instruction for beginners and experienced Yoga Nidra practitioners alike, this is a great class to relax and enjoy Biola’s beautiful visualization.
5. 30-minute Yoga Nidra for Digestion by Samantha Bijok
Setting a Sankalpa for your practice is an important step, and in this half-hour class, Samantha Bijok will invite you to bring your attention to the digestive system.
Stage 6 of this Nidra (visualization) will focus on this important bodily process that can be affected by our stress and anxiety levels as well as by what you ingest.
Best Yoga Nidra Youtube Videos Over 30 minutes
When you find yourself with a bit more time, consider trying some of the following videos:
1. 31-minute Yoga Nidra for Healing and Relaxation with Yogi Bryan
A TikTok and Instagram star, Yogi Bryan is popular for his no-nonsense meditations, often geared toward a cuss-friendly audience. He also has content that is cuss-free curated in a way that is understandable and accessible to those new to yoga and meditation.
In this 30-minute practice, Yogi Bryan will guide you into a healing journey accompanied by binaural beats.
2. 33 minute Advanced Yoga Nidra Meditation For Restful Sleep & Relaxation with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
This is a practice designed for those who have been practicing yoga nidra for a period of time.
With less detailed guidance for each stage, Gurudev’s class will help you foster better sleep and rest, especially if you choose to come back to this video often.
3. Yoga Nidra Journey Through the Chakras | 35 min with Kristen McCarthy
If you’re interested in aligning or simply bringing your attention to the chakra system, Kirsten McCarthy offers a wonderful Yoga Nidra Youtube class specially designed for this purpose.
4. Waning Moon Yoga Nidra | 40 Minutes for Deep Regenerative Rest with Kristyn Rose
For those who enjoy the lunar cycles as a way to live in better alignment with nature, we highly recommend this class by Kristyn Rose, where you’ll also be invited to practice chandra bedhana, a calming pranayama technique.
5. Yoga Nidra for Grief – Integrative Amrit Method (I AM) with Julie Lemerond
Grief and loss can be hard to navigate on your own. If you’re experiencing these emotions, give the Amrit Yoga Nidra method a try. This longer class with Julie Lemerond sets a Sankalpa to allow all feelings to come and go.
6. 60 minute Yoga Nidra for Sleep – Guided Meditation to Help You Drift into Deep, Restful Sleep with Lizzy Hill
For those suffering from insomnia, this one-hour class can be a great aid.
Lizzy Hill’s voice will guide you through the 8-step process with background music that will help you relax deeper into the practice, and hopefully, fall asleep.
7. 10 Minute Yoga Nidra For Sleep with Sarah Williams
We’ve got to add one of ours to the list!
Just like everything, Yoga Nidra is a practice, and we highly encourage you to seek a trained teacher or guide to accompany you into this personal and transformative process.
We hope that these Yoga Nidra YouTube videos inspire you and help you find more ease and relaxation in your life!
If you’d like to read more about Yoga Nidra to support your sleep, check out this article.