It's Back to School Season—Here's Why Your Yoga Studio Shouldn't Sleep on the Yoga Nidra Trend
By Denise Prichard
It's back to school season and you know what that means—college students and parents of young kids are in need of yoga and relaxation more than ever.
Sleep. It’s a cultural obsession. Just reading the word makes you crave a nap, doesn’t it? And that temptation certainly makes sense since more than half of Americans* are seriously lacking in the sleep department. We’ve been taught getting 7-8 hours is our slumber sweet-spot, yet so many of us—including your current and prospective clients—have a hard time clocking in the proper amount of time. In fact, Americans cite time as a top constraint in trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. Thirty-seven percent say it's an obstacle.
I know what you may be thinking, why is this information important to you as a yoga studio owner? Well, just by adding one more type of yoga class to your schedule could be the golden ticket to helping your sleep-deprived clients—like college students and parents of young children going back to school—restore their bodies and also help set your studio apart from your competitors.
It’s called Yoga Nidra.
Yoga Nidra: A snooze fest we can all be excited about
Yoga Nidra, or “yogic sleep,” is a practice that has been around for thousands of years that aims to restore the mind, body and soul through deep meditation. The way it works is similar to the way a power nap helps one feel refreshed during a particularly exhausting day, except you aren’t technically sleeping. More accurately, students rest in a long-form of savasana – preferably from 30 minutes to one hour. And let’s be honest here, the longer the savasana, the better, right?
On top of combatting the insomnia crisis that is sweeping the nation, this all-encompassing healing practice is something your yoga studio should think about offering. Here are three reasons why:
1. Rest assured–this practice is for everyone
Unlike most other types of yoga, Yoga Nidra isn’t a physically demanding practice making it one of the easier forms of yoga to turn into a habit. Students are typically in charge of the way they want to relax, whether that’s by laying flat on their mat or seated in a comfortable position. The only thing that is required by the practitioner is the willingness to relax and let go. The fact that Yoga Nidra is practiced in a dark and quiet setting can make it less daunting for a yoga newbie to try out as well. Yoga Nidra is inviting for newcomers to yoga and can help them establish a habit of coming to your studio.
2. You can get your moment of zen in, well...moments
It’s been suggested that 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra is equivalent to up to four hours of sleep, making this practice not only effective but efficient as well. In a world where the majority of adults experience stressful and grueling work schedules—and college students taking on a hefty class schedule—taking 30 minutes to recharge can be accomplished by even the busiest of folks. Within the first few minutes, students can start to feel the relaxing benefits of deep meditation, and these effects can last hours after the practice is over. Your yoga students will be thinking about how relaxing their class was with you for much of the day.
3. It's not just for sleepyheads
As mentioned earlier, this practice is one of the simplest ways to reduce stress and calm the mind - and this encompasses more than just catching up on some z’s. Researchers have found that this type of yoga has also been used as complementary therapy for those suffering from PTSD and has had positive effects on ailments such as high blood pressure, anxiety and depression. By offering Yoga Nidra at your studio, you can help more members of your community heal - which is why you got into this business in the first place, isn’t it?
* November 2018, MINDBODY Wellness Index Survey (October 26-November 12, 2018).