Dream yoga is an interesting concept that’s related to lucid dreaming in many ways. It’s essentially an Eastern practice for meditation through dreams. However, you can’t really boil dream yoga down to one single set of practices, since different yoga masters take it in different directions. Often times, dream yoga techniques can be used to enhance lucid dreaming, but some who already are lucid dreaming can learn to do more with their dreams through dream yoga techniques. Either way, if you’re at all interested in enlightenment through dreams and specifically lucid dreaming, dream yoga is an interesting concept to study.
Finding Your Inner Guru
One form of dream yoga propounded by Swami Sivananda Radha in the book “Realities of the Dreaming Mind” asserts that the mind asleep isn’t just a random collection of images and emotions or, as Freud would say, a bunch of repressed desires and thoughts. Instead, dreaming is actually a way to access our inner guru, which can help us work through problems and come to greater self-awareness.
Even though Swami Radha’s ideas are slightly different from those of other yogic masters who focus on dreaming, they still bring out an important idea in dream yoga. Just like with meditation and yoga where we can connect the body and mind to be more self-aware, we can use yogic techniques to connect with our inner selves through our dreams. In this way, we can gain wisdom and understanding of ourselves and the world around us.
If you’re interested in using your dreams – whether fully lucid or not – to explore this wise, centered inner self, you can try using dream yoga techniques to get there. I’d suggest doing more reading on dream yoga in books by the experts, since this is just a super quick overview of different techniques that many have practiced. Even if you don’t necessarily want to explore your inner self in your dreams, these techniques can help you become lucid more easily in your dreams.
Dream Yoga Techniques
There are lots of techniques in dream yoga that are similar to lucid dreaming techniques discussed elsewhere in this blog. For instance, Swami Radha talks about a technique similar to WILD. Essentially, you’ll lie on your left side with your top leg drawn up toward your center. Use your left hand to close your right nostril, and focus on your breathing and calm thoughts as you fall asleep. You’re essentially attempting to maintain consciousness while the body falls asleep, which is quite similar to WILD, even though it’s a little more specific.
In Taoist dream practices, the dream is a sort of meditation. In this system, getting enough sleep is essential, and the tradition notes that you can get deeper, better rest if you live a meditative, restful life rather than a hectic life that throws you into sleep when you’re totally exhausted.
Many dream yoga teachers note that all of life is really like a dream – or, in some religious practices – really is a dream of the gods. They note that dream yoga is all about coming to terms with this fact so that you can wake up to a more self-aware life. There are lots of different teachings about dream yoga, mainly centered around different religions or practices, so if you’re interested in this, it’s helpful to learn about many of them before deciding which practice might hold the most relevance for you.
As with everything else in lucid dreaming, dream yoga can be a tool, if you don’t want to look at it in a religious context. I like using some of the techniques of dream yoga in order to explore my inner mind through dreams.
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