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What is the Difference Between Yoga Nidra and Transcendental Meditation?

February 1, 2022

5 min read

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Author : United We Care
Clinically approved by : Dr.Vasudha
What is the Difference Between Yoga Nidra and Transcendental Meditation?

What is Transcendental Meditation?

Transcendental Meditation is a form of meditation that focuses on creating a higher sense of consciousness and relaxation by transcending beyond the current state of awareness. 
Transcendental Meditation, founded by the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the 1960s, focuses on silently repeating an assigned mantra to let go of negative thought processes and achieve a sense of calmness. 

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What is Yoga Nidra?

Also known as yogic sleep or yoga sleep, Yoga Nidra is an ancient practice that originated in India thousands of years ago. Famous across the globe, Yoga Nidra is a guided meditation practice that focuses on breaking self-limiting beliefs and expanding one’s consciousness. 
Yoga Nidra takes one on a journey through five koshas or sheaths of their consciousness to experience all layers of themselves together.

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The Difference Between Yoga Nidra and Transcendental Meditation

While both yoga, Nidra and Transcendental Meditation, seem very similar in their goals, they are pretty different in many ways. 

1. Posture:

The first factor that sets these two exercises apart is the body’s position. An individual practices yoga, Nidra is lying down. On the other hand, one does Transcendental Meditation in a seating position. 

2. Technique:

The second difference is where and how individuals hold their concentration. Transcendental Meditation focuses your attention on one mantra. Yoga Nidra encourages people to withdraw from their outside world into their inner world to create a sense of conscious awareness.

3. Practice:

Lastly, the crucial aspect is how to practice these two paths. The guidance of a trained professional is necessary to practice Yoga Nidra. In contrast, Transcendental Meditation only requires can be done by oneself or through instructions on an app.  

The Similarity Between Yoga Nidra and Transcendental Meditation 

Yoga Nidra and Transcendental Meditation share the same goal: reaching a deep sense of relaxation, far away from the everyday stress of life. 
I regularly practice these two techniques with many physical and mental health benefits as per years of research. Additionally, 20 to 30 minutes of Yoga Nidra or Transcendental Meditation can rejuvenate the body and mind and prepare one to tackle routine life.

Benefits of Yoga Nidra and Transcendental Meditation

Practitioners and proponents of Yoga Nidra and Transcendental Meditation claim that it benefits one’s health in the following ways:

  1. Reduces anxiety and stress
  2. Rejuvenates the body and mind
  3. Promotes a calm and relaxed mind
  4. in recovery from physical, emotional, and mental health issues
  5. Regulates blood pressure levels
  6. Reduces cholesterol levels
  7. Boosts the immune system
  8. Provides significant relief to pain-related conditions
  9. Enhances self-awareness
  10. Stimulates focus and creativity
  11. Helpful in treating addiction, PTSD, depression, insomnia, ADHD
  12. Removes self-limiting beliefs and habits
  13. Reduces sweating and breathing rate
  14. Improves positive self-image and self-esteem
  15. Significantly reduces the risk of developing health problems
  16. Decreases the severity of the existing medical conditions


Practising Yoga Nidra and Transcendental Meditation

Here is how to engage in these techniques.

Yoga Nidra

Ensure the room is cool without distractions and the mat is comfortable before starting yoga Nidra. It is advisable to do it under the guidance of a trained professional initially. After that, one can follow these steps with the help of an app or video to practice at home. 

  1. The first step is called Sankalpa. One focuses on visualising and manifesting lifelong dreams and their joy in accomplishing them. 
  2. Understand the intention and reason behind practising Yoga Nidra.
  3. The next step involves tapping into a place inside one’s mind that makes one feel comfortable and safe.
  4. Scan the whole body. Focus on each part to understand and relax the tension in those parts.
  5. Observe the air that goes in and out of the body when one breathes. 
  6. In this step, one must accept their feelings, positive and negative, to balance things out.
  7. One must also pay attention to the thoughts in their mind without judging or blocking them. 
  8. When one feels bliss, it can wrap itself around the body.
  9. Notice and look at oneself as a witness to gain more clarity and self-awareness.
  10. Slowly take a few minutes to transition back to consciousness. After that, reflect and understand the feelings and thoughts experienced and incorporate them into daily life.

Transcendental Meditation

A session of Transcendental Meditation lasts between 15 and 20 minutes. One must practice it in a dimly-lit room with no distractions or light. Light an incense candle before starting to make the space more comfortable. 

  1. Sit on the floor or a chair comfortably.
  2. One must close their eyes and take a few deep breaths. Keep the eyes closed for the entirety of the session. 
  3. One must silently repeat the personal mantra given to them or one of their choice.
  4. Focus entirely on the mantra. If one gets distracted, bring the focus back to the mantra.
  5. After the session, open your eyes and sit for a few minutes until one is ready to start their day with calm and positivity. 


Yoda Nidra and Transcendental Meditation are both ancient practices that can benefit a person’s health in so many ways. 
Transcendental Meditation focuses on a single mantra in an alert state. Yoga Nidra allows one to go to their most profound self and focus on shedding self-limiting beliefs. 
Depending on what one truly wants, one can practice either to suit their needs. Many experts recommend both practices complement each other. They practise together regularly to achieve the best results and be a better version of themselves.  
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Author : United We Care

Founded in 2020, United We Care (UWC) is providing mental health and wellness services at a global level, UWC utilizes its team of dedicated and focused professionals with expertise in mental healthcare, to solve 2 essential missing components in the market, sustained user engagement and program efficacy/outcomes.

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