Is yoga nidra a method of indoctrination? This is a question that many people ask. This doubt can only be removed through time, practice and a deeper understanding of the mechanics and purpose of the technique. It can be a method of indoctrination if it is used incorrectly and taught by the wrong teacher. You have to be careful when choosing your teacher.
When practised correctly with the right teacher, yoga nidra is definitely not a form of indoctrination. In fact, it is the opposite. The purpose of yoga nidra is to free the mind of conditioning, ignorance, false concepts, etc., not to further entangle it. Its purpose is to expand, open and awaken the individual mind, not to constrict it further. Yoga nidra will eliminate obstructions, not build them up.
The only part of yoga nidra that is slightly suggestive of indoctrination is the sankalpa (resolve), but it is a strict rule that the practitioner should choose his or her own sankalpa. The teacher should play no part in this stage of yoga nidra but remain quiet, allowing the practitioner to repeat the sankalpa to himself. This prevents indoctrination.
If you think that you are being indoctrinated in any way then immediately stop the practice and find a new teacher. This is important, since negative suggestion, and in fact suggestion in any form planted in the subconscious mind, can cause more harm than good.
The role of the teacher is to guide the practitioner through the practice and to stimulate potential that already lies within the practitioner’s mind. There is absolutely no need to inject suggestions. The instructor should guide, not indoctrinate.
Yoga nidra does nor require belief in anything . . . only practice.