- The first stage induces a relaxed state of body-mind. This stage is common in all Yoga Nidra practice. The body has the potential to heal itself but requires the correct conditions to allow healing to proceed. The primary condition required for healing is deep rest. The process of inducing deep rest begins with the use of a positive resolution, a resolve that consciously articulates our desire to heal ourselves. Then rotation of awareness through the parts of the body is performed, which is a simplified form of nyasa. Rotation of awareness creates whole body relaxation. This is followed by awareness of and manipulation of the breath which powerfully relaxes the nervous system and the thinking mind.
- The second stage is the use of processes that can either be general healing strategies appropriate for the majority of people, or strategies that are specific to the condition being treated. In specific disease conditions the yoga therapist must know about the condition they are dealing with, and must understand its nature and its usual progression. This gives the therapist the understanding required to initiate proper treatment.
The second stage of Yoga Nidra therapy may employ tactics and techniques such as specific forms of breathing, and instructions to induce feeling-states that rebalance the basic elements of the body-mind. For example, inducing the feeling of heaviness activates the earth and water elements that may be required when a person is feeling ungrounded or anxious. Inducing lightness activates the air and space elements that may be useful when a person is feeling stuck, heavy or depressed. Techniques that work with feelings of heat and cold, pleasure and pain, and thoughts, including memories, attitudes and held beliefs are also employed.
Another important part of therapeutic Yoga Nidra is the use of visualization to create positive images while placing the awareness on affected parts of the body. Positive awareness injects energy for healing into those parts.