I wrote the passage below about two years ago, and I can’t help but think how far removed I am from the feelings of peace I was starting to feel at that time. When I stopped teaching high school I started meditating and practicing yoga every day, but I’ve let the practice fall off. I still practice yoga and meditate, but I’m not immersed like I was. The mechanical, concrete world has taken over again. Which is not to say I can’t return to those feelings of homeostasis, I’m just admitting I’m no ideal yogini.
During Yoga Nidra, we consciously enter the hypnogogic state, the borderland between waking and sleeping. By learning to enter this state while fully aware, we develop better communication between the waking mind and the dream mind. Creativity flows freely during this prolonged hypnogogic rest.
Samskaras are imprints left on the mind from past experiences. Since many of our imprints are stored in the mind in the form of symbols, we can learn to awaken these imprints by meditating on different archetypal symbols while in a relaxed state.
By listening to guided imagery in Yoga Nidra, we can recall our past experiences. Some of the images evoke a personal, specific memory in us, while others are broader and more symbolic.
The process of visualization in Yoga Nidra enables us to purge these samskaras from the mind, thus purifying the layers of our consciousness, which is necessary before real progress in yoga is possible. Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Yoga Nidra, pg. 46
Some of the results of continued practice of Yoga Nidra are deep relaxation, bliss, a vivid dream life, and dreams that are more archetypal and even spiritual in nature.
Here’s a sample Yoga Nidra script by Xenia Splawinski