Yoga Nidra Script For Deep Rest And Relaxation

Yoga Nidra scripts are helpful tools for yoga teachers as well as students. Scripts provide a systematic dialogue that can be used by a yoga teacher working with students or recorded by a practitioner for personal use.

This Yoga Nidra script is intended for those seeking deep rest and relaxation.  It can be practiced at any time of day but will be particularly helpful for those looking for a restful night’s sleep.

This Yoga Nidra Script takes around 20-25 minutes to read through.

a woman lying down and meditating with a yoga nidra script playing through her headphones

Setting up – Comfort is important

The practice is similar to a guided meditation but it is done in a comfortable supine position so be sure that you or your students are set up for rest!  I recommend setting up in savāsana and making sure that:

  • The room is quiet
  • The surface you are lying on is firm but comfortable such as a yoga mat with a blanket covering
  • There is something under the backs of the knees such as a bolster or rolled blanket to ease the lower back
  • A folded blanket for the head is used for comfort and to ensure the chin is lower than the forehead
  • A blanket for warmth is on hand
  • A light covering for the eyes such as a washcloth is available
a woman doing yoga nidra on the floor of her living room covered in a blanket

Yoga Nidra script for Deep Rest

* If you have any mental or physical health concerns check with an experienced teacher before practicing.

= short pause
LP = long pause

Settling

High expectations for comfort are important for the practice.  Spend the next few moments ensuring that you are as comfortable as possible.  Make any small adjustments that will help to settle your body.  You may move at any point within the practice if you are uncomfortable but ideally, Yoga Nidra is practiced in stillness. LP (30 seconds – one minute)

Make yourself aware of the room that you are in and imagine where you are positioned within it…

Are there any sounds outside of the room?…  Can you hear them as pure sound without attaching a story or narrative to them?…

Are there any sounds inside the room you are in?  Can you hear them as pure sound without attaching a story or narrative to them?…

Let sounds fall into the background of your awareness…

four people doing yoga nidra on yoga mats on sand

Begin to take five or six easeful breaths focusing on your exhale.  Allow each exhalation to ground your body.  Commit your weight to the support beneath you as though tension is falling through your body and into the ground underneath you….

Make an intention for your body to rest.

Make an intention for your body to rest deeply…

Bring your awareness to the hinge of your jaw and let it slack a little.  Let the root of your tongue soften and widen in your mouth.  Let your attention wander to the back of your eyes imagining a spaciousness deep in the sockets…

If your mind is busy, try to move your focus from the front of your brain behind the forehead to the back of the brain.  Imagine thoughts and worries dropping back towards the ground…

Let the back of your throat relax and widen and your shoulder blades surrender to the support underneath you…  Let your lungs and organs rest in the back of the body…  Softening deeper with each exhale.  Softening deeper with each exhale…

Visualize the muscles of your arms softening away from the bones.  Visualize your skin softening away from the muscles…

Imagine your whole body settling into rest…

Imagine your whole body surrendering to rest…

Visualize your whole body resting deeply…

Permission to rest deeply…

a woman doing yoga nidra lying on a yoga mat with incence

Rotation of Consciousness

Move through the dialogue slowly giving the student time to move their awareness.

As you are guided to various points throughout your body there is nothing to do except settle your attention on each body part with an intention to rest.  You may even use the word rest silently on each part of your body to help you relax.

Bring your awareness to the space in between your eyebrows. Rest. The center of your throat. Rest.

Make an intention for your right shoulder to rest and let your attention run down your upper arm to your right elbow, down your forearm, and into the right wrist, tip of right thumb, the tip of the right index finger, tip of right middle finger, tip of right ring finger, tip of right little finger, let the whole hand rest…  Attention in the right wrist, right elbow, right shoulder, let the whole right arm rest…

Move your attention to your throat. Commit to rest. Awareness in the left shoulder, let your attention run down the upper arm to the left elbow, left wrist, tip of the left thumb, tip of the left index finger, tip of the left middle finger, tip of the left ring finger, tip of the left little finger, let the whole hand rest… Left wrist, left elbow, left shoulder, let the whole left arm rest…

Bring your attention back to the throat. Rest. The center of the chest. The right side of the chest. Center of the chest. The left side of the chest. The navel. The space in between the pubic bones. Let the whole abdomen and torso rest.

a woman doing yoga nidra wearing an eye pillow

Centre of the right hip, let your attention run down the thigh to the right knee, through the shin to the right ankle, tip of the right big toe, tip of the right second toe, tip of the right middle toe, tip of the right fourth toe, tip of the right little toe, right ankle, right knee, deep in the right hip, let the whole right leg rest.

Space in between the pubic bones. The center of the left hip, let your attention run down the thigh to the left knee, through the shin to the left ankle, tip of the left big toe, tip of the left second toe, tip of the left middle toe, tip of the left fourth toe, tip of the left little toe, left ankle, left knee, deep in the left hip, let the whole left leg rest.

Space in between the pubic bones, attention rising to the navel, let the whole abdomen rest, center of the chest, let the walls of the throat relax, space in between the eyebrows. Let your attention rest in between your eyebrows…

Let your whole body rest.  

Your whole body rests.

'rest' written in the sand at the beach

Breath awareness

Without changing anything witness the rhythm of your breath. LP (30 seconds)

Rest in the changing sensations of inhalation versus exhalation.

Rest in the changing sensations of your breath…

As you move into a mental version of alternate nostril breathing the body will remain still and the breath easy.  No force, no strain…

Begin to visualize the breath moving in through the right nostril and out through the left nostril.  In through the left and out through the right.  Allow the breath to be as easy and as soothing as possible. 

Imagine that the breath moves in from below the nostril and travels all the way up past the center of the eyebrows and into the middle of your brain.  Watch the breath fall exhaling from the center of your brain all the way beyond the tip of the nostril.  See the breath move from nostril to the brain, brain to nostril with ease.

Add counting to the breath.  Count from 21 to 0.  If you lose count or finish, come back to twenty-one.  Your next inhale through the right nostril will be “inhale right 21, exhale left 21” followed by “inhale left 20, exhale right 20”.  Continue this silent count for the next few moments.  No strain.  No force.  Easy breathing.

If you get lost begin again at 21.

LP (one to 2 minutes)

Let all counting fall away.

Let all effort dissolve into deep rest.

a lotus flower in the water

Exploring Dualities

Bring your attention to the front of your body.  From your face all the way through your chest and torso to your legs and feet….  Let your whole front body rest into the back of your body.  Let there be a feeling of weight in your body as your front body settles back.  Rests.  Front body rests into back body…

Imagine how it would feel for your whole body to feel weighty as though you have let yourself sink into the support of the ground. Let your whole body explore a restful, deep heaviness.  Sinking into deep rest…

Now imagine your back body floating up into your front body. Whole body light, spacious, effortless.  Let your whole body feel light as though you are resting weightlessly…

Let yourself wander between these two opposites. There is no rush. Feel the body heavy… Feel the body light… Feel the body heavy… Feel the body light… Continue on your own. LP (thirty seconds)

How might you feel all the sensations of weight and heaviness at the same time? Can you feel these opposites at the same time?… Trying to merge the sensations of heavy and light within your whole being. LP (30 seconds)

Can you rest deeply in between the two? Neither heavy nor light. The essence of both without striving or grasping. Simply resting deeply in between the two. Heavy and light.

A sense of deep, deep rest in your body…

A sense of deep, deep rest in your mind…

A sense of deep, deep rest in your whole being…  Unchanging…  Restful…  Whole…

Let your whole body rest…. Resting in the unchanging nature of your whole self. LP (30 seconds – 1 minute)

a reflection of the sunset sky on the water

Return

Is there anything about this practice and inquiry that you would like to remember?  A thought?  A feeling?  A sensation?  A memory? A sense of deep rest? No judgment if there is nothing.  Meet all of your experience as it is in this moment… 

Notice how your body feels against the ground. The weight of your muscles and bones.  Notice which parts of you are touching the ground. The head, the shoulder blades and ribs, the back of the pelvis, the flesh of your upper and lower legs, and your heels.

Feel your breath move your body. Notice the natural easy rhythm of your breath.  As you take a deeper, richer breath how does that breath feel as sensation in your body?…  How does the inhale feel in comparison to the exhale?…

Remember where you are in the room.  Feel free to lazily open your eyes if that is helpful and then let the eyes fall closed again…

Begin to move your body.  Wiggle your fingers and toes…  Stretch your arms and legs…  Make any movements that will gently help to bring your body back into a wakeful state.  LP (1 minute)

Gently roll to your side…  Let the eyes open softly so that you can take in some light and color. Shape and form…

Keeping your head very heavy use your top arm to help you come to sit.  Any comfortable seated position…

Bring your hands to your body or to prayer.  Take a moment to close this Yoga Nidra practice in your own way or return to any feelings or sensations of deep rest.

Gently open your eyes and take plenty of time to move back into your day.

Want to find out more about yoga Nidra?

If you’re looking to find out more about the different styles and teachers of Yoga Nidra then check out:

Photo of author
Sarah is a Brighton-based yoga teacher and teacher trainer with a passion for teaching self-inquiry and rest.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.