Preparation and Settling In
The intent of this meditation is not to “try to relax.” Rather, the intent is to simply observe and welcome sensations in the body and breath with a curious and friendly attitude. When we “try to relax,” the goal of controlling our experience can actually create more tension. So, this exercise is an experiment in not trying to change anything, but rather witnessing and feeling what is happening moment-to-moment in the body with as much curiosity and friendliness toward yourself as possible.
Let’s gather some “before” data first. Right now, if you were to rate your anxiety level on a scale of 0 to 10, with 0 being low and 10 being high, what would it be? … Right now, if you were to rate your level of physical discomfort or pain, on a scale of 0 to 10, what would it be? …
We’ll check again on these scales when we complete the practice to see how it affected you.
Remember, we are not trying to relax or change anything. We are not looking for a particular outcome, just gathering data in an experiment. If something I ask you during this meditation isn’t noticeable to you or just doesn’t make sense, just ignore it and wait for the next instruction.
Remember that at any time you feel like stopping this for any reason, you can. You are in charge.
I will be inviting you to notice different things, primarily feelings in the body. Whenever your attention wanders off from where I’m pointing you, don’t worry. Simply and gently reorient back to the things I’m suggesting. If your body falls asleep, that’s okay. If it doesn’t, that’s okay too. If you hear every word, fine. If you hear almost nothing, that’s fine too. You really can’t do this wrong. When practicing Yoga Nidra, less strain equals more gain.
Go ahead and get comfortable in your chair or on the floor. Allow yourself to be supported by the surface beneath you. I invite you to close your eyes, or you may keep them open if that is more comfortable.
Let’s start by just breathing deeply and turning your awareness inward …
Feel the sensation of your breath as it passes in and out through your nose.
Checking in with yourself about why you are doing this practice … Is it curiosity? Wanting to feel better? Some rest? What is your honest reason or intention for practicing today? Notice that intention, whatever it is.
And now paying attention to your heart with an easy focus … inviting in clarity about what you care about most … What is your deepest heartfelt longing or desire? … What is more important to you than all else? … What quality or value is most important? … What is your heartfelt mission in this life? … Letting this come to you … feeling yourself as a living expression, right now, of this that you are most devoted to … feeling it in your body now.
(Pause 20 seconds.)
And inviting in your inner resource … Your inner resource is a scene or a memory in which you felt comfortable and at ease being just as you are … could be a moment in childhood, or time spent with a friend, or pet, or a family member you love or loved, and who loved you … Could be a place in nature you love to be … or it could be an experience, doesn’t need to be anything peak or profound.
Just a moment when you felt okay or a sense of well-being. Like in that moment, you were in harmony with life.
It’s also normal if nothing came to you, no idea of an inner resource today. That happens to many folks for the first time or two. Just be open, don’t worry about it, and something will show up as something good to relive. And you may also have more than one inner resource. It may change from time to time.
Now relive this moment, if one has come to you, and experience its visual aspects: the light, colors, shapes … let this all come to you, what it looks like in this scene … then the sounds that are a part of it, let them come to you as if they are happening right now … and the tastes and smells that are a part of it, experiencing them now … and the way this moment, living this experience, feels in your body … in your legs and feet … in your belly … in your chest … around your heart … in your arms and hands … feeling the experience of this comfort and ease, this experience of nothing to prove, nothing else needed to be just right.
You can come back to this inner resource any time during the practice.
You can ignore my words and come back to it anytime. I’ll be inviting it back in several times as well. It’s always there for you, this inner resource.
Welcoming Body Sensations with Witnessing
Now we will take a journey through your physical body. I’ll name one part of the body at a time. Just let your attention softly focus there and feel into it. If you want, you can wiggle the different parts of the body as they are called out. This may help you sense that part more easily and help you remain focused throughout the exercise. Do what feels right in your body for this exercise … not trying to change what you notice, just feel what is happening there already. No way to do it wrong.
Feel the soles of the feet … left … and then right … feeling both feet … observing the sensation of your feet resting on the surface beneath you.
Now sense the lower legs … the knees … the thighs, left and right … Feel just the left leg, foot, and toes … Now, just the right leg, foot, and toes … Now both legs, feet, and toes …
Now feel the torso … Notice sensation in your belly … Notice sensation in your back … Feel your lower back … mid-back … and upper back.
Bring your attention to the sensation in your left thumb … Feel the sensation in the rest of your fingers on your left hand … notice the sensation in your left palm … now the whole left hand …
Bring your attention to the sensation in your right thumb … Feel the sensation in the rest of your fingers on your right hand … notice the sensation in your right
palm … feel the whole right hand …
Turn your awareness to both hands, sensing both hands at the same time … Now both arms, sensing left and right at the same time … Now your arms, hands, and fingers simultaneously.
Now noticing your head … Feel any sensations in the mouth … feel the teeth … the gums … the left inner cheek … the right inner cheek … in and around the tongue … sensations in the entire mouth … Sensation in the left ear … right ear … inner and outer ears … Sensations in and around the left eye … the right eye … all the sensations in and around both eyes …
Sensing the nostrils, left and right … the bridge of the nose and the entire nose … Sensing the skin on your face … Can you feel any movement of air across your face? … Feeling the sensations of the entire head.
And accessing the inner resource once again … inviting that “in your body” feeling of security and comfort and ease.
And now dropping back into awareness and sensing the whole body … feel the whole body as alive sensations, the whole body … observing any places in your body that are particularly noticeable. Feeling all the changing sensations in the body … noticing how all the sensations are always moving and changing.
And now orienting attention to the part of you that has been noticing all this … feeling into aware Presence itself that’s always in the background …
letting that noticing presence come gently into the foreground and sensing
into it … What does it feel like being aware?
Now turning attention to your breath by noticing that your body is breathing … If you can, breathe through your nose, if not, your mouth is fine too. Feel the breath coming in and leaving the body, not thinking about it, just simply notice that your body is already breathing and notice how that feels right now.
Noticing the feeling of the inside of your nostrils or mouth as the breath goes in and out … As the breath goes in and out, it creates sensation in the inside of the nostrils or mouth. Without straining, see if you can feel that sensation, whatever it is.
Deepening Breath Sensing
Now focusing especially on the outbreath, the exhale … How does that feel inside the nostrils or mouth? … Now focusing especially on the inbreath, the inhale … How does that feel inside the nostrils or mouth?
Do you notice any difference in the sensation of the inhale and the exhale? … Not trying to make something happen, just noticing what is already happening right this moment.
Now noticing the feeling of the breath as it passes through the back of the throat … How does that feel right now? … Now noticing the movement of the chest as you breathe … even if it’s subtle, can you sense some movement in the chest or side ribs?
No need to find words, just noticing the sensations as they come and go. Curious about the rhythm of the breath … Is it even and predictable? … Uneven? … Slow? … Fast?
Now noticing the length of the inhale compared to the length of the exhale … Is the inhale longer, the same length, or shorter than the exhale? … However it is happening is just fine.
Now noticing the movement of the abdomen as you breathe … If you can’t feel any movement of the abdomen, that is normal, but if you do, what does it feel like in this moment?
Breath Counting with Witnessing
Now counting the breaths. Counting exhales only. Starting at six and counting back to zero. At zero, go back to six, counting again back to zero.
One count for each exhalation. Here’s how: on the next exhalation, count six, inhale naturally, then exhale, count five, and so on. If there’s a mistake, or forgetting, just go back to six and keep counting exhales at the abdomen …
Attention gently at the abdomen as the body inhales and exhales and there is counting backward.
(Leave about two to three minutes of counting breaths with reminders of “just counting and breathing” every 20–30 seconds.)
And letting the counting go … continuing to feel the breath coming and going. And bringing in the feeling of the inner resource … accessing the feeling in the body of comfort and ease … throughout the body.
And noticing how all the sensations of breath keep changing on their own … coming and going … easy and slow sensations coming and going.
And now orienting attention to the part of you that has been noticing all this … feeling into aware Presence itself, always in the background … letting that noticing Presence come gently into the foreground and sensing into it. What does it feel like being aware?
Welcoming and Witnessing Emotions, Feelings, Thoughts, and Beliefs
And noticing any sensations of coolness in the body. Scanning the body and noticing the places that already feel a bit cool relative to the rest of the body … And noticing places in the body that feel warmer … Tuning in to warm sensations with a friendly curiosity … and sensing the coolness … and the warmth … And now opening up into sensing the warmth and coolness simultaneously. Feeling both at the same time. The mind cannot do this.
Dropping back into the part of you feeling both, feeling both … and noticing how this feels, noticing anything that has changed or shifted. And noticing if any emotions, thoughts, or beliefs are present right now …pleasant or unpleasant, it doesn’t matter … Sensing into whether an emotion, thought, or belief, or even an image is arising. Noticing that … nothing to change. Nothing to do. Witnessing whatever is happening without necessarily engaging. What would it feel like to allow everything to be as it is?
And if there is something arising, where do you notice its sensation in the body? … Not having to engage with it, just sensing into where it shows up in the body … Just noticing its presence or absence and the feeling in the body.
And accessing the inner resource at any time it feels right … feeling it in the body. Inviting in any existing quality of well-being or feeling okay or comfort in this moment. No need to create or force anything … just seeing if this good feeling might be already present in this moment and noticing how it feels in the body.
(Pause 1 minute.)
Welcoming Underlying Well-Being or Whatever is Present
And welcoming whatever is arising. No way to feel it wrongly or do it wrongly. Just allowing everything to unfold on its own.
And now noticing the feeling of being aware once again … dropping back into the experience of being awareness itself … letting thinking and analyzing go and just feeling back into that part of you that is always awake and aware and welcoming life as it happens … Feeling the experience in this moment of being aware itself … just aware presence … nothing to do or make happen … just the feeling of being.
Setting your body sensations free to be as they are … setting your mind and thoughts to be as they are … your emotions free to come and go … and resting in this open, spacious sense of being that never changes.
(Pause 30–60 seconds.)
And accessing your inner resource whenever and if ever that feels right.
Heartfelt Desire, Intentions, and Closing
And noticing this journey you’ve been on through the feeling of being … the experience of noticing well-being, exploring thoughts, emotions, images, and beliefs as things that come and go in your awareness … breathing … and the physicality of the body … the firm, dense heaviness of the body on the floor or in the chair … Noting your inner resource and your heartfelt desire and the intention you had for this practice.
And imagining yourself going back into your day or evening taking with you this sense of Being and well-being … always there … responding to life in the moment … in harmony with yourself and life … how that feels … perhaps an action you want to take or something that needs to be said or not said … just noticing.
And feeling the body again, perhaps a heavy sensation … starting to transition … noticing the breath and starting to breathe more deeply in the next few minutes … Perhaps wiggling fingers and toes … and taking your time to transition for the next couple of minutes.
Stretching in ways that feel natural.
(Pause 2–3 minutes or longer.)
And if you’re lying down, roll over to your side when you’re ready … and eventually using your arms for support to come up to sitting.
(Pause 2–3 minutes for sitting.)
Right now, if you were to rate your anxiety level on a scale of 0 to 10, what would it be? … Right now, if you were to rate your level of physical discomfort or pain on a scale of 0 to 10, what would it be?
Slowly opening your eyes when you’re ready. Thank you for your willingness and your openness to participate.
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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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After you finish downloading, head to the ZIP file on your computer. Simply right-click (or control-click for Mac users) on the file. A menu should appear with options like Extract, Extract All, or Unzip. If none of these options are visible, consider downloading a free program that can unpack ZIP files. Choose one of the menu options, and follow the instructions that appear. This should create a new folder containing the contents of the ZIP file. Easy peasy!