Raise your hand if you’ve ever dozed off while meditating. I have 🙋🏼♂️! And that’s OK. Relaxation is both a prerequisite and a byproduct of meditating, and it is very frequent to get close to a light sleep when sitting.
The good news is that there are meditations that actually promote sleep and are embedded in the Yoga Nidra tradition (also called yogic sleep).
So for the first guided meditation that I’m offering on my site, I decided to work on a variation of the 61 points meditation taught by Swami Rama.
I first read about this meditation in Exploring the World of Lucid Dreaming, by Stephen LaBerge, Ph.D. and Howard Rheingold. It is a simple but powerful way to achieve a deep state of relaxation in preparation for lucid dreaming sessions.
As I begin to write more about night practices* and their connection to creativity, the 61 points meditation feels like a great start. It requires some ability to visualize and a bit of memory, but it is easier for beginners than plain mindfulness meditation (counting and visualizing can help maintain focus).
The idea is simple: While laying down in a comfortable position, visualize and count 61 precise locations on your body. The points follow a pattern that is easy to memorize. I’ve placed the points on a human silhouette below:
Download the diagram as a printable PDF:
Tip: Try to memorize a couple of reference points to make sure that you haven’t missed one. For example, I know that 50 is the tip of my left index toe. References help put you back on track if you’ve skipped a point.
Pick a quiet place where you can lay down. If you’re interested in dream yoga, you can follow this mediation before going to sleep. Otherwise, it also an effective way to relax as a break during your day.
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*set of bedtime practices that promote a good sleep, help with dream recall, and can lead to dream yoga.