At the end of yoga nidra the mind is very receptive and one-pointed. This is a good time for reflection and enquiry, that is, the practice of jnana yoga3. You can choose any subject for your enquiry, but a good one is: “Who am I?” Ask yourself this question with sincerity, or select any other profound question.
Alternatively, your enquiry can follow the steps: “I am aware of my body,” “I am also aware of my thoughts.” “Who is it then that is watching all this?” Select your own enquiry along these lines. Don’t give up the enquiry in your life until you find the answer.
Some of you may have an ishta devata (personal deity) or a psychic symbol, which holds much significance in your life. The end of yoga nidra is also an ideal time to concentrate on your personal symbol or deity. It can lead to meditation.
Return to normal awareness
At the end of yoga nidra the instructor should give a definite statement that the practice is finished. This should be done before the practitioner moves his body or opens his eyes. A good statement to finish yoga nidra is as follows: “Hari Aum Tat Sat, yoga nidra is completed.”
Don’t suddenly finish the practice, stand up and perhaps start talking with your neighbour. The process should be gradual so that your mind fully adjusts to the outside surroundings. Keep your eyes closed after hearing the final statement. Slowly move your hands and feet. Be aware of external sounds. Then after a minute or so slowly open your eyes and raise your body. The teacher should give instructions accordingly.
This definite statement and the gradual awareness of the surroundings is a safety measure to prevent people confusing outer and inner perception. Some people, having finished yoga nidra too quickly, found that they walk around in a dream state for many hours after the practice. They did not know whether they were coming or going. Don’t worry, however, this occurrence is rare.