What’s the Difference Between Yoga Nidra & a Nap?

Via on Jan 15, 2013

(Photo: Pinterest)

I don’t usually have any trouble sleeping.

I love sleeping. Falling asleep and the seconds just before is one of my favorite things. I even made a sleep playlist awhile back. Falling asleep is easy, most of the time.

I do sometimes, however, have trouble going to bed.

I’ve shifted to practicing a little earlier this week (By five a.m. instead of eight. Okay, a lot earlier). I’ve also been up later, like right now, it’s 10:52 and I still have a bunch of things I want to get done even though I know my alarm will go off at five. Hmph. I love the early morning practice, but by this evening I was pretty wiped out.

Some people take naps. Naps always sound nice, but I don’t ever get around to it.

Today, in lieu of nap, but to add a little rest and restore to my practice, I did a yoga nidra practice in addition to my morning practice.

So what’s the difference? It’s not really full on sleeping for most people, yet it’s not just meditation either. It’s basically an extended, more deeply focused savasana. Sometimes it will be part of a larger restorative class (which I will be going to on Sunday—yay!) and sometimes it’s just done on its own.

For me, today, it was the perfect close parentheses on my day. I had my morning practice to set my intentions for the day and start off on the right foot, and the yoga nidra this evening to quiet myself down so that when I finally manage to put myself to bed, am already in a restful frame of mind.

For my nidra soundtrack, I decided to go with a Sigur Ros/Jonsi playlist that I sometimes use for massage:

It starts and ends a little more upbeat than you might want, but definitely soothing and peaceful. You could also choose to do it without music, with a simple chant focused music or gongs or whatever suits you best.

The posture for yoga nidra is usually savasana, but might vary if it is a part of a restorative class. The length of time will also vary, but I find 30 minutes to be perfect if it’s something I’m doing on my own.


What was your practice like today? Are you doing #yogaeverydamnday this month? Check back for my updates and follow along on Twitter @kate_bartolotta and Pinterest.

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About Kate Bartolotta

Kate Bartolotta is the strongest girl in the world. She is the love child of a pirate and a roller derby queen. She hails from the second star to the right. Her love of words is boundless, but she knows that many of life’s best moments are completely untranslatable. When she is not writing, you may find her practicing yoga, devouring a book, playing with her children, planting dandelions, or dancing barefoot with her heart on her sleeve. She is madly in love with life and does not know how this story ends; she’s making it up as she goes. Kate is the owner and editor-in-chief of Be You Media Group. She also writes for The Huffington Post, elephant journal, The Good Men Project, The Green Divas, Yoganonymous, The Body Project, Project Eve, Thought Catalog and Soulseeds. She facilitates writing workshops and retreats throughout North America. Heart Medicine, Kate's book on writing, is now available on Amazon.com You can follow Kate on Facebook and Twitter


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4 Responses to “What’s the Difference Between Yoga Nidra & a Nap?”

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