Yoga has many benefits and I’m sure it’s improved your life in so many ways, but for a few minutes let’s concentrate on the heightened sense of awareness you’ve developed in your yoga practice. Maybe you’ve noticed you don’t breeze through life like a zombie as much as you used to, or perhaps you haven’t noticed anything. Today you’re finally going to learn how to use your heightened sense of awareness to change your life.
I want to talk to you about lucid dreaming. Do you wake up in the morning with a smile on your face when you remember dreaming of something magical? What if I was to tell you it was possible to pass into that magical dream world fully aware of everything that was going on? Not only that, but once you’re inside a lucid dream you can manipulate it in any way you want.
Why learn how to lucid dream?
Once inside a lucid dream you have the ability to:
- Reprogram your mind by rehearsing frightful or stressful situations without the threat of embarrassment. (Practice talking to an audience of people without choking on stage)
- Unleash your full creativity stored deep inside your subconscious mind that is hard to access when awake. (Artists and musicians can come up with ideas based on scenery and music they see and hear inside the dream world)
- Ask your true self any questions and it will give you the answer. (Ask the dream, “Where do I really want to be 5 years from now and what will I do to get there?)
- Visit anywhere you’ve already been, or visit somewhere new and let your subconscious mind populate the environment. (Perform a yoga session next to a waterfall in a lush rainforest)
You’re only limited by your imagination, but I’m sure you can see how waking up inside your dreams could change your life in ways you’ve never imagined. Did I tell you it’s also possible to fly because the laws of physics only exist if you want them to?
The 5 step process
It’s possible to trick your conscious mind into switching on while you’re already inside a dream, but I want to show you how to do something that will blow your mind. You’re going to lie down in your bed, close your eyes and pass into the dream world without losing consciousness.
Step 1 – Building up your dream memory
Even if you already have good dream recall it’s important to keep expanding your memory muscle because you want to remember everything. If you don’t usually remember your dreams you can start now. When you wake up in the morning you need to keep your eyes closed and stay still. Go over the last thing you can remember for 2-5 minutes then write it down in a journal
Step 2 – The preparation stage
In order to pass straight into a lucid dream you need to be about to enter the REM stage of sleep. Unfortunately this isn’t right before bedtime, so you will need to set your alarm to wake you up after about 6 hours of sleep. You could also attempt the technique if you go for an afternoon nap. Once you wake up you should stand for a few minutes then lie down on your back and close your eyes.
Step 3 – Getting into the trance state
Now we’re getting to the serious stuff. Hopefully you don’t find this stage too difficult, especially if you’ve practiced meditation before. Focus on the back of your head until you kill your inner-voice and pass into the trance state. When I say focus I don’t want you to think about anything.
You need to gently focus your awareness onto the feelings in the back of your head where it touches the pillow. You can also watch the back of your head through your mind’s eye. You’ll know when you’re inside the trance state because you’ll be able to carry out step 4.
Step 4 – Sending your body to the brink of sleep
At this point you’re still focusing your awareness onto the back of your head. Imagine your mind and head are two separate entities and they are sitting on top of each other. You need to imagine your mind is slowly sinking into your pillow. If you are in the trance state you should be able to feel it sinking backwards. There is no set limit to how long this stage should take, but you will get quicker in time.
The idea here is to truly believe your body is falling asleep and your mind is sinking. By now you’re going to be feeling some strange sensations inside your body. You just need to learn to accept them. Remember to keep your awareness focused on your sinking mind until your body is nearly asleep and you’re ready to execute step 5.
Step 5 – Passing into the dream world
This is where your heightened awareness built up through years of yoga will come in very handy. You need to take your awareness and shift it outside your body. If you can’t hold onto your awareness you will just pass into a regular dream.
To shift my awareness away from the back of my head I like to focus it onto a state of nothingness. Cease any thoughts from now on and just exist in pure awareness. If your body is at the brink of sleep it will now fade away and you will eventually end up inside a lucid dream.
Take your time
I know those 5 steps might seem easy, but don’t expect to succeed on your first attempt. Some people will, but most people won’t. Steps 3-5 might take a little time, so don’t be surprised if it takes you a week to jump through each of the last 3 steps.
You can practice steps 3 and 4 whenever you want, but don’t expect to pass into a lucid dream unless you carry out the technique before you enter REM sleep. I can promise you waking up inside your dreams will change your life. I know because it’s completely changed mine.
[Editor's note: This is a guest post by Jamie Alexander. When Jamie isn't flying through space, jumping out of helicopters, or exploring haunted houses you can find him at LucidAbility.com where he talks about everything related to lucid dreaming.]
Photo credit: Erin on flickr