Yogic sleep or Yoga Nidra is a powerful technique in which you learn to relax consciously. It is very systematic and scientific process of complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation. During yogic sleep, you are not only relaxing, but you are restructuring and reforming the whole personality from within. The initial purpose of this practice is to relax the body and mind and when you come to the last stage of the practice you try to dis associate yourself form the body and the mind. We must remember that, stress only affect you when you identify yourself with the body and the mind.
During deep sleep, we don’t remember our name, our body or the nature of our surroundings as well. In the same way, during yogic sleep, after entering a state of deep relaxation, you should try to dis identify yourself emotionally from your body and mind. During this practice one appears to be asleep, but the consciousness is still functioning at a deeper lever of awareness. You can call this state in between wakefulness and sleep.
Secret of Yoga Nidra – when our mind is totally relaxed, it becomes extremely powerful as it becomes very receptive. On the other side, when our consciousness is connected to all the sensory experiences, the attention is poor and mind tends to jump from one object to another object, resulting poor attention or less receptivity. So, when you withdraw the mind and the sense inward in order to enter into a deep rest, whatever impressions enter the mind at that time would be vey powerful and they will remain there.
In Yoga Nidra, our consciousness stays between waking and sleeping stage. In modern psychology, this state is known as “hypnagogic stage”. In this stage, the mind is exceptionally receptive and that is why, one can use yoga nidra in learning languages or in their studies. Suggestions given to the mind at this stage are used to eliminate unwanted bad habits such as smoking, drinking, violence etc. Probably this is the secret of extraordinary accomplishments of great swamis. It was said about swami vivakenenda that, he could remember a page of any book, once he reads it.
Benefits of the Yogic sleep/relaxation:
Yogic sleep improves the quality of sleep and it’s an effective way to release stress and that’s why, it is very helpful in order to prevent stress related diseases, like insomnia, anxiety, depression, heart problems, hypertension, diabetes etc. Yogic sleep also helps to improve memory, increase learning capacity, to correct bad and unwanted habits/attitudes and helps to stay calm, energetic, more focused and avoid mistakes. Practicing yogic sleep means, better overall physical and mental health. The process of yogic sleep is not quicker, but it’s more reliable and permanent. Remember that, in yoga nothing will happen quickly. You will have to wait, if you want to have the real taste of the fruit.