Yoga Nidra or "yogic sleep" is a step-by-step way to induce pratyahara—an inward journey and withdrawal of the senses and is among the deepest possible states of relaxation while still maintaining full consciousness. The practice combines body scanning - progressive relaxation and breath awareness, and often adds a visual and sense component. Most of the elements and principles of yoga nidra come from traditional teachings on yoga, and focus on witness consciousness, intuition, and creativity.
We spend most of our awake time in the active sympathetic "fight or flight" mode, (which can lead to chronic conditions like insomnia, headaches, allergies, asthma, and digestive issues), and not enough in parasympathetic relaxation mode, The practice of yoga nidra has been found to reduce tension and anxiety. As we consciously relax, we tone down the sympathetic nervous system and encourage the healing qualities of the parasympathetic nervous system. Yoga Nidra is a simple, easy, inexpensive and enjoyable way to shift our nervous system into healing mode and, with regular practice, it can actually change our mental and emotional state, help us become aware of and release limiting beliefs, open us up to intuition and guidance from within, and allow us to live more joyful and fulfilling lives.
As a certified Yoga Nidra facilitator I have found this to be a very safe and powerful practice which I often combine with a Sacred Sound Gong Journey element to produce a profoundly relaxing, restorative and trance-formative experience.