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. She doesn't know how to behave with all the apples and ibexes. She doesn't suffer from her eight million freckles, she loves them! Like a rolling stone, Kate gathers no moss. Kate loves kale, being barefoot, Dr. Seuss, singing too loudly, gallivanting, palindromes, blackberries and has far too many books for her own good. When she's not writing, you can find her practicing yoga, running in the woods, playing with her kids, devouring a book, planting dandelions, changing the world and doing her dishes. Kate does not play the accordion. She is a massage therapist, writer and a compassionate friend to all. This year Kate aspires to finally give up on learning to knit and will instead spend that time putting a little bit more of her heart on the page. Connect with Kate on Facebook and Twitter


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