Yoga Nidra Vs Meditation: The Key Difference And Benefits

yoga nidra vs meditation

In this article, we have listed the Key Differences and Similarities between Yoga Nidra vs Meditation

The mind is the center point of overall well-being. You can boost the power of your mind with the help of yoga. Yoga Nidra and meditation, are both best for your body and mind.

These are very popular techniques to calm your mind. Both practices have unique benefits and help to enhance calmness. A common question is should I practice Meditation or Yoga Nidra? 

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation technique. In this blog, we have mentioned differences and similarities between Yoga Nidra Vs. Meditation along with its unique benefits.


What Is Meditation?

Meditation defines the state of mind of your awareness. The most popular type of meditation is mindfulness meditation and concentrated meditation. Both meditation practices focus on breathing exercises to bring awareness and calm your mind.

In short, meditation is a path of enlightenment and self-realization. The most popular meditation types are guided meditation, mindfulness meditation, mantra-based meditation, and breath-based meditation practices.


What Is Yoga Nidra?

Yoga Nidra is also called Yogic sleep. It is a meditation style where you drift into the deep state of conscious sleep.

Yoga Nidra is a state where you are not asleep or awake. You will be in a place where your mind will be still and your body feels like a feather.

It is similar to the dreamless sleep. Yoga Nidra incorporates Savasana, affirmations, and guided visualization.


Yoga Nidra Vs Meditation: Similarities

Yoga Nidra Vs Meditation: Similarities

Meditation and Yoga Nidra share similar characteristics. Both practices alter the states of consciousness with the help of concentrated breathing exercises.

Regular meditation and yoga nidra practices benefit your mind by improving concentration, reducing stress, and purging negative thoughts.

Here are the similarities between both practices:

  • Uses guided visualizations and affirmations.
  • Includes concentrated breathing exercises.
  • Promotes stillness.
  • Uses Passive yoga poses.
  • Alter your conscious mind.

Also read: Meditation for Sleep


Meditation Vs Yoga Nidra: Key Differences

Meditation and Yoga Nidra are different when you take a closer look at these practices. Here are the differences between Yoga Nidra and Meditation:


Lying Down Vs Seated Pose

The posture is one of the most obvious differences. During meditation, you will have to sit in a comfortable position and cross your legs and palms facing upward. It is like a Dhyana Mudra or Concentration state.

This position helps you to focus and direct your awareness. On the other hand, Yoga Nidra is practiced in a soothing position lying down. It helps you relinquish control and dreamless sleep.


Beginner Vs Advanced

You will have to step into the dark abyss, block the chatter, and concentrate on your breath during meditation. This process is suitable for advanced practitioners and quite challenging for beginners.

However, Yoga Nidra is easy to follow and you can reach the desired consciousness state. The yoga teachers will help you steer through various stages. After some practice, you will be able to focus and control your skills.


Solo Vs Guided

Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation practice. You will need experienced and skilled teachers to practice it. Learn various relaxation stages and develop the intention for the yoga nidra practice.

It will help you control your thoughts, emotions, body sensations, and breath. On the other hand, meditation is a solo practice where you do not need instruction or guidance.

The common meditation techniques help you learn to draw attention inward with focused breathing, candle gazing, and body scans. This takes years to master and is quite challenging.


Passive Vs Active

Meditation requires concentration, commitment, and effort. You will have to draw your attention to a single point to get into a receptive state.

However, Yoga Nidra is less rigid. It includes calming props and resting postures. You do not need to focus your awareness but carry it toward the universe. Your mental body should be active and observing your surroundings.


Intention Of Practice

Yoga Nidra promotes self-awareness and relaxes your mind and body. However, meditation focuses on achieving a higher conscious state for your awareness and spiritual growth.

The intention of Yoga Nidra and Meditation is the main difference between them. One focuses on deep relaxation and the other on spiritual awareness.


Yoga Nidra Vs Meditation: Benefits

Both are extremely beneficial for your mind, body, and soul. Yoga Nidra is more effective in reducing stress levels and anxiety. Meditation helps you gain control over your emotions and improve your overall health. We have listed benefits in the table below:

Meditation Benefits Yoga Nidra Benefits
Spiritual growth Improves ANS response
Improves life quality Purges unnecessary thoughts
Reduces the risk of diseases Bolsters memory
Increases oxygenation Improves concentration
Stabilizes emotions Increases awareness
Reduces stress and anxiety Lowers the stress levels
Improves endocrine system functions Rejuvenates your body


Final Thoughts

There are many differences between Yoga Nidra vs Meditation but both are effective for deepening your practices and for a conscious mind.

Both practices allow you to connect with the most authentic self. It is a misconception that you can’t practice both. In fact, you should. Daily meditation and yoga nidra practices will elevate your practices and offer great benefits. 

You can start with the Yoga Nidra and gradually move to the meditation practices. It is a common yoga sequencing for yoga practitioners. If you want to learn more about the Yoga Sequencing then, check out our blog on How to sequence a yoga class.

Nirvana Yoga School helps you deepen your yoga practices and learn new yoga poses with our online and in-person yoga teacher training courses. Join us to become a certified yoga teacher and spread your yoga knowledge.

Ankul Tiwari