• Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra

  • Sandy Fowler is passionate about helping busy women and families reduce stress and anxiety. One of the best tools she's found for doing this is Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra meditation. This is a simple practice which only requires that we lie down and listen. Anyone can do it and there is no way to do it wrong.

    Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra meditation has the power to relax, heal, connect, balance, and transform us. This simple practice allows us to reach deep within, rejuvenating and relaxing deeply. It can be done lying down or in a chair. Participants merely need to be in a comfortable, relaxed position. Sandy is a certified guide who will lead you or your group through Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra or a Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra workshop.

  • "Sandy's warmth, clarity, and presence were so helpful to me as she led me through Yoga Nidra practice. She embodied ease and non-judgment, which allowed me the freedom to feel a full range of emotions in the meditation. She was a supportive and caring guide."  Christine H.

    "Thanks to her calm, steady voice and her soothing presence, Sandy provided a truly enjoyable guided meditation. I emerged both refreshed and relaxed with a deep sense of peace."  Anne

    "The rhythm and cadence was comforting."  Emma

     "Ahhhh, peace."  Debbie

    "That was amazing!"  Katherine

     

  • What Is Yoga Nidra

    Yoga Nidra is a proven remedy for modern day stress. The name translates as 'the sleep of the yogi' but that's a bit of a misnomer as it leads practitioners into a deep rest that has us poised at the edge of sleep while the mind stays inwardly alert. It has been described as dynamic sleep where our bodies are led to a deeply relaxed state and the brain moves through beta states, allowing for relaxation and healing.

    This simple practice creates deep psychological and physical relaxation, while mental functions stay functional and alert. It triggers the body's relaxation response. The relaxation response balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and balances the left and right brain. It takes you out of fight-flight-freeze and allows the body to function in a stress-free state. This promotes healing at deep levels. 

    Divine Sleep® Yoga Nidra uses body sensing, breath awareness, guided imagery and other practices to lead you through the levels of being--physical body, energy-breath body, mental-emotional body, intuitive-witness body and the bliss body. These are our koshas and tending to all of them leaves us feeling connected to our whole self.

    All we need to do to experience this peace, relaxation, healing, and connection is lie back and listen. 

  • Benefits of Yoga Nidra

    Yoga Nidra moves our bodies and brains into the same modes as deep sleep, while still being awake. This allows our bodies to function as they do during those sleep cycles, repairing and restoring on many levels. The repair and restoration can impact and improve many issues we experience that impact our physical and mental health. Some of the ways Yoga Nidra can help are:

    • improve blood pressure
    • better heart rate variables
    • regulate hormone irregularities in women
    • fewer fluctuations in blood glucose of type-2 diabetics
    • lower stress
    • reduce anxiety
    • strengthen immune system
    • increase blood flow to the heart
    • relieve pain
    • balance and strengthen the endocrine system

    Yoga Nidra balances the autonomic nervous system which allows relief for a host of issues ranging from stress and anxiety to PTSD.

  • Who's Using Yoga Nidra

    Yoga Nidra is a simple, accessible program which can be done in a variety of settings. This, paired with participants' results, are fueling a growing trend. Yoga Nidra is being used in a wide variety of venues by many organizations such as: military bases, veterans' clinics, hospitals, hospices, chemical dependency centers, homeless shelters, Montessori schools, Head Start programs, and jails. Additionally, the practice is being researched. Scientists, doctors and researchers are looking at the effect of this practice on a host of issues ranging from brain injury to blood pressure to mental health issues and resiliency. Researchers are examining the practice's potential to help medical staff and high-stress workers avoid depression and burnout. They are looking at the possibilities for helping soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, addicts in recovery, individuals undergoing cancer treatment, people with depression, MS, high blood pressure and more.

    Yoga Nidra is also being practiced in yoga studios; sometimes on its own and often at the end of a traditional yoga session.

    If you are interested in bringing Yoga Nidra to your business, practice, organization, or community, message Sandy directly using the form on the Speaking page of this site. Click here to go to the page.

  • Research on Yoga Nidra

    Yoga Nidra has drawn a lot of attention, so much so that it is being researched at many notable universities and medical centers. Studies have found that it relieves stress, reduces anxiety, lowers heart rate and has a variety of positive effects on our mind, emotions, andl body. Below are links to some of the studies:

    MRI images of brain activity during yoga nidra:
    “The measurements of the brain’s activity (EEG) indicated that the subjects were in a deeply relaxed state, similar to that of sleep, during the whole Yoga Nidra. The theta activity rose significantly (11%p) on all the twenty-one electrodes. The reduction of the alpha activity (2% NS) was insignificant, showing that this meditative state is altogether different from that of the sleeping state and comprises conscious awareness. Furthermore, the state was constant and evenly distributed over the entire brain for the forty-five minutes the relaxation lasted.”
    Read the full article here:  https://www.yogameditation.com/reading-room/pictures-of-the-brains-activity-during-yoga-nidra/

    Effect of Yoga-nidra on Adolescents Well-being: A Mixed Method Study
    “Yoga-nidra intervention resulted in significant improvement in all primary outcome measures. Participants reported significant improvement in the feelings of happiness, enthusiasm, quietude, being more inspired and alert, active, having clarity of thought, control over anger, and self-confidence at the end of the study period. Mixed method design of the study provided cross-validation and convergence of results obtained from quantitative and qualitative assessment tools.”
    Read the full PubMed post here:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6134739/ 

    Yoga Nidra relaxation increases heart rate variability and is unaffected by a prior bout of Hatha yoga. 
    “These changes demonstrate a favorable shift in autonomic balance to the parasympathetic branch of the ANS for both conditions, and that Yoga Nidra relaxation produces favorable changes in measures of HRV whether alone or preceded by a bout of Hatha yoga.”
    Read the full PubMed post here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22866996 

    Impact of Integrative Restoration (iRest) Meditation on Perceived Stress Levels in Multiple Sclerosis and Cancer Outpatients
    As displayed in Table I, participants reported signifi- cantly lower levels of perceived stress at the completion of the 6-week programme [F (1, 14) = 21.48, p < 0.001]. However, there was no effect of sample (cancer versus MS) [F (1, 14) = 0.86] nor any interaction between time and sample [F (1, 14) = 1.22].
    Read the full study here: https://www.irest.org/sites/default/files/Boise_Study.pdf 

    Effects of Integrative Restoration (iRest®) on Sleep, Perceived Stress and Resilience in Military Medical Center Healthcare Providers: A Pilot Study
    As displayed in Table I, participants reported significantly lower levels of perceived stress at the completion of the 6-week programme [F (1, 14) = 21.48, p < 0.001]. However, there was no effect of sample (cancer versus MS) [F (1, 14) = 0.86] nor any interaction between time and sample [F (1, 14) = 1.22].
    Read the full study here: https://www.irest.org/sites/default/files/CCF_Poster_BAMC_Study.pdf 

    Transforming Trauma: A Qualitative Feasibility Study of Integrative Restoration (iRest) Yoga Nidra on Combat- Related Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
    The complexities of PTSD in different individuals with unique histories of personal and collective trauma are unlikely to be completely addressed by any single therapy.
    Partnering with a facility that already serves combat veterans and their families, and which offers supplementary counsel- ing resources to participants, is an important way to support recruitment and participation and enhance the outcomes of mind-body interventions with this population.
    In this study, iRest was most beneficial to veterans who engaged it fully and practiced regularly. Yet even those who struggled to complete the protocol due to chronic rage, anxiety, or avoidance of painful memories were able to uti- lize its structure and flexibility to meditate in a way that brought about subjectively significant PTSD symptom re- lief. More research is needed to evaluate the best ways to adapt or deliver iRest to support self-mastery and healing among combat veterans, as well as other populations suffer- ing from trauma.
    Read the full study here: https://www.irest.org/sites/default/files/Transforming-Trauma-IAYT-Stankovic.pdf 

    The Impact of Yoga Nidra and Seated Meditation on the Mental Health of College Professors
    “Prepost results indicate that both interventions represent an effective therapeutic approach in reducing anxiety and stress levels. However, there was a tendency toward a greater effectiveness of the Yoga Nidra intervention regarding anxiety, which might represent an effective tool in reducing both cognitive and physiological symptoms of anxiety.”
    Read the full PubMed post here. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6134749/ 

    Yoga Nidra as a complementary treatment of anxiety and depressive symptoms in patients with menstrual disorder

    The patients with mild to moderate anxiety and depressive symptoms improve significantly with ‘Yoga Nidra’ intervention. There is no improvement in the patients with severe anxiety and depressive symptoms. However, small sample size and selection of subjects from hospital outpatient clinic are the limitations of this study. Overall this study shows that the Yoga Nidra is an effective tool for improvement of psychological problems emerged out of long standing menstrual problems.
    Read the full PubMed post here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3276934/ 

    PA01.68. The effect of yoga nidra in the management of rheumatoid arthritis
    “Result: The practice of Yoga nidra showed significant clinical relief in pain, tenderness, stiffness and swelling of the joint in all patients taken under trial. Those patients reported feeling of well being lightness in the body, improvement in mental tension, muscular tension & emotional tension. The overall result in our cases were categorised and in final analysis 40% cases got relieved, 10% case got improvement (+) 20% case got improve (++) another 20% got improving (+++) and 10% case remained incompletely assessed.
    Conclusion: The practice of Yoganidra on daily basis may be analgesics and anti-inflammatory affect to control pain. Thus the practice of Yoganidra can be used successfully in the management of Rheumatoid arthritis.”
    Read the full PubMed post here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3800872/ 

    Yoga Nidra Efficacy for addiction and trauma: a preliminary research study
    “The results suggest that the YNSAS is an effective tool to measure participants’ self-perception about their internal changes after each yoga nidra practice experience. Data analysis of this preliminary study indicates Yoga Nidra appears to have efficacy for participants in addiction recovery. The results are statistically significant, warranting further research with a randomized subjects and a control group to further explore the efficacy of yoga nidra practice.”
    Read the full article here: https://medium.com/thrive-global/yoga-nidra-efficacy-for-addiction-and-trauma-a-preliminary-research-study-82fda3979386