Yoga Nidra is similar to a guided meditation but there is much less effort involved and some view it as a guided sleep - sounds great right? Very subtle practices can have the most profound effects because we are really getting to those slower brain wave states - enabling us to plant our seeds of intention/ Sankalpa, in the fertile soil of the subconscious.
Body is deeply relaxed and mind is highly focussed.
When we lift the mind from it's previous state we can see a new perspective
1/2 hour of Nidra = 2 hours sleep!
This practice brings you to a deeply rested place in which the body and psyche is able to repair itself.
note: when we sleep - the brain is not inactive - it is just differently active
it is in "processing mode" - in sleep the brain makes connections that may never have been formed
practicing Nidra before bed creates a nice segue for sleep as a positive intention will help the brain process information and experiences from our day in a way that supports our intention.
Nidra takes you from conscious (beta wave) states to hovering just above sleep (delta wave) states. This place hovering just above sleep is known as the hypnogogic gap - it is the place we transit through every night as we fall asleep - in this state you might experience the sensation of the body jolting or falling or hearing someone call out to you - the body is shutting down the senses. The last sense organ to shut down is hearing and that is why Nidra is a vocal instruction so part of us remains aware of what is going on.
Our thoughts (conscious) and beliefs (subconscious) can often be in disharmony - we really want something/ intend to do something on a cognitive level but housed deep inside is a limiting self-belief that prevents us from manifesting it. In the hypnogogic state we are able to create harmony between the sub and conscious mind so that there is supportive beliefs for the thoughts we want to see manifest (from ether to physical).
The more alert/aware you are during the Nidra - the more you are able to create cohesion between the two minds (and instil supportive belief systems that you are worthy/ loveable).
It is perfectly okay to fall asleep - you are releasing fatigue. You may notice you drift off in certain parts and then return to awareness. Sometimes this happens as the subconscious is protecting you and it will do so until you are ready to process certain information.
As is the case when the body starts to regenerate, with regular Nidra practice, you will notice brighter eyes, clearer skin, alert mind and a sense of contentment.
It is a powerful way to carry your intention through from the meditations - although if something else feels right in the moment go with it. The purpose of this practice is not to feel any resistance or struggle - let it flow effortlessly.
SANKALPA= will arise from a pure place - not in response to any stimulus/ not invoking any samskara
Habit is second nature. But, pure, irresistible, determined will is bound to succeed eventually.