Preparation and Settling In
Begin welcoming yourself into the experience of Yoga Nidra … As you prepare your space for the practice, make your surroundings quiet and comfortable … Be sure to turn off all electronic devices and notifications, just for now.
Let’s start by lying down on a cushioned mat or bed for Yoga Nidra. It is recommended to use a small pillow under your head. Position your head just high enough so the base of your head rests comfortably on the pillow, making sure the nape of the neck keeps its natural curve and follows a natural alignment with the rest of your spine. This way you can keep the right flow of breath and circulation from the head and through the spine.
Another idea is to have a pillow at the back of your thighs to release the lower back and feel more settled in general. Take enough time to make yourself comfortable.
Place your feet about hip width apart, arms to the side, and palms of the hands facing up. If you prefer, you can place your palms facing down.
Yoga Nidra is an experience in deep relaxation while staying fully alert, so try not to fall asleep. Following the directions allows you to gradually go into a state of profound rest while remaining mindful of a process that is effective and at the same time gentle. It’s no big deal if you fall asleep, it just works better if you can hover in between being fully awake and sleeping.
You can close your eyes when you feel ready.
Begin now to breathe naturally through the nose. With generous attention, follow the flow of breath in and out … Not trying to change anything in the way you are breathing, rather letting the breath be just as it is for the next few cycles of breathing, in and out.
Now, become aware of the breath around the rim of the nose, and the sensations that accompany the flow of breath on that area for a few breathing cycles … Be aware of the tingling sensation, the texture, or the temperature of your own breath … You may sense the cooling, dry, refreshing temperature of the inhalation, followed by the warmer, moist qualities of your exhalation for a few more cycles … Anytime you get distracted, bring your attention back to the qualities of your breath.
(Pause about 15 seconds.)
Continue observing a comfortable breath in and out; and with that, allowing yourself to enjoy the moment, here and now, for a few more breathing cycles.
As you continue devoting attention to the way you’re breathing, gradually explore other parts of the body in which you notice breath too; maybe the throat … the chest … the belly.
Where do you feel the breath the most inside the body? … Where do you feel expansion and contraction because of the natural movement of the breath? … Take your time to notice the natural rhythm of breath … and rest your awareness right where it feels most natural to you for a few more breathing cycles.
As you relax more and more in the awareness of natural breathing … it’s now a good time to establish your sankalpa … A sankalpa is a personal resolve, an intention of the highest degree that could bring a positive shift in your life and in the life of others around you. Something you would like to have more and more in your life. A few examples are “I am calm …,” “I am happy …,” “I enjoy life …,” “I love, and I’m loved …,” “I am brave …,” or “I’m creative.”
Take a moment to come up with one of your own, a short, positive statement in the present tense … Simply observe the word or words that come naturally to you as you create your personal resolve.
Once you create your sankalpa, repeat it a few times silently, positively and in the present tense. You can add yours to the sentence stem, “I am …” Dedicate your Nidra meditation practice to that purpose. Let your sankalpa echo through your whole self … and let it go, knowing that results are always according to the highest good of all.
Remember, this experience is one of deep relaxation while your mind remains alert. It is not time to sleep, rather a time to be aware as you are relaxing and breathing comfortably.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation with Movements
Continue settling the body more and more. Be aware of the points of contact your back is making on the surface that supports it … Rely on that support … feeling free at any time to rearrange your position or props if need be.
Let’s continue releasing tensions from the body. We can let go of deep buried tensions in the physical body, layer by layer … Please bring your direct attention to the different body regions as they are mentioned.
Starting with attention to your right foot, point and flex your right foot back and forth, activating all the toes, the ankle, lower leg, right knee, higher leg, and hip … and rest … Now slowly lift the whole right leg up a few inches. Hold the engagement for a few seconds, and as you exhale, let it go … Bringing attention now to your left foot. Point and flex your left foot, activating all the toes, the ankle, lower leg, left knee, higher leg, and hip … and rest … Now slowly lift the whole leg up just a few inches. Hold the engagement for a few seconds, and as you exhale, let it go … This time lift both legs at the same time from hip to toes … and let go.
Bringing attention to your right hand, make a fist … Next, uncurl your fingers and stretch them out, activating all fingers, wrist, lower arm, elbow, upper arm, and right shoulder, engaging the whole arm … and rest … Lift it up in the air a few inches. Hold it up for just a few seconds … and as you exhale, let go …
Bringing attention to your left hand, make a fist … Next, uncurl your fingers and stretch them out, activating all the fingers, the wrist, lower arm, elbow, upper arm, and left shoulder, engaging the whole arm … rest … Lift it up a few inches, just for a few seconds, and as you exhale, let go … Make a fist with both hands, lifting both arms at the same time now, engaging from the shoulder to fingers … and let go.
Lifting the hips up now by pressing the legs back down, lifting only the hips, and let go … Allow the chest to rise by pressing down the hips and letting the head stay down. Lifting the chest up just a few inches … and let go.
Bringing attention now to your lips, lift them toward your nose, like you are about to kiss your own nose, shrugging eyes, engaging all face muscles, and let go … Stick the tongue out and at the same time breathe out “Ahhh …” Now, moving your jaw side to side, up and down, and let go.
Turning your head side-to-side … try inhaling as you center your head and exhale turning your head to one side … Inhale with moving the head to the center and exhale turning your head slowly to the other side … repeating this a few more times at your own pace.
Returning your head to center, making sure now that you align the jaw with the center of the chest, and relax … How does your neck and shoulders feel now? … Noticing without judgement.
Expand your attention to the whole body, exploring how your body feels in general, head to toes … you’re fully aware of your body lying down, more at ease … your whole body is more relaxed.
(Pause about 15 seconds.)
If you would like to experience relaxation at a deeper level, begin once again to pay attention to your natural breath. This time noticing the flow of breath around the belly … observing the spontaneous rising and falling movement of the abdomen. Observing the softness of breath along with the gentle movement that it creates in the belly for several breathing cycles.
You may silently say, “I’m breathing in” as the belly rises while inhaling, and then you can say, “I’m breathing out” with the outbreath as the belly goes down for several cycles.
After a few times you might prefer a shorter silent statement by only saying, “In” and “Out.” Following the natural rhythm of the breath a few more times … belly going up, say “In …,” belly going down, say “Out.”
Remember to return your focus to your breath each time you catch your attention wandering off.
(Pause about 1 minute.)
When ready, let go of the words and take your time to enjoy the effects overall, aware of yourself in a restful moment.
Golden Light Guided Imagery
You may continue breathing like this on your own a while longer. If you would like, however, you can choose to relax further. Either imagine, feel, or sense that each breath generates a golden light or a golden liquid or substance that gathers and pools in your abdomen.
Be aware of its texture or hue as it presents itself to you … And if you experience a different color than gold, go with what comes naturally to you. Each breath, creating a light, liquid, or substance.
This is the essence of vital force. It has the potential of self-balancing, it can help you to further release tightness in the body, soothe away any ache, and dissolve mental stress … It can also replace anything negative that depletes your energy with positive energy, exchanging it into newfound energy so you can replenish and recharge your battery.
Let’s continue observing the vital energy filling up and pooling around your abdomen … One breath at a time … let it grow in size and radiance … Notice perhaps a warm sensation around the belly … The subtle substance gathers until it begins to overflow in a downward direction … Be aware of your waist and hips … completely bathed in this light … then the higher legs, knees, lower legs, ankles, feet, and all toes bathed in vital substance … feeling its soothing effects smoothing out any muscular tension, and balancing everything on its path.
Noticing your lower body, from belly down, completely illuminated within … You may observe the contrast between the lower body and higher body. Any specific differences? … Avoiding any judgements, simply recognizing the contrasts, but letting go of any labels, for example: labels of good and bad or comfortable and uncomfortable.
Instead practicing neutrality … just paying neutral attention.
(Pause about a minute.)
Remember you can rearrange your position or open and close your eyes again at any time, as long as you are being present to your experience in Yoga Nidra.
Now once again, gently return your attention to the energy gathered in your belly … and let it grow in size and radiance … As you breathe comfortably, allow the pool in your belly to overflow, but this time moving in an upward direction, traveling to your chest, shoulders, streaming down the arms to the hands and all fingers.
Next, notice the pool in your belly overflowing as the golden substance travels around your waist, to cover your entire back, from lower back to higher back …
Your whole torso, now receiving golden vital essence that not only helps dissolve muscular tensions but also bathes all vital organs, including lungs, heart, and stomach … Deep within the core of you, enveloped by this soothing golden substance … watch it illuminate you … as you receive, you repair and replenish in every way.
(Pause about a minute.)
You may now give yourself the opportunity to experience the golden essence around your throat and neck … and your whole face … the sides of the head, the back of the head, and the top … your entire head.
Bringing your awareness now to how your brain also receives, until you can sense every part of your skull and brain lighting up by the golden substance … all brain functions, receiving and balancing on all levels.
Give yourself permission now to rest, allowing the effects of the practice so far to take place, fully aware of your experience in the present moment … Enjoy an all-embracing view of your body illuminated, recharging, at ease, resting in the awareness of restoration and peace.
(Pause about 1 minute.)
This experience in complete tranquility can tune you in on a feeling level too. If you like, pay attention to any emotions or feelings that may arise as a result of this practice … noticing your current feeling state, right at this moment … observing with subtle curiosity, without judging anything of which you become aware.
If you wish, you may again use the golden light or substance to help you clear away any challenging emotions by sensing or imagining yourself enveloped and protected by the golden light.
Perhaps picturing a golden blanket wrapping you up and tucking you in … into comfort and loving awareness, allowing and welcoming the healing blanket to surround anywhere: the physical body, the emotional or mental state. This is your practice. You’re in charge of your experience at all times.
(Pause about 1 minute.)
Your consciousness is supported by complete inner stillness … It’s happening in the here and now … And in this state of profound relaxation you can access infinite, innate resources, intuitive awareness, and creativity.
Enjoy this quiet space and bring to mind your sankalpa, your personal statement. It carries its own positive and creative vibration. You may repeat your personal statement again a few times … Let this be felt throughout your whole being … And after a while, let it go … Feel or sense that your entire self becomes the quality you have promoted.
You may bring to mind a symbol, image or object that represents that quality, your sankalpa. For example, if you are generating the vibration of happiness, you can use an image of a smile or the memory of a moment in which you lived in pure happiness.
Another example is if you are affirming the vibration of courage or confidence, you can bring up an image or symbol that reminds you of being a superhero.
Give yourself a moment to come up with your own representation. Let it come from your heart and highest wisdom, trusting the accuracy of your own impression.
(Pause about a minute.)
You can safely store this quality right inside your heart where it’s always readily accessible.
Once you return to your daily activities, be aware that you have generated and harnessed positive qualities that will continue serving you as inspiration and guidance throughout the day, and that you are a channel of those qualities as you interact with others, the world, and your everyday life.
Reawakening and Closing
You may begin now bringing your attention back to your breath around the nose or your belly, noticing how you feel in general … and inviting yourself to be more alert to your surroundings … in the room … outside the room … letting external sounds arrive and subside as you invite yourself back gradually … letting your body move, wiggling toes and fingers … stretching spontaneously as it comes.
Letting light filter into your eyes through your eyelids, little by little.
(Pause about 1 minute.)
When you’re ready, roll to one side and stay on your side for a few breaths, enjoying this nurturing position, aware of how you feel for a few more breaths.
Welcome yourself to come back to sitting by pressing your hands down to comfortably come into a full seated position with a tall back. Allow the way you are seated to feel natural and stay mindful of your breath.
Remember as you return to living your life at home, in school, and during extracurricular activities, you can check in with your breath once in a while.
This will help you to stay mindful and to take charge of your day on a positive note.
Open your eyes, look around, and notice how you’re feeling.
Peace, peace, peace. (Shanti.)
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This script has been crafted with love and formatted in a clear, organized layout, making it easy to read aloud for individuals or groups. It is suitable for personal and professional use, including YouTube videos and monetization, and for voiceover recordings.
Use this script to lead your own Yoga Nidra meditation, edit or alter the script to suit your needs, use it in courses you create and sell, or use it privately with your clients.
- Digital Download
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Frequently Asked Questions
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just dipping your toes into the world of guided meditation, visualization, yoga nidra, or hypnosis, we’ve got you covered. Our scripts are designed to meet your specific needs and are perfect for a wide range of professions, including meditation teachers, yoga instructors, coaches, therapists, mental health professionals, psychologists, hypnotherapists, voiceover artists, content creators, podcasters, writers, athletes, app developers, and bloggers.
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