Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nap like a Yogi

I've been searching out anything Yoga Nidra related lately so naturally my eye was caught by the title, "How to Nap like a Yogi" in the spring issue of Yoga + Joyful Living magazine. It details a version of Yoga Nidra taught by Swami Rama, the founder of the Himalayan Tradition and the Himalayan Institute. Yoga North, the studio where I took my teacher training and where I currently teach, teaches from this tradition.

Here's the article as written in Yoga +:

How to Nap Like a Yogi

By Rolf Sovik
When travel (or everyday life) wears you down, a simple variation of yoga nidra (yogic sleep) taught by Swami Rama can help you restore your energy. This practice helps you settle into a profound state of rest while remaining alert at a deeper level of consciousness. By drawing your attention to your heart center, you will become a silent witness to your sleeping body and mind.

1 Choose a room where you will not be disturbed. Sit on the floor against a wall, stretching your legs out and crossing one ankle over the other. Cup your palms in your lap and, with your eyes closed, either allow your head to hang forward or to rest against the wall.

2 Feel the relaxed movement of your breath, letting it flow easily and smoothly. Then observe 3 to 5 breaths at the nostrils, to center your mind.

3 Next, one by one, rest your awareness (and breath) at the eyebrow center, then at the throat center, and finally the heart center.

4 Keeping your awareness at the heart center, quietly resolve to let your body and mind sleep for a specified length of time (say, 10 minutes). Trust your mind to awaken you when that time has elapsed.

5 As you sleep, continue to be aware of the merest sensation of the breath (but no mantra). You are simply letting your body sleep, with awareness.

6 Stay in this state until your mind wakes you up. Then slowly shift your head and stretch your body. Draw your attention outward, opening your eyes into your hands and then to the room around you.

Rolf Sovik, PsyD, is the author of Moving Inward: The Journey to Meditation. He is the president of the Himalayan Institute, and serves as the director of the Institute’s branch center in Buffalo, New York.

Photo by Andrea Killiam; Model: Stacey Galloway; Top by Lily Lotus

Spring 2010
Yoga+ magazine

Sara's note: If you are interested in more articles from Yoga + Magazine visit their website to read archived articles or to subscribe.


Eco Yogini said...

this is perfect. I really think this would work MUCH better than laying on my back or bolsters.

Thank you Sara!! I will talk with my next yoga instructor prior to class and ask if she would mind me trying this instead of savasana. :)

Sara said...

Hi Eco Yogini - You are welcome. I hope this works for you!