The yoga of aware sleep
Yoga Nidra or psychic sleep is a practice which come from the roots of the Tantras Nyasa system.
Nayasa means to "establish", thereby the Yogis used to invoke and establish consciousness within every part of the body. Simultaneously the Yogi has to understand and master the working of the consciousness in the body. This required a great Mastery over the senses.
In the modern time Swami Satyananda Saraswati (my Guru’s Master) has been credited for creating the modern method of the practice of Yoga Nidra. This is a simple practice of guided meditation. Great relaxation is achieved both in the physical and mental level.
During Yoga Nidra practice the body is completely relaxed, and the practitioner becomes systematically and increasingly aware of the inner world by following a set of verbal instructions, in a state of full consciousness.
Yoga Nidra is used to Overcome Traumas. Furthermore one of the most important studies to prove that yoga Nidra helps manage trauma involving combat veterans with PTSD (post traumatic disorders). The Department of Defense worked with the Integrative Restoration Institute to develop a yoga Nidra protocol known as iRest for traumatized veterans. The practice involved recognizing negative feelings and sensations and then imagining their opposites.
Other benefits: Improve Your Sleep. Reduce Insomnia. Detach From Your Thoughts. Release Tension and Pain. Deep connection with the self.
When awareness is separate and distinct from the vritties (mind fluctuations), when walking, dream and deep sleep pass like clouds, yet awareness of atma (soul) remains.
This is the experience of total relaxation.