Updated: Jul 11, 2020
By Allison Ray Jeraci
Photo by Andrea Killam
Yoga nidra offers a “best of variety pack” for physical and mental relaxation. It offers tools that help us break old thinking habits and encourage new positive thought processes—all for a calm and receptive mind. One caveat of working with yoga nidra, however, is that you must remain awake and present in the practice in order to receive its full benefits. It is very easy to fall asleep in yoga nidra—you are resting on your back, with eyes closed and your body supported by props, listening to a soothing voice guide you into a state of deep relaxation. The big question, then, is “How do I practice yoga nidra without falling asleep?”
When our bodies are accustomed to resting, we are better equipped to remain awake during yoga nidra.
In this article, I will discuss various tools to keep sleep at arm’s length, allowing you to practice yoga nidra without dozing off. It is important to point out that in a world where people are glued to technology, which invites and facilitates mental distraction, many of us are often sleep deprived. When there is a quiet opportunity and an ideal setting, the body will accept the chance to let go and embrace sleep. In order to relax, we first need to make sufficient deposits into our "sleep accounts." When our bodies are accustomed to resting, we are better equipped to remain awake during yoga nidra. Along these lines, if you find yourself always falling asleep in yoga nidra, it is a great indicator that you need more sleep. Only once sleep reserves are replenished can you then focus on practicing yoga nidra without falling asleep. That said, if you are unable to sleep and find that yoga nidra is conducive to a better sleeping habit, then go ahead and continue to use this practice as a sleep aide.