Yoga Nidra, The Yoga of Dreams

Yoga Nidra is the Yoga of Dreams, the practice of working with one’s dreams to advance one’s conscious evolution and earthly mission. Yoga Nidra is one of the lesser-known but most powerful forms of yoga. Very few yoga schools teach yoga nidra, either because it is not profitable to do so (the practice is normally done free of charge at the student’s home) or because the yoga teacher has little or no experience with this practice.

Dreaming is the Key to Good Sleep

Sleep is said to replenish and conserve energy and to protect us from nightly harm. But we can learn to conserve and replenish our energy during the day, and we can certainly stay clear of harm, by eliminating the bad habits that lead to disease. But we would still need to sleep. Why? The need for sleep is all about the dream.

If you get a reasonable amount of sleep, and yet still feel tired, you may be able to solve this problem by learning to work with your dreams (yoga nidra). And if you do not get enough sleep, then it is very likely that you are missing out on the invaluable benefits of dreaming.

Yet studies, articles and books on sleeping frequently understate or ignore the importance of dreaming. Most studies relating to sleep will focus on measurable data like the number of hours or minutes one is alseep, or the release of certain hormones such as melatonin, cortisol, human growth hormone (HGH) and serotonin. No study that I am aware of has properly considered the importance of dreaming. Perhaps for good reason: the value of the dream is immeasurable!

The Divine Trinity in You

In religious terms, the Divine Trinity is a triple-entity, three beings in one. The key concepts are oneness and synergy. The same must be true for the body, mind and soul. Not only do they form a single “triple” entity, but the sum is indeed greater than the parts. If these “three parts” fail to recognize each other and work together, then your life will lack peace, harmony and a deep sense of success.

Dreaming and Spiritual Freedom

Dreaming and mining one’s dreams for consciousness is  useful in accomplishing one’s earthly mission. Working with dreams is also called Yoga Nidra. While you dream, your spirit is free to gain consciousness. In contrast, while you are awake, it may be that your spirit normally yields to a demanding brain and a body that chases after its every whim.

Freedom of spirit is indispensable to maintain sanity. And dreaming is among the surest ways to free the soul. The deep desire of the spirit is the reason that you are here. Therefore it pays to put forth some effort in deepening your understanding of your mission, and much effort towards accomplishing the said mission.

How to get the most from your Dreams

To get the most from your dreams, it is necessary to develop the correct perspective on the value of your dreams. If you hold that your dreams are just random images with little meaning, then you will unfortunately miss out on one of the most valuable tools for evolving your consciousness. If, on the other hand, you hold a deep respect for the immense potential value that your dreams offer you in the way of completing your earthly mission, then you have the right attitude to proceed with yoga nidra.
One should reserve 15-30 minutes of meditation time before and after sleeping. Before retiring, the night-time meditation prepares your body, mind and spirit for the change that is about to take place. The body and the mind will be giving up their control for the time being. The soul will be taking a “voyage” without the limitations imposed by the physical world. The time spent meditating immediately prior to launching this voyage will create alpha brain waves, which get the dream off to a healthy start and usually result in more serene, revealing dreams as compared to the chaotic dreams that often follow “normal” activities like watching TV or listening to the radio.

What Happens While You Dream?

When you lay your body down to sleep, your mind goes with it. In fact, your body and mind go everywhere together. These two are married. That is to say that they are connected ‘until death’. But this marriage is not complete without the soul. In fact, this ‘third member’ should be considered the most important part of the marriage. Unfortunately, the soul is often considered a ‘third wheel’ in the ultra-exclusive relationship between body and mind. The soul is ignored during all waking hours. To keep the Universe in balance, the body and mind necessarily must lay down together so that the soul can ‘fly solo’ for a while. During this solo flight, the soul is unrestrained by the normal limitations of the body. There is no logistical problem in getting from place to place, and there is no lineal time. This means that in a 5-minute nap, your soul can have the experience of having traveled to another continent (and maybe even another planet!). To get a similar experience that includes the body would require first buying a ticket, driving to the airport (or rocket launch site), hours of waiting, hours of flying… time and money and the coordinated effort of many people! But despite the great cost of the voyage, the benefit is usually greater than the cost. Claiming such an experience in a 5-minute siesta sounds to me like the epitome of efficiency!

The Healthiest Sleep-Wake Cycle

Yoga Nidra  Postcard
Yoga Nidra Postcard

The healthiest relationship between your dream state and your waking state is that one is a continuation of the other. Imagine a dolphin swimming near the surface of the ocean towards the sunrise… the dolphin may jump in and out of the water but the overall direction is fairly consistent. Compare this against a circular system where the dolphin jumps out of the water towards the sunrise then switches directions upon re-entering the water. This dolphin exerts the same energy but does not advance. Such is also the case for humans that spend their days not following their dreams.