January 16, 2013

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

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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