Catch up on sleep with Yoga Nidra

- Armed with pillows and blankets, participants in the yoga nidra class at Bella Prana Yoga in Tampa are ready to relax.

"If you fall asleep, that's fine. There's no wrong way to do this," explained instructor Annie Okerlin.

She uses her voice to soothe them during this form of meditation, also known as yogic sleep.

"All you're doing is listening to the teacher or facilitator guide you through it and literally the goal is to just do nothing," said Okerlin.

The class lasts about an hour. While the rest may seem short, the effects are deep.

"The practice itself, doing yoga nidra for an hour, is basically like getting four hours of sleep," Okerlin explained.

"I wake up at 2:45 in the morning, daily, and so sometimes I have problems sleeping. I come in here and the 35, 40 minutes worth of class time feels like hours of sleep," said participant Maria Ferrer.

Those who practice yoga nidra say it can help with insomnia and relieves some of the mental clutter.

"It helps people who are not sleeping find a deeper rest when they do sleep," said Okerlin.


"I think it allows you to connect to a level of yourself where you're not just actively going all the time. It kind of lets you hear yourself from the inside, lets your body find stillness," said participant Rachael Casterlin.

For more information about Bella Prana Yoga and yoga nidra, visit

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