Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep. It is an effective relaxation technique which progresses to experience that is beyond all method and thus is completely natural. It is a way for us to tune in to the Self within, that which is Sat Cit Ananda; Existence, Consciousness and Bliss.
As we lie in the stillness of Savasana, (Corpse Pose), a few things present themselves to us. Namely there arises an awareness of I exist as the I am presence manifests.
It is due to Consciousness that this awareness of existence arises. In our natural state of consciousness-existence, there is the simultaneous realisation that we feel very peaceful, extremely relaxed and indeed, in Bliss .
Yoga Nidra is thus relaxing into a conscious deep sleep in which there is awareness of the stillness and peace which is our essential essence. Yoga Nidra is very useful for Sadhana (spiritual practice) and is easily adopted into one’s state of being during waking and sleeping hours. In other words one will feel the effects of Yoga Nidra overflowing outwards into one ‘s life from the core within.
Yoga Nidra brings more Joy into life as we progressively awaken within the dream and experience the marriage of sun and moon, day and night. It is consciousness itself; both the Void and the forms or techniques that spring from and merge back into it. The methods that follow derive from this emptiness; the place of no method and not doing .
Your senses will withdraw inward (Pratyahara) and the mind will still. This will beckon the intention to enter cathartic deep sleep.
Why Practice Yoga Nidra? By reinforcing this present moment awareness, existing in a state of silence and stillness, where the past and the future disappear from the frame of consciousness, unwanted and restraining traits begin to loosen their hold upon us, being that the us of the mind that we thought we were has itself been uprooted in the process. We observe creation in process; we witness the birth of a new way of living in this world; the death of total association as the old ego-self which maintained itself through the pretence of me and mine and thoughts relating to me and my life story and subject and object differentiation. When we experience creation, sustenance and death as one, in present moment awareness, the true self; that which is eternal, unaffected and unchanging, is manifest.
In Yoga Nidra we view the mind and its contents objectively. We access the substratum or deepest layer. It is here that our memories and underlying beliefs are stored and subsequently act as a platform for our existence, lifestyle, psychic and neurotic tendencies. These samskaras or energetic imprints dictate our karma or actions in life.
Consciousness at this level allows us to see who we are at the core of our being, allowing for evolution or improved change, merely by enlightening that which is within the shadow.
Yoga Nidra leads us beyond karma. Initially the awareness arises that our actions (karma) create effects, ripples or waves. We believe that we live by the fruit of our good and bad deeds .
Realisation, brought about by profound experience leads us to the knowledge that karma is a concept, which like all others, melts away when brought into the light of true surrender. We are bound by our actions if this is our belief.
The sage offers all to God, lives in the twigh light zone, between worlds, in them but not a part of them, in a state of saturation of sat-cit-ananda; existence, consciousness and bliss. He or she knows that he is in the body, bound by its physicality, but not of the body. The spirit within roams without limit. It is Brahman, the creator, Vishnu the sustainer and Siva, the ever conscious destroyer.