Yoga Nidra is sometimes translated as yogic sleep, but is not sleeping. The nidra state is when we are conscious and aware, but physically relaxed and the thinking / feeling mind is disengaged. It is the state between wakefulness and sleep that we pass through just before we fall asleep, most often so quickly that we are not aware of it. This technique could be described as a guided, meditative relaxation and can be practised either as a relaxation, while lying down, or as a meditation, in an upright sitting position.
The complete traditional yoga nidra guides us through an 8 stage process of awareness of the 5 levels of being, the koshas (body, breath, mind, intuitive widom, spirit). Bringing awareness to each of the koshas in this way, gives us the perspective of them as the ephemeral content of Being and ourselves as Being itself. Directing the light and power of consciousness and energy (prana) into all aspects of our being is considered to be one of the most deeply healing and freeing yoga practices.
A special feature of yoga nidra is the programming of the mind with a Sankalpa, a positive intention or suggestion, which is mentally repeated at the start and end of each session. This takes root as a deep resolve, which operates unconsciously to guide us towards what will help fulfil the intention or away from what could get in the way. We can often be so surprised by the ways the mind finds to do this that it seems like magic.
Please note that, although helpful in cases of mild depression, yoga nidra may not be suitable if you are suffering from severe depression or psychosis.
To practise make sure you are warm and comfortable, so that you will be able to remain still and that you will not be disturbed by phones etc. Supported savasana is usually the most suitable and popular pose.
Experience a 28 minute yoga nidra.