How to practice sleep yoga?
As strange as it may sound, sleep yoga is a real method of meditating while you sleep. It is a subcategory of Tibetan yoga and has been practiced for many centuries!
What is sleep yoga?
In Buddhism, dreams are considered as another version of reality. There are several categories of dreams: clairvoyant dreams (during which one has a high level of consciousness), ordinary dreams (considered suffering) and clear light dreams (in which there is no conflict or problem).
Sleep yoga is the act of staying awake, despite sleep, on the plane of consciousness. You still get all the restorative benefits of sleep, but your consciousness remains alert and you feel everything that is happening in your dreams. For many, it is a way to develop one’s spirituality while sleeping, which means not wasting time. You will no longer be able to say that you don’t have time to do yoga!
Benefits of sleep yoga
Sleep yoga has nothing but benefits. For one, it turns a period of mandatory inactivity for all human beings into a very beneficial exercise. Secondly, this yoga brings a great attachment to life and its blessings, thanks to the state of mindfulness that it allows to reach. By practicing it regularly, one even manages to have lucid dreams, in which one keeps full control over what is happening.
More surprising: this yoga prepares for the passage to death. By learning how to manage the transition between the waking and sleeping states while remaining in full consciousness, one develops a much easier transition process. Sleep yoga allows one to free oneself from “samsara”, the suffering due to material desires that often manifests itself in dreams. Finally, for some very advanced practitioners, sleep yoga is a way to perform healing therapies to cure certain diseases.
Tips for practicing sleep yoga
The practice of this yoga is accessible to all, and can be practiced from a young age. You should also know that there are no risks involved because yoga, whatever its form, has only benefits. The first thing to know is that it is recommended to avoid eating too much before going to bed. After a heavy meal, the body focuses its energy on digestion and the practice of sleep yoga becomes more complicated.
It is important to sleep in a quiet place, where you will not be awakened during the night. It is important to unplug your electrical devices, especially the wifi network, which can affect the magnetic field. At the time of falling asleep, your consciousness must remain attached to the real, to get a back and forth between the real world and the world of dreams. Listening to music can facilitate this process.
Read also: 4 yoga exercises to get started!