Here is some info about yoga nidra. As complement to above post
where I did not explain more.
I have myself have manifold gains by learning this technique.
To compensate for lack of sleep et.c
"Yoga nidra was experienced by Swami Satyananda Saraswati when he was living with his guru Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh. He began studying the tantric scriptures and, after practice, constructed a system of relaxation, which he began popularizing in the mid 20th century. He explained yoga nidra as a state of mind between wakefulness and sleep that opened deep phases of the mind, suggesting a connection with the ancient tantric practice called nyasa, whereby Sanskrit mantras are mentally placed within specific body parts, while meditating on each part (of the bodymind). [B]The form of practice taught by Swami Satyananda includes eight stages (Internalisation, Sankalpa, Rotation of Consciousness, Breath Awareness, Manifestation of Opposites, Creative Visualization, Sankalpa and Externalisation).[/B]"
This practice is transformative as one is able to go into deep relaxation in the state bordering between sleep and waking consiousness which is very good for the body/mind.
One feature of this is the sequence:
Gradually turning inwards.
A descision, affirmation that are affirmed two times during the practice. Once in the beginning, and once at the end when one is in the deep state of yoga nidra. This decision sankalpa works as a seed that take root in the subconsious which can have a strong effect as time goes by.
*Rotation of consiousness ( moving consiousness between different parts of the body in a given sequence),
This sequence of moving awareness to different bodyparts (nyasa) is the same sequence as the bodyparts are located in the brain cortex.
* Breath awareness
(counting breath backwards from 27-1),
This also assists the consiousness to go deeper into relaxation.
*Manifestation of opposities
Heaviness and lightness, warmness and coolness, pain and comfort),
* Creative visualisation,
In that deep state the visualisation of cosmic symbols and archetypes is transformative for the psyche
Again the descision, affirmation is repeated several times, like a seed planted deep in
oneself for future manifestation.
"Yoga nidra is now prescribed by doctors in many countries both as a preventive and curative therapy in the first three stages of stress-related diseases. To doctors who are seeking an efficient, scientific way of attaining deep, systematic relaxation, yoga nidra provides both a calming retreat and an effective coping device. Many people who were tense, alienated and frustrated, have totally transformed their outlook and have greatly enhanced their appreciation and experience of life after practising yoga nidra".
Just to give some info about this technique. As a complement to last post.