Yoga Nidra, also called “yogic sleep” is a guided meditation technique which aims to induce complete physical, mental and emotional relaxation.
When we are awake, our conscious mind operates at high frequency. As we begin to relax and start the process of falling asleep, these waves slow down into alpha waves, gradually into theta waves of a dreaming sleep, and finally into delta waves or deep sleep.
Yoga Nidra happens in the “hypnagogic state” - between the alpha and theta waves – so between states of being awake and dreaming. Aside from the health benefits, Yoga Nidra is easily accessible to anyone who wishes to take up a form of meditation practice.
The script will vary from teacher to teacher, but a guided body-scan is always included, where the instructor will draw attention to individual parts of the body as you consciously place your awareness on and relax the corresponding areas, while the body keeps falling into deeper and deeper relaxation whilst the mind remains reasonably lucid – an ideal night-time routine.
Many Yoga and Meditation Apps will include some Yoga Nidra Practices, such as Insight Timer and Gaia.