Yoga Nidra Meditation is paradoxical to explain because your thinking mind sees its description of being awake while asleep as contradictory. The experience itself is self-explanatory once explored as the contradiction is resolved when you see that it is your thinking mind that relaxes while you remain alert and awake as your native intelligence [some folks call your native intelligence your other than conscious mind, your subconscious mind, your super-conscious mind, and similar names].
The practice is the process of allowing your conscious/thinking mind to relax as it does in Deep Sleep with the distinction that you as a mentally active doer is absent and you as your natural being is present as that which is aware – and that which is aware is Awareness. In this way Yoga Nidra practice is a means to access and abide as your natural Awareness knowingly.
Your mind is an excellent servant and a poor master…
The other self-evident factor of Yoga Nidra practice is that when your thinking mind relaxes you do not lose consciousness as Awareness of sensations and the unfolding of life continues. In other words Awareness is its own knowing and the obvious thing that is absent in this process is the mental noise of your thinking mind as its ongoing chatter.
In this light Yoga Nidra is a meditative practice that facilitates yogic union with Awareness as your native intelligence by allowing your thinking mind to relax[in a certain way it is absorbed or enfolded into your deeper intelligence such that it is no so much absent as silently resting and available to be used as an instrument of your deeper intelligence].
Seeing is Doing
Hopefully you now see that Yoga Nidra does not negate the use of your thinking mind. Its role in the practice is twofold as follows:
- it is used prior to the practice to study and understand the process by reviewing information like this article and setting your Resolution and Resolve as directed [these are explained in other materials like 'The Creation Vibration' which is available at http://nidrayoga.com]
- and although it silently rests during the practice it is available to be used by Awareness [for example, if an alarm sounds while you are practicing, your thinking mind would be activated by Awareness to use memory of what to do in this situation to ensure your self-preservation and that of your family, etc].
Lastly, you act based on your Awareness. This Truth is consistent for all beings across all states of consciousness. Awareness means seeing in the most comprehensive sense of the word and this can be simply stated as: Seeing is Doing. The proof of this is experientially self-evident which means that you are not being asked to believe anything or to take a leap of faith. It is this active attribute of Awareness that accounts for the acting in all authentic meditation and Yoga Nidra.