During night you will be concentrating on developing inner attitude and presence that will bring you a lucid dream. In a lucid dream you can strengthen your presence and acquire more stability so that your mind is no longer tossed as much with running thoughts or feelings. Of course you can play, do magic and fly if you like in your imagination. The purpose of lucid dreaming in dream yoga is to develop flexibility of mind so that you no longer take yourself and your rigid attitudes towards yourself, life and others so seriously. This will create more space in your thoughts and emotions so that you can experience more and more of inner peace and wellness bringing balance to your life and others around you.
In a dream you will encounter your own deepest thoughts and emotions that are sometimes unconscious during day. Through the practice of lucid dreaming you will be able to release deeply rooted emotional attachments that are causing yourself trouble day and night. By releasing them in a lucid dream you are releasing them also for your waking life for the benefit of yourself and others. What could be a better use for lucid dreaming? You can do this while playing and having fun in your imagination.
In order to become lucid you need to want it more than anything else in your life. You might want many things during a day but what plans you have for a night? Turning your mind towards wanting a lucid dream might be the most natural thing to do when you have nothing else to do during night. Think a about this a couple of times during a day and especially in the evening before going to bed. Tonight I will have a lucid dream. Tonight I want it very much. If you can attach a motivation that you are wanting this to help yourself and others to have a more balanced life of inner peace and joy will make your practice more purposeful.
In the night practices of dream yoga you will develop specific qualities of mind that will help you to become conscious of your dreams and that will loosen habitual thinking and feeling patterns that usually dominate your dreams (and days).
In order to become lucid you will need to experience energized well-being and stability of mind. Without feeling well and focused your mind will wander and you will loose your focus and drift into an ordinary unconscious dream.
You will also need to experience clear presence or lucid consciousness without too much attachment to the streams of mind. Without clear presence your mind will become foggy and you lucidity will be poor.
When you are feeling well and your mind is stable in effortless focus you can experience deeply resonating presence that will help you to experience more lucidity and consciousness.
From this calm and clear presence you will be able to face any dream characters or images of your mind from undisturbed fearless confidence inside you. Sometimes dreams can be disturbing or rise fear in you. But what is there to be afraid of? Everything you are experiencing in a dream is a projection of your own mind. Why would you fear something that you have created yourself? With the ability of fearless presence you can encounter your dreams with the confidence deep calm and satisfaction of your inner being. You can start to loosen the attachment or resistance of your mind to the images, thoughts and emotions that are not real. You can bring this same attitude to your life when you are awake.
The yogis practice dream yoga in order to to face fearlessly the images that rise from your own karma after death in bardo state between rebirths. This is a state that that can be used to free your mind in deep presence in death. No matter what happens after death but by practising dream yoga you are ready to die and live fearlessly in deep peace and joy of being for the benefit of yourself and others.
The order of the practices is important in dream yoga. You need energized wellness before you can find stable focus. Otherwise your mind wanders restless from discomfort to other. And you need peaceful clear mind before you can be fully present and become lucid in your dream. Strong presence will help you to encounter any difficult dream situations with fearless confidence. This attitude with deep respect for other well-being doesn't harm in your waking life either.
Traditionally night practices are done within one night when yogis wakes up roughly after two hour periods of sleep following their natural sleep cycle. This might be too tight a schedule for a busy westerner. So take your time doing one practice one night and next practise the other night. You might even take one week with one night practise until you can fully experience and fall asleep in the quality that is developed.