It's called Yoga Nidra, "an ancient, profoundly healing and extremely powerful process that helps you coalesce and direct your life energy," says the Yoga Nidra CD a friend very thoughtfully lent to me. "To prepare for Yoga Nidra, lie down on your back, on a very soft, padded surface," sort of like a ... bed, maybe? Continuing:
Remember, that in the practice of Yoga Nidra, it's not about effort or trying.And in case you didn't catch those instructions the first time around, you get another little reminder,
It's not even advisable to try to have a particularly deep practice. There's no effort, no concentration, no trying ... not even trying to stay awake. ...In this practice, you will be hovering at the threshold between sense consciousness and sleep consciousness. This is a very receptive state of being. It's normal, especially for new practitioners, not to remember all parts of the session [well that's reassuring!] Don't worry, your subconscious mind is still responding and benefiting from Yoga Nidra.No trying? Check! No effort? Double check! No concentration? No problem!! I just plug in my Nano (until someone bans "listening devices" in bed) and I have rarely gotten five minutes into this CD before I am stone cold asleep, like a particularly noxious drunk. Only without the drinking part. You have no idea how monumental this is. I generally approach bedtime with dread, looking forward to an hour or two of tossing and turning, until I give up and get up, wander around, clean, and then wake up too early so I'm in a Really Bad Mood all day.
So, this is fantastic! It's like a drug. I actually believe all that stuff about hovering between this consciousness and that consciousness because since I started using this—right after my surgery—I have had the most fantastical, vivid dreams. It's like going to the movies for free. One dream had monkeys in it sitting outside my bedroom window; in another, I was in India walking over the backs of elephants (I'm sure that means something very profound); and in yet another, I was visiting a friend in Senegal. I like to travel.
This is my kind of yoga. Maybe, one day, after all this has passed, I will be ready again for this kind of yoga. But right now, laying in bed and having someone lull me to sleep as a form of exercise well ... yes I said yes I will Yes.