158: Yoga Nidra with Kaya Mindlin

Something that is said to be as old as yoga itself, but which is less well-known and not as widely practiced is Yoga Nidra. Sometimes described as “yogic sleep”, Yoga Nidra can be a powerful healing technique. Kaya Mindlin, an expert on the topic of Yoga Nidra, shares more about this fascinating aspect of yoga in this interview.

Kaya Mindlin is a Yoga Therapist and Ayurvedic Practitioner with 18 years of experience teaching yoga and nine years of experience training and mentoring yoga teachers. She is the co-Founder and director of the Emeryville Yoga Therapy Center and has created multiple programs for yoga teachers. She is passionate about the soft, slow, inward-oriented side of yoga that holds the purpose of yoga at its heart. Today, Kaya teaches yoga teachers in-person and online, through training courses, mentoring and private sessions in yoga therapy and Ayurveda.

What does Yoga Nidra offer that other practices may not? Why is it especially needed in our modern society? What kinds of things can come up for students during Yoga Nidra, and how can we as yoga teachers hold space for that? These are just a few of the topics Kaya shares more about. She also talks about the best positions for Yoga Nidra, what a good Yoga Nidra script should include, and even has some special resources for you.

This is an excellent episode for anyone curious about the practice and benefits of Yoga Nidra, both as a teacher of yoga and to use in your own practice.

Key Takeaways:

[6:55] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Kaya Mindlin.

[8:43] Where did Kaya’s yoga journey begin?

[11:17] What is Kaya’s specialty now, and how did she find her focus?

“Yoga nidra is an inner state. It is the deep sleep state with awareness retained.” ~ Kaya Mindlin

[12:35] Kaya explains the pronunciation of ‘Nidra’ and why the pronunciation matters.

[15:50] What is Yoga Nidra?

“At a deep level, it’s very appealing to us because we are starved for rest and relaxation, and we’re really starved for sleep.” ~ Kaya Mindlin

[17:24] What happens when people fall asleep during Yoga Nidra?

[18:17] How do we know when we’ve reached the state of Yoga Nidra?

[21:29] When can we access the Yoga Nidra state?

[22:40] Why is Yoga Nidra so important?

[24:35] What are some of the other benefits of the Yoga Nidra state?

[29:15] What are some things we might experience in a state of Yoga Nidra?

“I train [yoga teachers] in techniques to open the doorway to that state, but there’s no guarantee that it will happen, but whatever happens will be beneficial.” ~ Kaya Mindlin

[32:46] Where would Kaya recommend that yoga teachers try out Yoga Nidra?

[34:56] Kaya has some resources available on Yoga Nidra.

[35:41] Kaya shares more about her offerings both online and in person.

[40:39] A lot of problems we see in people in modern society are related to sleep.

[45:10] What does Kaya wish yoga teachers knew about Yoga Nidra?

“Yoga nidra works at the subconscious level to resolve problematic patterns of thinking and habits, and it also goes all the way to the unconscious level.” ~ Kaya Mindlin

[47:24] Find out more about Kaya and her work at her website.

[48:33] Shannon shares her key takeaways from this episode.


Gratitude to our Sponsor Schedulicity and Toronto Yoga Conference April 2020