Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep. It is a state of conscious Deep Sleep. In Meditation, you remain in the Waking state of consciousness, and gently focus the mind, while allowing thought patterns, emotions, sensations, and images to arise and go on. However, in Yoga Nidra, you leave the Waking state, go past the Dreaming state, and go to Deep Sleep, yet remain awake. While Yoga Nidra is a state that is very relaxing, it is also used by Yogis to purify the Samskaras, Yoga Nidra refers to an ancient meditation practice, as well as the state of conscious deep sleep it is said to produce.
Yoga Nidra touches the doorway to a pure awareness, In Yoga Nidra, sleep is not regarded as rest, as we slip through and beyond the waking and dreaming states, but there is a backdrop of awareness or consciousness that stays 'awake' to itself.
Unlike the often restless and disturbed sleep we can become accustomed to each night in unconsciousness, Yoga Nidra invites us to practice resting with conscious awareness. Typically, when we sleep, we lose consciousness and are pulled back and forth by our subconscious and unconscious patterns.
Sometimes, we can carry the stress of our lives into our sleep, and we may have experienced difficulty falling asleep or restless sleep. Yoga Nidra can guide you to access states of consciousness associated with deep restoration and healing.
"Adopted from the original technique of Yoga Nidra authored by Swami Satyananda Saraswati, founder of the Bihar School of Yoga."